Though very few people know it, tongue is, in fact, the best barometer for the healthy being of the body. This is why you must have noticed doctors checking your tongue for any sign of illnesses, every time you visit one. However, the question is how you can figure out the warning bells from your tongue? The first thing that you can do is to identify the signs of a healthy tongue. A tongue that is pink and moist with a thin white coating on the surface can be considered as healthy. If the smoothness of the tongue disappears, then you should immediately seek medical help. One such common sign of an underlying ill health is red tongue. As the name suggests, the tongue turns red from pink. Sometimes the redness is apparent in the tongue in the form of tiny red blotches. Now, are you wondering what causes redness in the tongue? There are various reasons due to which the color of the tongue changes. Though none of the causes lead to any serious repercussions, the red tongue can point towards other serious and grave ailments. Read below to learn more on the causes of red tongue.
What Causes Red Tongue
What Causes Red Tongue
- The most common cause of red tongue is vitamin deficiency. The vitamin deficiency manifests in a number of oral symptoms, the most visible of them being red tongue. Deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B12 often leads to a sore and red tongue. Diseases like pellagra, which is basically caused due to the deficiency of niacin or vitamin B3, can also lead to a bright red tongue.
- Red tongue is also caused due to various tongue infections. Certain types of bacterial and fungal infections can cause glossitis, which leads to red tongue. Another infection known as atrophic candidiasis, which affects the oral cavity leads to whiting of the tongue. When the white coating is peeled, it reveals red tongue.
- Sometimes irregular patches form on the dorsal side of the tongue. This is mainly due to the shedding of filiform papillae in different areas of the tongue. This condition is known as geographic tongue and is one of the less conspicuous causes of red tongue.
- There are also a number of systematic diseases that can cause red tongue. Autoimmune diseases like Kawasaki disease can result in a bright red tongue with swollen lips and vertical cracking and bleeding.
- People suffering from scarlet fever are also likely to be a victim of bright red tongue. The tongue in this case also has a strawberry like appearance. You may also witness white spots to appear on the tongue with prominent red bumps.
- Another cause of red tongue which can be quite serious is the toxic shock syndrome. Even Plummer-Vinson syndrome can cause glossitis, leading to inflamed and red tongue.
- Malabsorption diseases like tropical sprue also cause red tongue.
- Allergies like eczema lead to red tongue, due to excessive irritation on the surface of the tongue. The red tongue, in this case, results when oral bacteria attack the taste buds.
- Asthma is another cause that causes red tongue. The red spots in the tongue occur because of the reaction by the respiratory system to the allergens.
- Red tongue can also be a sign of acne and in some cases cancer. Even STDs and digestive ailments can also lead to red tongue. Sometimes, physical trauma, bleeding or excess heat in the body can lead to red tongue. Too much alcohol consumption or eating very hot and spicy food may lead to eruption of red spots.