👅Geographic tongue (erythema migrans) is a benign condition easily confused with lichen planus (an autoimmune disorder). A geographic tongue will be pink to reddish in color with slightly depressed lesions with irregular white or yellow borders. Geographic tongue usually has hereditary and environmental components (epigenetics!)….. meaning that environmental factors may intensify genetic expression.
Some of the more common environmental factors contributing to magnifying geographic tongue characteristics are endocrine disruptors (including birth control pills). Common endocrine disruptors include BPA (found in plastics), Phthalates (found in most mainstream beauty and skin care products), perchlorate (commonly found in tap water), PFC’s (used in nonstick cookware and fast food containers), and organophosphate pesticides.
Reading labels is a royal pain in the tushie, and all of these environmental toxins are not so nicely found everywhere despite having been banned in many other countries. Even if you are not predisposed to a geographic tongue, endocrine disruptors wreak havoc within all of us, and vigilance is needed. Scientists have pointed to all of these toxins as being key players in the more than 50% decline in fertility (for both men and women) in the USA in the last 30 years.
I am so thankful that Young Living has a full line of skin and body care products for both men and women, as well as gorgeous makeup (#SavvyMinerals) that is safe and free of hidden dangerous chemicals. I could stand on this toxic soapbox for hours, but let’s return to the tongue!
Geographic tongue is often a clue indicating a disposition towards psoriasis, reactive arthritis, allergies, and type I diabetes. That is not to say someone with a geographic tongue will definitely acquire one or more of these dis-ease states. Rather, it’s important to be aware of the possibility and do “all the things” to minimize the chance of acquiring a chronic autoimmune condition. Chronic stress can also magnify the characteristics of a geographic tongue.
👅A fissured tongue is notable for its deep furrows and cracks. Genetics and environmental factors also play a role. Tobacco use, and iron or B12 deficiency are common influencers of a fissured tongue. This particular tongue characteristic is also often seen in patients with psoriasis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders.
👅A swollen, inflamed tongue is sometimes seen in celiac disease (an autoimmune intolerance to gluten).
Did you notice a trend? Many of today’s tongue clues are tied to autoimmune disorders which ultimately are connected to gut health and environmental toxin exposure and it’s so very important to recognize clues and be proactive instead of reactive!
👅A “scalloped” tongue (ridges or teeth marks on the sides of the tongue) is indicative of fluid retention.
👅Tingling of the tongue may be a symptom of hypoglycemia.
👅 Tongue strength also reveals important clues! Is a person able to stick out his/her tongue, and if so, does it tremble? Remember, the tongue is a strong and very vascular bundle of muscles, much like the heart. Scientists have found that a quivering or trembling tongue is often indicative of a neurological disorder. A tongue quiver may also appear both before a stroke and as an aftermath of a vascular event.
👅As you look at your tongue for any tips or clues, make note of any unusual lumps, discoloration, or localized swelling or sores that do not go away, and contact your favorite health provider should you find something suspicious!
Caring for your tongue is similar to caring for your teeth. A fluoride free toothpaste (have you tried Young Living’s Thieves toothpaste?), oil pulling, and using a copper tongue scraper are all healthy ways to keep your tongue happy!