What Could Turn My Tongue Red?

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A healthy tongue should have that familiar pink coloration that we’re all familiar with. Every once in a while, though, some people will discover that their tongue has turned a strange red color. Sometimes this will be paired with a series of enlarged taste buds, giving the surface of your tongue a strawberry-like appearance. This can be caused by a number of conditions, some of which should be brought to our Federal Way dentistry clinic or your doctor:

  • Benign Migratory Glossitis: This condition is also known as geographic tongue, as it is characteristic of geographic-like patterns forming on the surface of your tongue. The patches that form on your tongue may be outlined in a thin, white border. The good news is that this is usually a harmless condition, but you should alert your dentist if it lasts longer than two weeks.
  • Kawasaki Syndrome: This is a condition that is usually only found in young children. It comes with a very high fever, often paired with swelling in the hands and feet. Should your child suffer these symptoms, you should take him or her to your doctor.
  • Scarlet Fever: This infection may occasionally come with a strawberry tongue. If you have scarlet fever, you will need to get an antibiotic treatment from your doctor.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: You may develop a red tongue if you do not get enough vitamin b12 or folic acid in your diet.
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