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Known as a geographical tongue, “it affects three per cent of the population and is thought to be genetic,” says Dr Mansberg. While there are no real symptoms, “the patches can migrate but shouldn’t be painful. If they are like small ulcers, it could be viral, like herpes.” Get it checked.
Bright red and swollen
An inflamed tongue is a sign of glossitis and can be caused by a number of factors including allergic reactions, bacterial infections, dry mouth, and injury or trauma. “It’s also a sign of iron and vitamin B12 deficiency, so see your GP to have your levels tested,” she adds.
Indentations or marks Teeth marks around the sides of your tongue can indicate stress. “It’s also a sign of trauma, say if you bite your tongue,” explains Dr Mansberg. Sometimes it’s chemical trauma caused by allergic reactions. “If you have food allergies, certain foods, such as acidic tomatoes and strawberries or citrus fruits, might aggravate the symptoms.”
Photo by Pando Hall Jul 25, 2012