What Your Tongue Color Can Tell You: Understanding Your Health

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Ritik Kashwani, Richa Bahadur, Hemant Sawhney, Anukriti Kumari, Sumana Kumar


The human tongue, a vital organ for taste, speech, and food manipulation, exhibits diverse colors that can offer insights into an individual's health. This comprehensive review explores the correlation between tongue color variations and various health conditions. A healthy tongue typically appears pink with a thin white coating, owing to its textured surface comprising papillae. Deviations from this norm signal potential health concerns: a white tongue indicates dehydration, oral thrush, or bacterial buildup; redness may suggest vitamin deficiencies, infections, or specific ailments like Kawasaki disease or radiation-induced oral mucositis. The emergence of a black or brown tongue may result from lifestyle factors like smoking, medication, or underlying conditions like HIV. Yellow and purple hues signify bacterial buildup, liver issues, or circulatory problems, respectively, while gray or orange tongues can stem from multiple factors including smoking, medication, or inadequate oral hygiene. Green tongues might result from bacterial accumulation or consumption of pigmented foods, while blue tongues can indicate low blood oxygen levels or specific medical conditions. Understanding these color indicators facilitates early identification and prompt intervention for underlying health issues, emphasizing the importance of regular medical and dental assessments to maintain oral health and overall well-being.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.52783/jchr.v13.i5.1028

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