How to Detect Health Problems From Tongue Coatings

The tongue coating lies on the surface of the tongue, but it isn’t the colour of the body of the tongue itself. Here’s what the tongue coating can tell you.

Here is a very interesting and informative article for tips of your coated tongue. I have actually noticed that since I have been brushing my tongue (on the recommendation of my dental hygienist, that I have had fewer sore throats – although my throat feels drier.

  • A thin white coating can indicate a fairly recent “cold” or “deficiency” condition such as a common cold
  • A thick white coating suggests food retention and sluggish digestion
  • A sticky white coating indicates excess phlegm
  • A thick yellow coating can be a sign of digestive problems such as constipation. If the coating is dry, the problem is usually with the stomach and intestines; if it is wet you may have excess phlegm.
  • A thin yellow coating can signify a lung infection
  • A greyish or black tongue coating (yes, the coating can actually be black!) usually indicates a significant health problem. If your tongue is either of these colours, consult a health professional as soon as possible.
  • A peeled tongue, sometimes called a “geographic tongue” because it looks like a map, can indicate a crisis point in a long illness

Always observe the tongue in good daylight and exclude obvious false phenomena such as a purple tongue after sucking a blackcurrant lolly or a red tip after burning it on a hot drink.