Several types of cancer can affect the tongue, but tongue cancer most often begins in the thin, flat squamous cells that line the surface of the tongue.
Some of the first signs of tongue cancer often include a painful lump or sore on the side of the tongue that may bleed easily and resist healing. Mouth or tongue pain is also a common symptom. Other painful symptoms include: Persistent jaw pain.
The most common early symptom of tongue cancer is a sore on your tongue that doesn't heal and that bleeds easily. You might also notice mouth or tongue pain. Other symptoms of tongue cancer include: a red or white patch on your tongue that persists.
Tongue cancer is highly curable when it is detected early, but it can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Over time, it may spread to other sites in the mouth, other areas of the head and neck, or other parts of the body.
A person with a mouth or tongue lesion may have lumps, bumps, little ulcers, or cuts inside or outside of their mouth and lips. The first thing to do is to identify the problem, since there are many different types of sores.
A healthy tongue should be pink and covered with small nodules (papillae). Any deviation from your tongue's normal appearance, or any pain, may be cause for concern.
It causes fuzzy white patches, often on the sides of the tongue, that look folded or ridged. They're not painful and cannot be brushed or scraped away. Antiviral medicines, or treatments applied directly to the patch, may be prescribed to treat hairy leukoplakia.
Causes of Tongue Infection, Disease, and Pain
Jun 8, 2021
White tongue is the result of an overgrowth and swelling of the fingerlike projections (papillae) on the surface of your tongue. The appearance of a white coating is caused by debris, bacteria and dead cells getting lodged between the enlarged and sometimes inflamed papillae.
Thrush is characterized by a white coating or white patches on the tongue, mouth, inner cheeks, and back of the throat. The tissue under the white patches is often red, raw, and sore. The lesions can be painful and even bleed when scraped. Oral thrush often looks like cottage cheese or milk curds.
While everyone's tongue may look slightly different, a “typical healthy” tongue has similar characteristics. It ought to be pink, with a thin whitish coating on the surface. Papillae are also prevalent on a healthy tongue. These are small nodules along the surface that help you eat and taste your food.
For a while we've been noticing an increasing number of people reporting that their tongue doesn't look normal, particularly that it is white and patchy. Professor Tim Spector, COVID Symptom Study lead, tweeted about this in January and got a lot of responses - and some pictures!
White tongue is often related to oral hygiene. Your tongue can turn white when the tiny bumps (papillae) that line it swell up and become inflamed. Bacteria, fungi, dirt, food, and dead cells can all get trapped between the enlarged papillae. This collected debris is what turns your tongue white.
Nearly 4 in 10 COVID patients experience impaired taste or total loss of taste, but dry mouth affects even more — up to 43%, according to their broad review of more than 180 published studies.
HOW DOES WHITE TONGUE FORM? When you wake up in the morning or you go for a long stretch of time without brushing your teeth, you may notice your tongue turning a shade of white. This commonly happens when there is inflammation of your papillae (tiny bumps) on your tongue.
Cyanosis occurs as a result of poor circulation or insufficient oxygenation of the blood. A grey tongue can develop due to intestinal or digestive problems. As bacteria builds up in the mouth due to digestive issues, it can create a greyish coating on the tongue.
If the tongue pales and develops white patches, this may result from a fungal infection, such as oral thrush. Oral thrush can be painful and cause thick, white or red patches to form on the tongue. A person may have trouble swallowing or eating.
Signs and symptoms may include: Creamy white lesions on your tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums and tonsils. Slightly raised lesions with a cottage cheese-like appearance. Redness, burning or soreness that may be severe enough to cause difficulty eating or swallowing.
Hairy leukoplakia causes fuzzy, white patches that resemble folds or ridges, usually on the sides of your tongue. It's often mistaken for oral thrush, an infection marked by creamy white patches that can be wiped away, which is also common in people with a weakened immune system.
Your tongue has bumps on the back called papillae that are part of its normal anatomy; do nothing if you have no other symptoms. New or different bumps or masses can be caused by infections or other conditions. Bumps on the tongue (papillae) contain taste buds, temperature receptors, and a good blood supply.
Simple ways you can treat white tongue include:
Jun 22, 2020