In celiac disease, eating gluten triggers the immune system to attack the small intestine. Bowel symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and pain are the hallmarks, but celiac can also cause you to lose the little hairs that dot the surface of your tongue.
This is called atrophic glossitis–also known as “bald tongue” or “smooth tongue”–and it can cause taste changes and be painful, says Cram. “When you lose [those] hairs it can be very, very sore. Anything acidic or spicy or containing alcohol can really burn.”
Celiac disease can make your tongue burn or feel dry if vitamins and minerals aren’t being absorbed properly through your small intestine. It can also lead to frequent canker sores on the tongue or other parts of the mouth.
The only way to manage celiac disease is to follow a strictly gluten-free diet.
Sjogren’s syndrome, another autoimmune disease, can attack many parts of the body, but it often affects the salivary glands and the tear ducts. This results in dry eyes and dry mouth, and dry mouth can lead to oral thrush.
“When you don’t have saliva with its protective enzymes, that fungus living at low levels starts to proliferate,” Cram explains. The signature white spots of thrush may appear, or your tongue may become red and smooth if the little hairs there have disappeared, she says.
Some people with Sjogren’s also have a burning sensation and cracking of the tongue.Please Scroll Below for NEXT Page to continue