Your body may be trying to tell you something if your tongue gets bumpy, changes color, or worse. Find out what your tongue says about you:


You may not give your tongue much thought, but chances are your doctor does. The tongue actually reflects all the diseases of the body.

White coating

when the tongue looks sort of white and pasty, it’s an indication that there’s probably some sort of infection present on the tongue, such as a bacterial overgrowth or an inflammatory disease.

Too dark

a healthy tongue should have a warm, pinkish color, so when it looks dark brown or black, you need to wonder why. And chances are, the answer will be in your diet, lifestyle or your medicine cabinet. “The filiform papillae on the top of the tongue can easily take on stains or various colors from the foods, drinks or antibiotics that you consume. Drinking a lot of coffee, smoking or chewing tobacco can stain the tongue a brownish shade. The good news is that in both cases, it’s probably just stained from food or medicine, and simply brushing your tongue a few times should help it fade back to its normal shade. While the staining may not be permanent, beware that any kind of tobacco use increases your risk of oral cancer.

Sore spots

they may be small, but sores or mouth can be extremely painful. Generally, those with a genetic predisposition to getting sores will see them crop up when other factors fall into place, such as having a cold or fever, eating an excess of citrus fruits, or biting your tongue.

Bumpy surfaces

The filiform papillae, projections on the top of the tongue, including the taste buds, normally stick up a little bit. But occasionally one will get temporarily inflamed, red, and a bit sore. If this does not go away within a few days and turns very red or white, it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Red and painful

when the tongue’s healthy pink color mutates to bright or dark red, that can be clue to certain nutritional deficiencies, especially a lack of vitamin B3, Anemia or a diet lacking in folic acid and vitamin B12 may be to blame. But a temporary redness and pain in the tongue is most likely caused by something you ate or drank. Sensitivity to certain flavors of toothpaste, mouthwash or gum and acidic foods are potential culprits. If you suffer from frequent bouts of tongue pain, you might want to try eliminating these foods from your diet to see if the irritation clears up.

Turning yellow

a yellowish tint on the tongue is probably a clue that there is some sort of fungal or bacterial infection in the mouth. Another possible cause of tongue yellowing is gastric reflux.

A burning sensation

the condition is characterized by pain and burning that can affect just the tongue or the entire mouth; the sensation may be constant or it may come and go throughout the day. For reasons that are not clear, burning mouth syndrome most commonly afflicts post-menopausal women.

Pale and smooth

when people are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia, the tongue can take on an abnormally pale, smooth look. That’s because when your body is dealing with a lack of iron, your blood doesn’t have the necessary oxygen-carrying capacity to keep the tissues red. When the anemia is under control and the blood is once again well-oxygenated, the tongue will go back to its healthy pink shade.

When your tongue changes color or when the texture changes, go and see a doctor, because your tongue might be trying to tell you something.