KidsPrimary School

Your child’s tongue might reveal a lot about their health

A close look at your child’s tongue can reveal much about the overall state of their health. Here are a few things to keep in mind...

Why is it important to check your child’s tongue on a daily basis? Because the tongue can be a great indicator of your child’s overall health.

The tongue is an oddly shaped organ. When the mouth is closed, it is inside the body; when the mouth is open, it is outside the body. This distinguishes the tongue and gives it a distinct perspective on health and what is going on inside the body.

Here are some frequent changes in the appearance of your child’s tongue that could be an early symptom of illness or deficiency.

Different shades of pink

While outward organs such as the skin change colour, internal organs such as the tongue change colour only when something is out of balance. Your child’s tongue should be a light (but not pale) shade of pink. While there is some room for variance, knowing your child’s tongue’s healthy colour can help you spot changes.

  • A thin film on your child’s tongue, for example, can indicate poor dental hygiene or a yeast infection.
  • A bright pink to red tongue may indicate a B12 deficit, while a pale pink tongue (not covered with white) may indicate iron deficiency and anaemia.

Bumpy terrain

A healthy tongue is carpeted with papilla, which aids it in performing its function of tasting food. Other lumps and bumps on your child’s tongue, however, can be a reaction to food allergies, hot food and drink, and an indicator of illness. Scalloping along the outer border of your child’s tongue is frequently the result of stress and worry pressing the tongue against the teeth.

A parched tongue

It may seem funny to think of a dry tongue because your tongue and mouth are where the saliva should be, yet your child’s body may not be producing enough saliva in some situations. Dry mouth and tongue can be caused by diabetes, colds, and other conditions that could indicate a weakened immune system. Drinking enough water can help keep your child’s mouth moisturised, but if your child still complains of a dry tongue, you should consult your doctor to determine the reason for your child’s dry mouth and how to treat it appropriately.  

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