Tongue Color | 7 Scary Tongue Color Meanings
What does the color of your tongue mean? Do you want to know the tongue color meaning of each tongue color?
Tongue colors and patterns can say whether you are healthy. This blog post will discuss the different tongue color meanings for your health.
Tongue Color & Tongue Color Meaning
Tongue Color Meaning
What Does the Color of Your Tongue Mean
The tongue is a muscle used for tasting, swallowing, and speaking.
Tiny bumps called papillae cover the tongue. These papillae contain taste buds, which allow us to taste different flavors.
The tongue also has several glands that produce saliva. Saliva helps to digest food and keep the mouth clean.
What Do Different Tongue Colors Mean
Several different tongue colors can state a health problem.
Healthy Tongue Color
The most common tongue color is pink.
What Color Should Your Tongue Be: Pink Tongue
A Light Pink Tongue with some white on the surface is a healthy tongue. Healthy Tongues are pink at most, with redness on the tip and edges.
A white tongue is due to overgrowth and swelling of the papillae.
Papillae are the fingerlike projections on the surface of the tongue. Papillae are tendrils on the tongue’s top surface.
White Tongue Meaning
If your tongue is entirely white or has an ashen color, it may mean you are not getting enough oxygen.
A white tongue could also mean a:
- Bad Breath
- Hairy Tongue
- Heart problems, such as congestive heart failure
- Leukoplakia (Benign)
- Lung problem
- Oral Lichen Planus (Benign)
The white tongue may be benign, which creates the appearance of white lines. But, sometimes, benign conditions like leukoplakia may become cancerous.
Although it is harmless, a white tongue can be hideous but only lasts short.
A thick white coating on the tongue leads to a white tongue.
White Tongue Coating
A white tongue coating results from a buildup of debris and germs.
As a result, the accumulation of bacteria, food particles, and dead cells cause a white tongue.
Dead cells get caught between the expanded and sometimes inflamed papillae.
The string-like papillae then develop in size and inflate. Finally, it results in the white patches you notice on your tongue.
White Patches on Tongue
A white tongue is usually due to white patches that grow on the surface.
White patches on the tongue are usually due to fungal infections, such as oral thrush. Antifungal medications can clear these patches up.
The geography of the tongue is like a map. Its variation can impact the possibility and rigor of bad breath.
Does White Tongue Mean Bad Breath
The rougher a person’s tongue, the more likely they have a foul breath issue. It’s because some tongues have significant grooves or cracks.
Does White Tongue Cause Bad Breath
Fissures provide a favorable climate for germs to flourish. As a result, a fissured tongue causes bad breath.
A yellow or white patch on your tongue results from smelly germs that cause bad breath.
Some tongues feature papillae longer than normal.
Some tongues feature papillae longer than normal. It’s the Hairy Tongue.
The longer the papillae, the rougher the tongue appears.
The bumpier the tongue, the more bacterial hiding places.
More bacterial hiding places mean more bacteria and more cause for bad breath.
What Causes White Tongue
Some health issues, drugs, or habits may raise your chances of getting a white tongue or oral thrush. Oral thrush is an illness that causes a white patch on the roof of your mouth.
These risk factors include:
- A diet that is mainly soft foods
- Antibiotics might induce a yeast infection inside your mouth
- Being very young or aged. In infants and toddlers, oral thrush is most common.
- Breathing through your mouth.
- Cancer Treatments
- Chewing Tobacco
- Dentures or Damaging your tongue with sharp objects
- Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day
- Dry mouth caused by a medical problem or by using medicines (like muscle relaxers)
- Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid gland that causes poor metabolism.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Vitamin Deficiency, such as Vitamin B12 Deficiency or iron Deficiency
- Weak Immune System
Health Conditions Such as:
- Geographic Tongue
- Immunosuppression caused by diseases like HIV/AIDS
- Mouth Cancer
- Oral Lichen Planus
- Oral Thrush
- Oral Yeast Infection due to using certain medications, such as prolonged use of antibiotics
- Tongue Cancer
Geographic tongue occurs when your tongue’s skin is regenerating.
The upper layer of skin on your tongue sheds too rapidly, leaving painful, red regions that frequently become inflamed.
Meanwhile, other portions of your tongue remain in position for far too long and become white. Therefore, the geographic tongue is not transmissible.
Geographic tongue can result in grayish-white spots developing on the tongue. Between these areas, white lines emerge, giving the tongue a map look.
Gray Tongue Meaning
Several things can cause a gray tongue. But the most common cause is dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, it doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. This lack of moisture can lead to a build-up of bacteria on your tongue, turning it gray. Dehydration can also cause your tongue to feel dry, sticky, or coated. If you think you might be dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids and see your doctor if the problem persists.
Other causes of a gray tongue include smoking, poor oral hygiene, and certain medications. If you notice that your tongue is turning gray and you are not dehydrated, try brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or using a tongue scraper. You should also see your dentist if the problem persists, as they can rule out any other causes.
Red Tongue Meaning
If your tongue is red, you have an infection or inflammation.
