A healthy tongue is one that is pink, moist and fairly smooth. The function of tongue is to chew and swallow food by experiencing its taste. It also helps in communication by enabling one to speak properly. Apart from these immensely incredible roles, tongue also serves as a health indicator. A dry, coated and discolored tongue is a sure indicator of some or other ailment.
The changes in the appearance of tongue might relate to a disorder either connected to the tongue or to some other body part. Hairy tongue refers to the presence of small bumps on the tongue surface. In this case, the tongue is likely to be enlarged. This is considered to be a considerably harmless situation.
Geographic tongue is the condition that is characterized by smooth, bright red patches on the tongue top. These patches change their location and size. Soreness and a hard burning sensation are also found in some cases. This situation is usually resulted by hormonal changes or some allergies.
Fissured tongue is yet another condition in which deep grooves are formed on the tongue surface. Fissured tongue is generally an inherited trait.
A tongue that is coated with a black shade might be the result of bacterial multiplication. Overgrowth of yeast in the mouth might also lead to this condition. This condition can be rectified to a considerable extent by brushing the tongue with a toothbrush. Rinsing the mouth well with diluted hydrogen peroxide will also help in curing the discoloration.
A smoothened tongue of pale color might signal nutritional deficiencies. Pale tongue is considered as a symptom of Vitamin B-12 deficiency. It can also indicate anemia.
Canker sores that appear on the tongue surface are likely to be painful. However, they usually disappear on their own without any proper treatment. It is believed that stress and increased fatigue might result in this ailment.