Many people are unaware of just how important oral health is in regard to your overall health. It’s for this reason that our New York City dentist Dr. Beshar wants to prove a point today. We want to ask you if you know what your tongue looks like.

Yes, you read that right. We want to know if you know what your tongue looks like. Have you looked at it lately? Believe it or not, the appearance of your tongue can reveal quite a lot about what’s going on in the rest of your body.

Here’s how…

Do You Have “Cottage Cheese White” Covering Your Tongue?

If so, you probably have a yeast infection. No, yeast infections are not something only women can get. Medically speaking, a yeast infection can occur in both sexes.

When one happens in your mouth, oftentimes your tongue takes on a white cottage cheese-like appearance. Believe it or not, this is a type of yeast infection and it’s called thrush.

The reasons behind thrush can vary, but it can often be attributed to the use of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics kill bacteria in your body. But not all forms of bacteria are bad, and many types are needed to keep certain things in your body running smoothly.

When antibiotics disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in your mouth, thrush or other types of yeast infections can soon follow. Thrush can cause a slightly unpleasant taste in your mouth and a bit of pain. Usually, though, it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, there’s no over-the-counter treatment for thrush.

Do You Have Patches of White?

If you see patches of white on your tongue, you’re probably a smoker. These white patches are sections of excess cell growth. These patches, also known as lesions, have up to a seventeen percent chance of becoming cancerous. That’s your body’s way of telling you that you’re smoking so much that the harmful chemicals in cigarettes are causing cells to overproduce.

Tumors are mounds of unregulated cell growth. These white patches are precancerous signs that actual cancer could be close behind. They should also send you a serious message — quit smoking before it’s too late.

We hope these tidbits about your tastebuds were as interesting to you as they are to us.

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