Try sticking your tongue out in the mirror the next time you’re feeling unwell, for the appearance of this oral organ might just help to reveal what’s wrong with you. Indeed, from one tongue featuring lacy white patches to another that’s covered in fearful fur, this organ can, it seems, be as much a diagnostic tool as an instrument that lets us taste and helps us speak.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Laila
An autoimmune disorder
The presence of deep fissures or ruptures on the top or edges of the tongue may signal the presence of an autoimmune condition. This symptom can, however, be easily misdiagnosed as oral thrush.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Com4
You may be smoking too much
So-called “black hairy tongue” looks worse than it is, but the unsightly condition can come about from smoking a lot or it may be a sign of poor oral hygiene. It’s normally the result of an excess of bacteria that has discolored the tongue’s filiform papillae.