What the Color of your Tongue says about your Health

Did you know that the color of your tongue can say a lot about your health? That is why doctors will ask you to stick out your tongue during a check-up.

Dr. Nickolas Gillette from Complete Family Medicine stopped by the set of Good Morning Heartland to break it down for us.

Healthy Tongue: A healthy tongue will be pink and moist, with a thin white surface coating.

White tongue: You may have a fungal infection. These types of inflammations occur when your immune system is compromised. White tongue can signal simple dehydration or dry mouth, or more serious health concerns like high blood sugar, excessive smoking, and alcohol abuse.

Red tongue: Can be a sign of strep infection, celiac disease or pernicious anemia, which is linked to vitamin deficiencies. If your tongue is red and sore, it could be a vitamin B, niacin or folic acid deficiency.

Hairy (black) tongue: This rather alarming symptom signals poor oral hygiene, overuse of antibiotics, or other everyday items like mouthwashes, coffee, and tobacco. More serious causes can indicate HIV, or intravenous drug abuse.

Yellow tongue: Usually a bacterial overgrowth indicating a need for better oral hygiene. Yellow discoloration can also indicate liver or gallbladder problems, or the beginning of black, hairy tongue.

Swollen tongue: Usually due to an allergic reaction, but it can also be a sign of hypothyroidism, especially if your tongue is also pale. If your tongue is swollen and beefy red, itâ??s a signal of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Complete Family Medicine

1611 S. Baltimore

Kirksville, MO. 63501