Tongue color may be an indicator of health status: Dr.

CLEVELAND (WKBN) — Regular skin checkups with a dermatologist are a preventive measure to detect cancer and other health problems, just like a dentist is with your teeth. But what about your tongue?

Doctors say the tongue can be a good indicator of overall health, but it's often overlooked. Different tongue colors have different meanings.

A healthy tongue is pink and the taste buds are visible. If you check and see a different color, there may be simple solutions like brushing your teeth more often. In this case, the tongue may appear yellowish.

On the other hand, serious causes such as lack of oxygen in the blood can cause the tongue to turn blue. Another thing to check is lesions.

“So when you have a lesion, especially a plaque-like lesion, the plaque is like a smooth spot,” says Dr. Marianne Smego of the Cleveland Clinic. “And one is called leukoplakia because it's white, and the other is erythroplakia, which is a little red.”

Another color that can be an indicator is orange, which may be due to antibiotic use or dry mouth. A black or yellow tongue can be caused by smoking or other tobacco use.

“Normal tongue color is mostly pink, but it can be tinted, so it can range from light pink to dark pink,” Dr. Smego said. “You'll see the papillae and the taste buds. They're little projections. They're on the tongue. They're part of the taste receptors and how we enjoy food.”

Ways to prevent discoloration include brushing your teeth daily, flossing, staying hydrated, and avoiding tobacco products.

If you notice anything that seems odd, we recommend contacting your doctor or dentist for an examination. It is even more beneficial to have regular check-ups every year to prevent the problem from worsening. Tongue color may be an indicator of health status: Dr.

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