Is Your Tongue a Funny Color?

Friday, September 6th, 2013, 2:52 pm

Most of the time your tongue is a healthy pink, but what does it mean if your tongue turns a funny color?

Eating a grape Popsicle on a hot summer day will turn your tongue purple, but what if your tongue looks white or has white spots? There are several things that could cause a white tongue.

  • Leukoplakia is a condition that causes excessive growth of cells in the mouth. This can lead to white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. This condition is often found in people who use tobacco products. It is important to have your dentist check any white patches. Leukoplakia is not a dangerous condition but it can be a precursor to oral cancer.
  • Oral thrush is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth. Oral thrush results in white patches and is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly. People who wear dentures or have weak immune systems are also susceptible. Certain medications like inhaled steroids for asthma are also risk factors. Using antibiotics can also leave you open to infection by thrush because the antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your mouth. Eating yogurt with live cultures may help. Visit your dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment of thrush

Your tongue can also turn funny colors because of something called geographic tongue. This doesn’t mean that your tongue is well-traveled, it just means that your tongue has a lot of grooves and fissures that are great hiding spots for oral bacteria. Brushing your tongue with your toothbrush or using a tongue scraper can help keep your tongue a healthy pink.

Contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit. Regular dental hygiene visits keep your teeth clean, gums healthy and let us check on the health of all parts of your mouth, including your tongue.

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Category: oral health


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