The tongue, like the rest of the inner surface
of the mouth, may have several diseases common to the inner mouth
cavity. However, its refinements in touching and tasting bring it in
contact with all substances entering the mouth and expose it to more
irritation than the rest of the oral cavity. 4.BLUE DISCOLOURATION- Diagnosis-
There are a variety of causes for tongue discolouration. Fortunately, the majority of them are not serious and most can be resolved quickly. In some instances, however, a discoloured or painful tongue can indicate more serious conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, AIDS, or oral cancer. For this reason, it is important to seek medical advice
There are number of causes responsible for it.
a.Leukoplakia- This condition causes cells in the mouth to grow excessively that leading to formation of white patches in oral cavity including tongue also. Although not dangerous on its own, leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer. So medical attention should be given to it. Smoking, tobacco chewing, alcohol abuse, chronic trauma from ill fitted dentures or cheek bite are some of the etiological factors.
b.Oral thrush- it is caused by candida albicans. It appears as a white grey patch. When wiped off, they leave a erythematous mucosa. Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with compromised immune systems. Oral thrush is more likely to occur after the use of antibiotics, which may kill the "good" bacteria in the mouth.
c.Oral lichen planus.
2.RED DISCOLOURATION OR STRAWBERRY TONGUE
a.Vitamin deficiency- Niacin and folic acid deficiency may lead to red and smooth tongue.
c.Scarlet fever- The first sign of scarlet fever may be a change from the tongue's normal colour to a strawberry, and then raspberry, colour.
d.Kawasaki Syndrome- This disease, usually seen in children under the age of five, affects the blood vessels in the body and can cause strawberry tongue. During the acute phase of illness, children often run an extremely high fever and may also have redness and swelling in the hands and feet.
e.Geographic tongue- This condition, also known as benign migratory glossitis, is named for the map-like pattern of reddish spots that develop on the surface of the tongue. At times, these patches have a white border around them, and their location on the tongue may shift over time.
On ruling out external causes (heavy smoking, tobacco chewing, etc.) tongue discolouration and coating should be investigated all the way with routine blood and urine analysis. If necessary, ultra sound scan or CT scan for abdomen or endoscopic procedures should be done when there arises a suspicion of digestive tract involvement. Other important tests which can guide for diagnosis are:
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