What Does the Color of Your Tongue Say about Your Health?
Your oral health tells us about more than just your dental problems; the condition of your mouth also provides us with major clues about your general well-being. That’s why dentists in the Scottsbluff area are constantly monitoring your teeth, gums, and tongue for clues that could signal a generalized health problem, and the shade of your tongue is an important place to begin.
We know that the tongue is formed by a series of muscles and as many as 8,000 taste buds. In a healthy state, the taste buds aid in the digestive process and provide us with the ability to distinguish flavors by releasing saliva. A healthy tongue appears clean and pink, and that’s why a change in the color will typically be a sign of a possible health issue.
Yellow. Yellow mucus generally signals and infection. For example, skin that has turned yellow can signal jaundice. A yellow tongue can indicate a systemic health issue like a bacterial infection or gastric acid reflux. The tongue may turn yellow when acid levels are off balance and the oral bacteria have been thrown off.
Red. A tongue that appears bright or dark red—even when you haven’t eaten anything red—can signal a vitamin deficiency. The deep red shade can be due to low levels of iron, Vitamin B3 (niacin), or B12 Vitamin.
White. A white tongue typically indicates a bacterial overgrowth or infection, such as oral thrush. The tongue may appear to be pasty white, which is a common indicator of a yeast or fungal infection such as Candida.
If the color of your tongue appears to be unusual in any way, seek the advice of a Scottsbluff dentist today. Dentists are can diagnose and treat various oral conditions including those that affect the tongue. Dentists are also knowledgeable about the connection between your oral health and the rest of your body.