Sticking out your tongue can be extremely important gauge of overall health. From vitamin deficiencies to more serious health threats, the truth is often written on your tongue.

From White spots to red bumps, a number of diseases can show up on your tongue. Here’s what to know about tongue pain and tongue disease.

Strawberry Red

It could mean: You have a vitamin deficiency. A glossy, bright red tongue may be a sign your body is lacking iron or B12. “Vitamin B12 and iron are needed to mature papillae on the tongue. If you are deficient in those vitamins, you lose those papillae, which can make your tongue appear very smooth.”

In severe cases, this “balding” can cause pain when eating hot liquids or spicy food. Vegetarians are especially prone to low levels of B12, which is found in certain meats. Notable vitamin deficiencies can also be associated with an autoimmune disease in the GI tract, in which the stomach doesn’t absorb vitamins.

Burning sensation

You’re postmenopausal, or using the wrong toothpaste. If your tongue stings and burns as though it’s been scalded but looks perfectly normal hormonal changes could be to blame. Though burning tongue syndrome can happen to anybody (it affects up to 15 percent of the population), women are seven times more likely to experience it than men. It’s uncertain why this occurs, and the condition goes away in some individuals while it persists in others.

Some people also experience burning sensations from developing an allergy to certain toothpastes. An ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which helps toothpaste get foamy, can cause stinging—sometimes suddenly. Someone might be using one toothpaste their entire life, and then suddenly, their mouth starts hurting, Switching to toothpaste without SLS, like Sensodyne, can help reduce some of the irritation. For other causes, a doctor may be able to prescribe treatments such as antibiotic rinses or pills for neuropathic pain.

Painful Sores

You’re stressed. Many people have had the unpleasant experience of a canker sore. These are punched-out, painful areas that occur on the tongue or cheeks. They are most painful for the first four to five days, then subside and eventually disappear within two weeks

Brown or Black Fuzz

You don’t have the best oral hygiene. A tongue covered in dark hairs (actually called “black and hairy tongue”) may look nasty, but doctors agree that it’s not cause for major concern. We have papilla, small bumps on the surface of our tongue, which grow throughout our lifetime

Papillae are normally worn down by chewing and drinking, but sometimes they can become overgrown, which makes them more likely to harbor bacteria or become discolored from food. This can cause bad breath or taste abnormalities.

Removing the offending cause, like smoking, and brushing the tongue or using a tongue scraper, may be all you need.

Dark tongue

The little knocks on a tongues surface are now and then alluded to as ‘hairs’, or papillae, and can here and there turn dark thus of catching microscopic organisms and yeast. The shading can likewise be ascribed to the papillae getting to be noticeably recolored by a few sustenances and tobaccos. Frequently poor oral cleanliness is a main consideration. This is a safe yet unattractive condition frequently alluded to as ‘Dark Hairy Tongue’.

However a few anti-toxins, mouthwashes and different meds can be mindful. It can be an indication of lack of hydration or drinking excessively espresso. Substantial smokers may likewise experience the ill effects of this. It can bring about a metallic taste in your mouth and terrible breath. Utilize a tongue scrubber or delicate toothbrush to clean the tongue consistently and make certain to brush and floss your teeth appropriately. Counsel a doctor if this endures over 10 days.

Yellow tongue

Likewise with a dark bristly tongue, this is an after effect of caught microscopic organisms. The papillae can wind up plainly kindled through being got dried out, breathing through the mouth rather than nose, experiencing a fever or overwhelming smoking. Similarly as with dark tongue guaranteeing fastidious oral cleanliness ought to clear the issue, rapidly giving back the tongue to a sound pink.