If the tongue seems to resemble a steak and spicy foods cause you to burn, these are the classic signs of a condition called atrophic glossitis – a condition characterized by the loss of the protective papillae of the tongue. This condition occurs predominantly among the elderly and indicates that their teeth are not healthy and are always damaged due to rubbing with the tongue. At the same time, the red and swollen tongue can indicate a vitamin B deficiency or the presence of oral candidiasis.
Fissures Of The Tongue
The small cracks on the surface of the tongue are known under the medical name of scrotal tongue – a hereditary condition found in more than 5% of the US population and more than 20% of the world’s population and which occurs mainly among men.
This condition tends to evolve with age. Although it seems to be a serious condition, the scrotal tongue is benign, and when bacteria accumulates in the fissures, halena can appear.
In some cases, small cracks on the tongue are one of the symptoms of Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome – a condition characterized by swelling of the lips.
If the tongue is smooth and colorless, it can signal different nutritional deficiencies, such as the lack of folic acid ,vitamin B or iron . As a consequence, the tongue loses its protective layer, becoming very sensitive.
A red and smooth tongue indicates the condition called pernicious anemia, characterized by a deficiency of vitamin B12 or malabsorption syndrome – an intestinal condition in which the intestine does not effectively absorb nutritional substances.
If a single red or white spot appears on the smooth tongue, the patient can be diagnosed with median rhomboidal glossitis – a congenital anomaly that presents itself as a small round protrusion located on the dorsal side of the tongue.
Areas of the tongue’s surface that move linguistic region,
Geographic tongue,often referred to as benign migratory glossitis, is characterised by migrating patches on the surface of the tongue. The surface of a geographic tongue shows irregular spots caused by the lack of papillae, giving it the appearance of a map.
The spots appear on a certain portion, then disappear, to reappear in another part of the tongue. The spots can be white and irregular or red and smooth.
Geographic tongue is a benign condition, and although its causes are not known, this condition seems to be inherited from the family. At the same time, it should mentioned that the condition is not painful, but in exceptional cases patients show a sensitivity to spicy foods.
Involuntary Movements Of The Tongue
Try to keep your tongue still while looking in the mirror with your mouth open. You will notice that it is almost impossible because a normal tongue will twitch, appearing as if it has a motor tic.
The involuntary movements of the tongue can lead to the diagnosis of essential tremor – a condition that occurs in over 10 million people in the USA, which evolves slowly and, as a rule, does not affect locomotor activity. Also, involuntary movements of the tongue can also occur in patients with Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis .
The cause of this condition can also be a reaction to some medications recommended for the treatment of anxiety and some mental disorders; it can also occur among patients with hyperthyroidism.
Diseases Of The Taste Buds
The human ability to have the sense of taste depends not only on the taste buds but also on the movements of the tongue, because by moving the food throughout the mouth, the tongue comes into contact with all the foods, capturing their taste through the taste buds.
Taste is closely related to smell; in fact, these two senses are so dependent on each other, that if you lose one of them, you will soon lose the other as well.
Smell disorders are more common than taste disorders; for example. In the USA 3 million have disorders of the sense of smell and only 2 million of the sense of taste.
Diminished Or Confused Tastes
The feeling that you have lost your sense of taste. More precisely the ability to detect aromas, medically known as hypogeusia . If the patient does not differentiate tastes, then he suffers from dysgeusia.
As in the case of other senses, the diminution of the sense of taste can appear with advancing age. But fortunately the total loss of the sense of taste (ageusia) happens in very rare cases.
Both the reduction of the sense of taste and the confusion of tastes can indicate oral infections or gingival irritation. Patients with damage to the facial. Nerves who have suffered cranial trauma or who have undergone radioactive treatment in the neck or oral cavity. May experience disturbances in the sense of taste.
Since food must mixed with saliva in order for the sensation to be stronger. The sense of taste may diminished, distorted or may disappear completely. If the patient suffers from xerostomia (the sensation of dry mouth).
The causes of some disorders at the level of the taste buds can be: vitamin A and B3 deficiency, diabetes. Multiple sclerosis, various liver diseases, AIDS or cancer.
As a rule, patients with an altered sense of taste. Tend to add a lot of salt or sugar to food. An extremely dangerous fact because the excess. Of these foods can lead to diabetes or hypertension. Also, patients with this disorder become depressed in a short time.
Occasionally, each of us wakes up with a strange taste in our mouth, even if we have proper oral hygiene or not. If the patient’s hygiene is impeccable and he still feels a strange taste. It may be a “gustatory hallucination”, that is, he feels certain tastes that do not actually exist.
Gustatory hallucination can be a sign of Bell’s palsy or “burning mouth” syndrome. A rare condition that occurs especially in women after menopause. And which believed to caused by nerve damage.
Most people who suffer from gustatory hallucinations claim that they feel a metallic taste in their mouth. This sensation can also appear as a reaction to certain drugs. Such as: antibiotics, antidepressants, antihypertensives, drugs recommended for the treatment of kidney stones or rheumatoid arthritis, but also some vitamins. Also, the sensation of metallic taste can appear after a chemotherapy treatment or after radiation therapy.
In the case of epileptics, the presence of metallic taste can appear before a seizure.
Also, the metallic taste can signal that the old metal fillings have started to deteriorate. And the dentist should consulted urgently.
Increased Taste Sensitivity
Hypergeusia characterized by the hypersensitivity of the taste buds. That is, the patient always thinks that the dessert is too sweet. The coffee is too strong, the pepper too hot, etc.
Scientists say that approximately 25% of the global population shows the symptoms of this condition. This can be a hereditary trait, the patient endowed with a larger number of taste buds.
An interesting thing discovered by the researchers is that patients with hypergeusia also show an increased sensitivity to pain.
Hypergeusia can be one of the signs of the “burning mouth” syndrome. Caused by nerve damage due to infections, hormonal disorders or both.
The fact that these patients typically don’t smoke and don’t consume a lot of alcohol is a plus.
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