The 5 signs on your tongue that could be early sign of silent killer | The Sun

BUMPS, white patches and little spots in your mouth and tongue can be harmless.

But sometimes, they can give some clues to what’s really going on with your overall health.

Changes to our tongues can even be indicative of some deadly diseases.

So next time you're brushing, take a look at your tongue, there's plenty you might find… 

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1. White spots that can be scraped off

White spots that can be brushed off with a tooth brush can be a sign of oral thrush, says NHS GP Dr Rachel Ward of Woodlands Medical Centre in Didcot.

"It is often associated with soreness, an unpleasant taste and difficulty eating and drinking.

"Though oral thrush is common and normally easily treated, if it becomes a recurrent issue it may indicate another underlying health issue such as a problem with your immune system or a deficiency," she explained

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2. White patches on your tongue and inside your mouth that will not rub off.

Having white patches on your tongue that wont come off is known as Leukoplakia.

"This are caused by chronic exposure to irritants such as smoking," she explained.

"They are mostly benign but can be pre-cancerous and needs to be seen by your dentist or doctor," Dr Rachel adds.

3. Mouth ulcers

"Ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue are common and though the are painful, they will generally heal by themselves within a few days," the GP explained.

"If you have a non-healing ulcer or a new lump on the tongue, it could be a sign of oral cancer and you should arrange to see you doctor or dentist straight away," she added.

4. Geographic tongue

A geographic tongue is when your tongue looks like the outlines of a map.

"It is a common condition and not serious but can cause soreness if you eat certain food like citrus fruits or spicy foods.

"The best way of managing it is avoiding the irritating foods," Dr Rachel explained.

5. Hairy Tongue

The term "hairy tongue" is used to describe an abnormal coating on the surface of the tongue, the GP said.

It's a relatively common, temporary and harmless condition, she added.

Hairy tongue occurs due to a lack of stimulation to the top of the tongue, causing too much bacteria or yeast growth in the mouth.

This bacteria builds up on tiny rounded projections called papillae, which lie along the tongue.

Instead of shedding as they usually do, the papillae start to lengthen.

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In severe cases, they can grow to 15 times their normal length, giving a hair-like appearance.

"It is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene or smoking," she added.

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