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Expert Article: Is Your White Tongue A Matter Of Concern?

The tongue is the mightiest weapon in the mouth. It takes up a third of the oral cavity. Despite that, it is highly underrated and receives no special care. It is a large muscle mass that aids in speaking, eating, swallowing, and, most importantly, tasting the delectable treats. The tongue frequently undergoes texture and colour changes that may indicate a specific underlying disease.

The following are some typical tongue pathologies and their observable changes:

1. Macroglossia-large tongue.
2. A sore, shiny, and smooth midline red patch is known as median rhomboid glossitis.
3. Geographic tongue-glossy red patches are randomly arranged, and their raised whitish borders appear map-like.
4. Fissured tongue-deep grooves with discolouration.
5. White, slick lesions known as leukoplakia.
6. Linea alba is a condition where the cheeks and sides of the tongue have thick white lines.
7. Lichen planus-white patches with reddish sore points and a net-like appearance.
8. Oral hairy leukoplakia-white hairy patches
9. Thick white or red growths or ulcers indicate squamous cell carcinoma.
10. Candidiasis-whitish patches of fungal growth

A lot of names! I understand. But did you notice a pattern among the majority?

The answer is a white lesion. Your tongue's white spot might be trying to tell you something.

The white tongue is most frequently brought on by:

1. The coated tongue can have varying concentrations of bacteria, food particles, dead skin cells, and different types of white blood cells from the surrounding tissues.

● The coating can have a thickness of a few to several millimetres.
● Typically, it is rough and whitish.
● It emits an unpleasant odour.
● Poor oral hygiene and ongoing digestive problems are frequent causes of the white coating.

2. Leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion that increases the risk of developing oral cancer. It can show up as a white tongue patch on the cheeks or on the gums.

● Chewing tobacco or betel nuts are the main cause of it.
● Dry mouth, a slight burning sensation, and chewing difficulties are its hallmarks.

3. Tongue candidiasis manifests as white deposits that resemble curdled milk. Deposits can be scrapped.

● It develops due to a condition that weakens your body's immunity.
● The condition can be easily treated with an oral course of antifungals and local ointment application.

4. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that typically affects the mouth, head, and neck. It can manifest as white or red lesions, ulcers, growths, or non-healing extraction sockets.

● This type of oral cancer can be brought on by chewing tobacco, smoking, or lingering infections.
● The severity level determines the treatment strategy. Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are recommended as needed.

Let's learn how to maintain a healthy tongue as a conclusion.

● Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal.
● Utilize tongue scrapers or cleaners by starting at the back of the tongue and working your way forward. Next, wash away the debris that has accumulated, and repeat several times.
● A few toothbrushes come equipped with a tongue cleaner on the back of the head.
● Oil pulling.
● Rinses in a little warm water and salt.
● A balanced diet and enough water intake
● Stress reduction.

Story first published: Sunday, July 24, 2022, 13:10 [IST]
Read more about: oral care white tongue
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