According to medical practitioners, almost any ailment, right from physical injury to cancer can cause red spots on the tongue. The occurrence of such spots can be associated with almost any ailment or disease. Thus, red spots on the tongue and throat may be a result of respiratory ailments or even disorders of the digestive system. The reason that doctors examine a patient's tongue is that the tongue is that part of the body, which is affected by most physical ailments. Changes in the color and texture of the tongue help diagnose a condition.
Red Spots on Tongue: Causes and Treatments
There are about 8,000 or more taste buds on the surface of human tongue, and many diseases have a significant effect on the tongue. The following are some of the diseases and disorders, due to which red spots tend to appear on the tongue.
✦ Vitamin Deficiency: Red spots may develop on the surface of the tongue, if the person is suffering from an acute vitamin B12 deficiency. The best remedy for this is including vitamin B12 rich foods such as eggs, milk, cheese, various other milk products, meat, fish, shellfish, and poultry in the daily diet. These days, foods fortified with vitamin B12 are easily available in markets.
✦ Scarlet Fever: A strawberry tongue is a very prominent scarlet fever symptom. The spots appear as a result of Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria which cause scarlet fever. Prescribed (usually a 10-day course of ) antibiotics (if the person is unable to retain oral antibiotics, a single injection of penicillin G benzathine) can help get rid of the symptoms of scarlet fever.
✦ Kawasaki Disease: Red spots on the tongue are often noticed in children. They sometimes indicate Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the walls of some blood vessels in the body. The disease is most common in children aged 1 to 2 years, and is less common in children older than age 8. It is not a contagious disease. The exact cause of the disease is not known. It is a rare childhood illness. Children who are affected by the syndrome generally need to be hospitalized, as the symptoms can be severe for several days. However, intravenous administration of immunoglobulin medicine helps cure the disease. Most children return to normal activities within a few weeks.
✦ Irritation: Eczema is the result of loss of moisture and oil from the skin, resulting in skin inflammation and irritation. Usually, red spots on the tongue appear as a result of excessive irritation on the tongue's surface, which permits oral bacteria to attack the taste buds. Oral medications to curb the pain are prescribed in such cases. However, the best way to reduce the red spots, that appear as a result of irritation, is to bring about the necessary dietary changes, and to increase the intake of water.
✦ Asthma: Asthma is another very important cause of the occurrence of such spots. The spots may occur as a result of a reaction by the respiratory system to the allergens. There is no concrete cure for asthma. The best way to curb the allergy is to avoid contact with allergens, and use an inhaler. Chronic inflation of the lungs that results from asthma is the reason behind red spots appearing on the tongue. Medications prescribed by your physician can help control the effects of an asthma bout.
✦ Other Causes: Infections, acne, allergies, and cancer are some of the other causes of strawberry tongue. In addition to that, physicians have reported many other causes such as STDs and digestive disorders. The tongue becomes red in most of the respiratory and digestive ailments due to its proximity to both the systems. Red spots are often caused as a result of physical trauma, bleeding, or excess heat generation in the body. The spots can appear as a result of the disorders of the skin and taste buds. In fact, you might also notice red dots on the tongue after you drink too much of alcohol or consume very hot and spicy food. In some cases, prolonged smoking leads to the development of such red spots.
As there exist hundred of causes of red spots on the tongue, the treatment depends on the factor causing them. It is best to consult a doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.