September 5, 2014
- Red Tongue: A red tongue can mean that you are low on vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cell production, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body and plays a vital role in maintaining brain function. If vitamin B12 levels stay low for too long, there’s a possibility for neurological problems to develop. Talk with your dentist about ways to improve your diet and prevent vitamin deficiencies from damaging your body.
- White Tongue: A white tongue can be a sign of bacterial or debris buildup on the surface of the tongue. This can be caused by mild dehydration, smoking, dry mouth, or illness. A white film on the tongue could be a sign of oral thrush, which is a type of yeast infection.
- Black Tongue: A black tongue could be caused by a variety of factors. A “black hairy tongue” is a harmless overgrowth on the tongue, usually when the papillae (tongue hair) traps bacteria and other tongue debris. A black tongue could also be a sign of improper oral hygiene, excessive use of tobacco, antibiotics, mouthwashes, or even Pepto-Bismol type stomach medications. These usually resolve itself on its own, but it black tongue lasts for longer than 10 days than you should consult your dentist.
- Yellow Tongue: A yellow tongue, similar to black tongue, can also be a sign that bacteria is trapped within the papillae. Simply improving oral hygiene can often return your tongue to its normal color.