a “hairy” or darker than normal appearance. This isn’t usually a medical issue, but rather a stain from food, bacteria or even tobacco use.
If the tongue is red and blistered, it’s probably too dry, a sign that you might not be making enough saliva, which could in turn be a side effect of some blood pressure or allergy meds, ABC News reported.
When your tongue is not its normal pink color, you could have an underlying health issue. Below are other colors your tongue may be and what they could mean.
Red. A red (not dark pink) tongue could indicate as something as simple as a B vitamin deficiency, which can be remedied by supplementation. Scarlet fever, eczema, and Kawasaki disease may also cause your tongue to turn red. Red patches with white borders along your tongue is a rare, but harmless condition called geographic tongue.
Purple. Heart problems and poor overall blood circulation may cause your tongue to turn purple. A purple tongue may also be seen in Kawasaki disease.
Blue. Blue tongue may be indicative of poor oxygen circulation in the blood. This may be attributed to lung problems or kidney disease.
Yellow. Your tongue may have a yellow appearance if you smoke or use chewing tobacco. Sometimes jaundice and psoriasis may also cause yellow tongue.
Gray. Sometimes digestive issues may cause your tongue to turn gray. Peptic ulcers or eczema may also be to blame.
White. A white tongue is usually caused by white patches that grow on the surface. These are usually caused by fungal infections, such as oral thrush. Antifungal medications can clear these patches up. White tongue may also be caused by benign conditions such as leukoplakia or oral lichen planus, which creates the appearance of white lines. Sometimes leukoplakia may become cancerous.
Brown. This is usually harmless and caused by what you eat and drink. However, tobacco use is another cause of brown tongue, a harmful habit that could potentially lead to signs of oral cancer in the tongue, such as sores.
Black. A dark brown to black tongue is most commonly attributed to bacteria from poor oral hygiene habits. Diabetes is another potential cause of a black tongue. Sometimes your papillae can multiply and look hairy, which is a characteristic of a benign condition called hairy black tongue.
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