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We all know that some foods can change the color of your tongue—and there’s no problem with that. But, what if your tongue is the wrong color when you haven’t eaten anything? Of course, we recommend visiting a dentist a soon as possible, but we’re happy to list a few things you possible reasons.

Generally, your tongue should be pink, but what if your tongue is bright red?  A bright red tongue can often mean you have a vitamin deficiency. At other times, especially if you have a fever, it could be an indicator of Scarlet Fever. If a child under five has a fever and red tongue, they could have Kawasaki syndrome. Fortunately, both Kawasaki syndrome and Scarlet Fever can be treated.

It is also possible that you could find your tongue white. If this is the case, you could be suffering from a yeast infection known as thrush or from leukoplakia. Fortunately, leukoplakia isn’t a dangerous condition—though it can be related to cancer—and thrush can be treated with plain yogurt. Still, if you discover a white tongue, we recommend contacting your dentist soon.

Finally, what does a black tongue mean? This condition—often known as black hairy tongue—happens when too much bacteria builds up on the tongue. This can be caused by several factors, such as smoking, practicing poor oral hygiene, being dehydrated, and taking certain medications. Fortunately, this problem can be remedied by practicing good oral hygiene.

Do you have more questions about what your tongue says about your health? If so, please feel free to contact us today. We are excited to hear from you.