What the colour of your tongue can say about your health

How often do you pay attention to your oral health? Source: Pexels

When it comes to health, the tongue isn’t usually something that people think about regularly.

Sure, some probably notice that it can be a little furry or smelly in the morning, or pay extra attention if they’ve burnt it on a hot coffee of drink, but people are more likely to dismiss it as an indicator for more serious health issues.

Bright Side recently uploaded a video to YouTube to report that people should may more attention to their tongues as sign of bigger health problems. They said that many health issues can be diagnosed by assessing how the tongue looks and any changes you notice.

Paying attention to the form, size, texture and colour are all things that could point to something more sinister than bad breath. That thick coating and its colour is usually a major warning sign of health issues and is often the first place to look for a problem.

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To assess your health, it’s best to examine your tongue first thing in the morning and in natural light where possible. While you may be tempted to brush your teeth and rid your mouth of that awful morning breath, it’s important to assess the tongue before you do this. Using toothpaste and mouthwash may temporarily mask the fact that something bigger is going on.

So, what do the various colours of a tongue actually mean?

If your tongue is light pink in colour, it usually indicates that you’re in good health, however, a pale tongue can usually be a sign of vitamin and nutrition deficiency. A white tongue typically points to a fungal infection or could also be a sign of dehydration. Grey tongues can indicate problems in the digestive tract.

A red tongue can be a sign of infection, disease or even inflammation. When the shade of red is darker or brighter, it usually indicates that something bigger is happening within your body. In most cases, it can be a sign of heart problems or blood disorders.

In other cases, a tongue can also turn blue or purple in colour. While this can be a sign of drinking wine or other drinks, it may also point to problems with the kidneys or lungs. In addition to the tongue itself, people should also assess the colour of the coating inside the mouth.

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If your tongue is yellow in colour, this typically means that there’s a problem in the stomach or liver. If you do notice this, it’s advised that you seek medical help as soon as possible. Your health professional may have previously warned you that parts of your body, including your tongue, may discolour with certain liver and stomach illnesses.

The clip points out that various factors such as eating, drinking and even smoking can change the colour of your tongue, hence why it’s best to assess it first thing in the morning before indulging in any of these habits. If you choose to do it during the day, ensure that you leave at least an hour between putting something in your mouth and checking over your tongue. It also points out that people should pay careful attention to the coating on the tongue, given that the thicker it is, the more likely it is to indicate a health problem.

Thin white coatings, typically found when you wake up in the morning, are usually a normal part of mouth health, however, a thick white coating can point to infection or intoxication. Similarly, a brown coating can point to lung issues, while shades of yellow are typically the result of digestive problems.

If you are concerned about the colour of your tongue and the impact it’s having on your health, it’s best to speak to a GP or health professional.

What do you think? Does your tongue ever look strange? Have you ever been able to diagnose a problem based on the colour of your tongue?