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What Does My Tongue Say About My Health?

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Your tongue is capable of turning a wide variety of colours and its appearance can provide an overview of your general health. Most of the time these colour changes will not be due to anything serious but it is important to check with your dentist as some colour changes can indicate certain diseases including anaemia, kidney problems and thrush. A healthy tongue should be pink, moist and with a light coating.

Common Colour Changes

You expect your tongue to temporarily change colour when you eat or drink certain foods but it should soon revert to a healthy pink. However a tongue can exhibit a surprisingly wide variety of colours, including black. A black or even hairy tongue can be extremely unsettling but is usually harmless and can normally be corrected by scraping the tongue. This condition tends to be caused by the papillae on the tongue surface overgrowing and trapping bacteria and food debris.

Geographic tongue is another condition that can cause colour changes but which is also harmless. It can cause white or red patches on the tongue surface. It is even possible for a tongue to appear yellow, white or even red.

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