The tongue is usually ignored as a source of information about your health. Symptoms such as headaches, fever and vomiting attract more attention than the symptoms related to the tongue. Nevertheless, if you don’t feel well, have a look at your tongue and you may find out what the problem is.
Swollen tongue is a sign of emergency and it needs medical attention as soon as possible. The swollen tongue can quickly become bigger and can reach a point of blocking the airflow which can cause suffocation. This is because a swollen tongue can quickly worsen to the point that it blocks your airflow, leaving you to suffocate. If you notice that your tongue, immediately seek medical attention.
The most common causes of tongue swelling is allergic reaction to medications. ACE inhibitors, used for treating high blood pressure, often cause a swollen tongue if there is an allergy. Even common medications like aspirin and ibuprofen may cause swelling if you are allergic to the medications.
Another cause is food allergy. They can cause various symptoms, ranging from abdominal pain to rashes, hives and itching.
Among children, the most common food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs and wheat. The most common food allergies seen in adults include nuts, citrus fruit, peanuts, fish, shell fish and wheat. Allergic reactions usually need immediate medical attention, so inform your doctor if you think that you have a food allergy that causes swelling of the tongue.
Also, bee sting allergies can sometimes cause tongue swelling. But it’s not as common as throat and lip swelling. Nevertheless, if you think that you are allergic to bee stings, you should seek medical advice, because bee-sting allergies can lead to death.
Infections that are located deep, at the beginning of the tongue or at the bottom of the mouth can also cause swollen tongue. If you have a mouth infection your tongue will swell slowly in the course of a few days. Infections that are not treated may cause death, so don’t hesitate if you notice something – immediately visit the doctor.
If your tongue looks whiter than usual it usually is due to poor hygiene. The white overcoat on your tongue consists of bacteria and dead cells. If the reason for your white tongue really is due to poor hygiene, you can quickly eliminate this problem by brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
If you want to prevent the white overcoat on your tongue you should brush your teeth and tongue twice a day and drink a lot of water.
White tongue may also be a symptom of thrush, particularly if the overcoat is patchy. Thrushes are yeasts infections caused by Candida. Everyone have small amounts of Candida in their mouths, but it can sometimes grow out of control, causing thrushes.
They are most common in infants and elderly because their immune system is weaker during these stages of life. It is easy to treat with antifungal medicine. You can try natural remedies as well.
Garlic, oregano or coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and turmeric are foods that you can add to your diet in order to prevent Candida. Also probiotics and a diet with less sugar can help you.
Dry mouth, fever and breathing trough the mouth can also cause whitish tongue. It can rarely be a symptom of congenital heart disease, syphilis, HIV or tongue cancer. Of course, you should first check the more common causes before making conclusions about the more serious ones!
If your tongue is red, that can be a symptom of scarlet fever. It is a bacterial disease caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat. The difference is that in case of scarlet fever, the bacteria release toxins that cause the rash as well as other symptoms.
It usually occurs in children ages 5 to 15. If you don’t treat scarlet fever untreated, it can cause damage to many body systems.
Other symptoms include bright red rash on the whole body, sore throat, high fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, and headache. If you think that you have scarlet fever, immediately visit the doctor.