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You’ve probably heard the word “anemia” thrown around. Do you know what it is? Basically, it is a condition of the blood where there is a lack of healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, the portion of the blood cell that binds oxygen. This creates fatigue, headaches shortness of breath, and other symptoms.

One large effect of anemia may be what is called anemia tongue. It is mainly characterized by an inflamed or swollen tongue in multiple shades of red. Other symptoms include the difficulty or inability to chew, swallow or speak, tongue pain or tenderness, and the loss of the papillae, or those bumps on your tongue that house your taste buds.

Keep in mind that these symptoms tend to mirror those that have entirely different causes: an allergic reaction, an injury, herpes or dry mouth. If you have already been diagnosed with anemia, it may be safe to say that the cause of your inflammation is anemia tongue.

If your symptoms are severe, please take a trip to the ER as soon as possible. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your dentist.

When you come to see us, Dr. Jim Kelly will take a look at your tongue to see if there are blisters, a lack of papillae and signs of inflammation. We may also call for blood and saliva samples for testing. You may be prescribed an antibiotic, make changes to your diet, or upgrade your oral hygiene routine. Depending on your situation, we may also recommend a trip to see the family doctor.

If you suspect you have anemia tongue and you live in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, please ring 602-954-1901 to set up an appointment at Dr. Jim Kelly Dentistry. We’re here to help you and your smile today!