Want to know how is your health?  Check your tongue

Examining the tongue is one of the easiest and simplest ways to understand one’s health

Tongue examination is one of the easiest and simplest ways to understand one’s health. Like examining the nerve, doctors are known to examine the tongue of a person to understand their health. A medical diagnosis is usually never complete without examining the tongue. An experienced doctor can easily understand the health of a person by examining the tongue. The face is usually considered as the mirror of the mind and in the same way the tongue is the mirror of the body. The color, structure and size of the tongue tell us about the health of a person.

White patches

White patches appear on all sides of the tongue including the inside of the cheeks and the fungus that causes it is called, Candida. This fungus usually attacks people who have been bedridden for a long time, those with a weak immune system, and those who take steroids. This fungus is also seen in asthma patients who use steroid inhalers. These white patches are known to appear like curd residues on the tongue. They can be easily rubbed off using a wet cloth. Care should be taken to clean the teeth and mouth of the bedridden patients on a daily basis. Anti-fungal creams should be used to clean the mouth. The mouth should also be washed well after using inhalers. The above methods will help to control and stop the attack from the Candida virus.

Some other white patches that appear on the tongue maybe the precursors of cancer. These white patches are found on the sides of the tongue and below the tongue. These cannot be rubbed off as easily as the fungus. These white patches appear on the tongues of people using bay leaves and this is usually due to sub-mucous fibrosis. These patches are usually painful. Therefore, one must not hesitate to consult a doctor for white patches on the tongue, especially if they are painful.


Paleness is something that can be easily detected by examining the tongue of a person. The reason for a white pale tongue is usually due to the deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is a pigment that gives red colour to the blood. In India, children, women and the old aged are the ones that are usually pale. The main reason behind paleness is usually the deficit of iron in the food. One of the main symptoms for paleness is tiredness. Also, deficiency of iron, deficient substances like vitamin B12, B2, folic acid, niacin can also result in a tongue that looks pale and polished. A deficiency of B12 can result in cuts and cracks at the tips of the lips. This can result in a sharp tanginess while having spicy foods.


This fever happens when the amount of bilirubin in the blood increases. A tongue examination easily helps in the detection of jaundice and other liver diseases. A pale yellow color on the underside of the tongue is one of the prominent symptoms of this disease. This yellowish happens when the bilirubin in the blood increases slightly above normal. Apart from the tongue, the eyes, the palms, the feet and the skin too appears yellow. These are some clear symptoms of jaundice.


Tongue examination helps one to understand the amount of water in a person’s body. One of the signs of dehydration is a dry tongue that is devoid of its natural wetness.  The primary reason for tiredness in people having fever, vomiting or loose motion is dehydration. Other reasons for dehydration are a dry tongue, lips and mouth along with excess thirst. If someone in your home has fever or tiredness it is good to examine their tongue. If the tongue is very dry, the person should be given lots of water that is mixed with appropriate amounts of salt. Thus, we can manage the tiredness of a person.

Ulcers on the tongue

The round white sores on the tongue that are very painful are called aphthous ulcers. These are usually found together or singly on the sides of the tongue or below it. Usually, they disappear within 7 to 12 days from its inception without leaving any marks or signs. Steroid creams can be used on it and this usually provides immediate relief.

There are other reasons too for the formation of these sores or cysts. Dislodged or artificial teeth can cause these cysts. The main symptom of these sores is the ‘pain’ that accompanies it. But if there are sore on the tongue that stays for more than two weeks and are not painful and that does not heal then we can confirm that they are cancerous. These sores usually occur on the either sides of the tongue and also on the top of the tongue. Tongue cancer occurs in people who smoke frequently.

Health of the tongue

For the total health of the tongue, do the following:-

1)       Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water

2)      Include lots of fruits, vegetables and greens in your daily diet

3)      Make it a habit to have green tea daily

4)      Brush your teeth twice a day and while brushing the teeth, clean your tongue too.

5)       While cleaning the tongue, don’t use force. Use soft scrubbers to clean the tongue.

6)      Completely avoid smoking and using paan.

7)       Avoid foods that are too hot or too cold.

8)      Visit the dentist at least once a year for the overall health of the mouth.