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Does smoking and drinking cause any harm to the tongue?

Q: I am a casual smoker and beer boozer from the past 10 years averaging 3 cigarettes a day. But from the past 2 years I am noticing a change in the texture on my tongue. Moreover there are changes underneath my tongue too. The nerves look reddish, blackish in colour. My main problem is that I have started having a little difficulty in public and normal speaking. I stammer and sometimes it breaks its continuity. My fear is if I will be able to speak normally or not? What is wrong with my tongue and will it become normal? Doctor, please give your valuable nutritious suggestions in this regard and prescribe medication & natural food intake, which can help my tongue to grow healthy?

A:The tongue can be damaged by various factors such as betel nut chewing, bad dentition, vitamin deficiency, anemia and so on. A physician may need to do tests and even a biopsy. Smoking cigarettes or bidis or using a pipe for smoking can cause damage or can lead to the development of cancer or leukoplakia which is a form of cancer. In most cases of tongue abnormalities it is probably best to give the tongue as much rest as possible and concentrate less on its use so as to optimise its function when it is exercised.

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