Changes to your tongue could be warning sign of STI or fungal infection

Changes to your tongue could be warning sign of STI or fungal infection


Certain body parts can give you a good indication of any potential health issues. This can include your skin, eyes, mouth, feet, nails and even your tongue.

From fungal infections to STIs or different types of viruses; the tongue could show signs of various health problems.

Some things, like ulcers, patches, bumps or redness can often be harmless, but occasionally, if they don't go away, it could give you some clues about your health and any sneaky conditions you may be suffering from.

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A healthy tongue has a warm and pinkish colour indicating all is well but any of these changes could mean something may not be right. Here are some changes to your tongue you should be aware of.

White patches

Noticing either white patches or a creamy appearance on your tongue could indicate either thrush or a fungal infection.

“It often happens after an illness or medications throw off the balance of bacteria in your mouth,” says WebMD.

“White patches that look lacy could be lichen planus, which means your immune system is attacking the tissues in your mouth.

“If you see hard, flat, white areas that can’t be scraped away, it could be leukoplakia, which is linked to cancer.”

Tongue sores

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Syphilis is said to cause sores, also known as chancres, which can be found on the lips, gums, back of the mouth near the tonsils and on the tongue.

These sores indicate the first stage of the infection.

These little sores start as small red patches and then grow into larger open sores with colours varying from red, yellow or grey.

Burning feeling

Feeling as if you have stuck your tongue onto something extremely hot causing a bit taste in your mouth could be burning mouth syndrome.

“It might mean a problem with the nerves in your tongue,” added WebMD.

“Some health problems, like dry mouth, infections, acid reflux, and diabetes may cause it, too.

“For some people, acidic foods like pineapple as well as toothpaste, mouthwash, candy, or gum also make their mouth burn.”

Painful and red tongue

Experiencing a sore and red tongue could mean you are severely lacking in vitamin B12.

Glossitis (red tongue) is synonymous with a B12 deficiency which may also make it look beefy-red in colour.

Being deficient in iron can also lead to a swollen tongue and painful sores in the mouth.

Having a lack of haemoglobin in the blood will also cause the tongue to appear pale and smooth.

If noticing any of these changes to your tongue, a visit to either your GP or dentist is strongly advised.


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