Tongue Discoloration: What Does it Mean for Your Health

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It may surprise you to learn that your tongue can actually tell you a little bit about your health. In fact, if your food is not responsible for the tongue discoloration it can actually indicate that some other serious issue is happening.

For instance, if you have a tongue that is white it can be a sign of a condition called leukoplakia. While leukoplakia is not actually harmful to you, it can be an indication that cancer is forming. This disease can also be caused by using tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. Oral thrush could also cause your white tongue. Oral thrush is a yeast infection that appears on your tongue and throat and can be treated by eating plain yogurt or medication from a dentist.

A bright red or pink tongue could also be an indicator that something is wrong. For example, if you have this particular tongue discoloration, you could have a vitamin b-12 deficiency. If this bright red tongue is accompanied by a fever, you could have a serious illness known as scarlet fever. If your child is younger than five and has these symptoms, they could have Kawasaki syndrome, which is an illness that affects your child’s mouth, tongue, and lymph nodes.

Similarly, would you be surprised to learn that your tongue could also become black? While this may sound and look horrible, it is usually harmless and known as black hairy tongue. This condition happens when bacteria attach themselves to the small little bumps on your tongue. This problem can usually be avoided by simply brushing and flossing every day.

To learn more about tongue discoloration in Vancouver, Washington, please don’t hesitate to give Quality Dental Care a call at 360-448-7018. Our dentist, Dr. Bogdan Bodroug, and our team will gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have and will offer you personalized advice. We look forward to hearing from you.