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Why We Check Out Your Tongue

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I would like to introduce you to your tongue.  Did you know that this muscle changes color and texture, sometimes to indicate disease or deficiency?

Let’s consider a change in color.  

First, let’s say your tongue turns red and looks a bit like a strawberry, you may have toxic shock syndrome, anemia, or Kawasaki disease. A red and shiny tongue may indicate HIV, heart disease, or diabetes.

Also, if your tongue develops a white coating, white patches, or white spots, you may have an autoimmune disease. And if your tongue leans toward a blue tinge, you may be harboring lung or heart disease.  Of course, there are also cancers that show up in your oral cavity, and they are usually painless.

Finally, there is the condition of a dark, furry-looking tongue. I’m not kidding. This sometimes indicates a gastrointestinal disease.

All this time you thought that we just checked your brushing technique and flossing accuracy.