A red and bumpy tongue might indicate Vitamin B Deficiency.
A red tongue can also signal Scarlet Fever, an illness that develops when you have strep throat. This infection causes your tongue to look red and bumpy, like a strawberry. Also, the tongue might be pale and bulging.
Scarlet fever is an uncomplicated disease in most cases. It takes two to five days for someone who has been exposed to the group A strep virus to become ill.
A fever and a sore throat are the most common symptoms. The throat and tonsils might be extremely red and painful, making swallowing difficult. Chills, vomiting, or abdominal discomfort are all possible. You’ll need antibiotics for this.
On the extreme, a red tongue can also signify Kawasaki Disease. It is when blood vessels become inflamed. The disease usually causes your tongue to puff up. It will also have it looking like a strawberry.
A red and bumpy tongue might indicate Glossitis, a condition with an inflamed tongue. It’s another indication of Kawasaki disease in rare circumstances.
Redness on the tip of the tongue may be due to Acid Reflux or GERD.
A red border along the sides of the tongue could be a sign of Oral Thrush. Oral Thrush is a fungal infection.
A red and bumpy tongue might also occur due to an Adverse Drug or Food Reaction.
A blue tongue color may mean there is lacking oxygen in the circulation. It may be from:
- Blood Disorders
- Blood Vessel Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Oxygen Deprivation from the Lungs
Low blood oxygen levels are a medical emergency that you must address immediately.
Another possible cause of a blue tongue is eczema.
What Does a Purple Tongue Mean in Humans
A tongue that is purple or black may be a sign of a severe health problem.
The Oral Cancer Foundation states that some tumors, such as tongue cancers, may leave a dark red or purple hue on surfaces in the mouth.
Dark Purple Tongue
A dark purple tongue could mean you have a heart attack.
Black Tongue Meaning
If your tongue turns black, it may mean you have developed gangrene and need to go to the hospital immediately.
Black Hairy Tongue | Black and Hairy Tongue
A Black and hairy tongue is where it can get alarming. It’s just the appearance is enough to give you the creeps.
We’ve all noticed mild redness and whiteness on our tongues. Usually, it’s something relatively minor. But, on the other hand, a black and hairy tongue is uncommon.
A black and hairy tongue is usually just the product of poor dental hygiene.
If you haven’t been taking care of your teeth, a black and hairy tongue should serve as a wake-up call.
Black Spots on Tongue
You might start noticing strange black spots on your tongue. These are infected papillae, which have become overgrown and hair-like.
Papillae are small bumps found on the top and side of your tongue.
Papillae are hard to spot since the tongue and the papillae are usually the same color. But like other parts of your body, papillae grow as you age.
If papillae grow too big, bacterias start to form.
If the papillae develop too much bacteria, it will look pretty freaky.
Excessive bacteria isn’t something to be excited over. But at the same time, you shouldn’t stress over it. But don’t get your hopes up. Some tongue color may be due to extreme cases.
For example, a tongue like this might mean you have diabetes. It can also be a side effect if you take certain medicines or chemotherapy.
A gray or black tongue coating suggests long-term digestive issues or something wrong with your body’s health.
The tongue may also turn yellow before turning black and hairy.
Yellow Tongue Meaning | What Does Yellow Tongue Mean
A harmless buildup of dead skin cells on the tiny projections (papillae) on the surface of your tongue causes a yellow tongue.
A yellow tongue is an uncommon occurrence that involves the development of a thick, yellowish coating on the tongue.
When dead skin cells, germs, or discoloring particles get trapped or accumulate on the tongue’s surface, this condition occurs.
Yellow Tongue Causes
The most common cause of yellow tongue is a bacterial infection.
Bacteria accumulate on the tongue surface, causing this condition when the papillae grow more prominent and are trapping bacteria.
Harmless accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of your tongue usually causes a yellow tongue. These dead skin cells accumulate on your tongue’s papillae.
It mostly happens when your papillae become larger, and bacteria in your mouth produce colored pigments.
A poor diet or dry mouth may cause bacterial growth.
If you smoke or chew chewing tobacco, your tongue may have a yellow tint. Occasionally, jaundice and psoriasis can induce a yellow tinge on the tongue.
Tongue Color Chart
What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Health
The color and shape of your tongue can indicate problems in specific areas. Use this information to improve your health.
Whether minor or severe, you should see a doctor to be safe. While these scenarios sound pretty scary, they’re usually something treatable. But, if you see any of these colors on your tongue, it is a good idea to see a doctor and get checked out!
Mild color or shade variations are completely harmless. For example, when a person drinks a glass of red wine, their tongue color may alter.
See your doctor if an unusual change in the color, form, or size of your tongue goes on for more than a few days.
White coating on the tongue may mean infection and may need therapy.
It’s also a good idea to visit a doctor if the moisture levels in your mouth change drastically.
If you notice any unusual colors or patterns on your tongue, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
Check out this video of Fit Tuber about the 31 Tongue Signs Your Body is Asking for Help (With Solutions):
Have you ever looked at your tongue and wondered what it could tell you about your health? Please share with us in the comment section below.
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