Top Causes of Gray Tongue and How to Avoid It
Published March 27, 2023
It’s important to take note of how our tongue looks since it can be a good indicator of our health as well as provide insight into what’s going on inside of our bodies. For example, it is connected to many of our vital organs, and its many colors, coatings, textured, and shapes can provide information about our health. But what does it mean if you have a gray tongue?
What Causes Gray Tongue
Your tongue is not something you often notice since you’re used to it. In addition, you’re likely more inclined to avoid tooth decay; therefore, it’s unlikely to be the most important area of your mouth. But if your tongue has a different color, you probably have some health problems.
When you have digestive issues, your tongue may turn gray. When debris, bacteria, and dead cells get stuck between the enlarged and sometimes inflamed papillae, it looks like a white or gray coating on the tongue. Poor oral hygiene, on the other hand, can also cause your tongue to have a gray color.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD develops when stomach acid rushes back repeatedly into the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. This backwash may cause irritation to the esophagus lining.
Changes in lifestyle and over-the-counter drugs can be used to treat GERD. However, if you do not find relief within a few weeks, you should seek immediate medical help.
When your digestive system cannot tolerate certain meals, you have a food intolerance. In contrast to food allergies, which can cause rashes, hives, and respiratory problems, food intolerance only affects the digestive system.
Celiac disease is one form of food intolerance that causes digestive problems when eating gluten. People who have celiac disease must stick to a gluten-free diet to minimize experiencing symptoms and damage to the small intestine.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD is a chronic swelling that affects one or more parts of the digestive tract. IBD comes in two forms: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In addition, IBD can result in more general digestive disorders, including abdominal pain or diarrhea. Other symptoms include incomplete bowel motions, fatigue, night sweats, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Treatments for IBD differ depending on the specific type and symptoms. Medications can help reduce inflammation, thus eliminating symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, biologics, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators are used to treat IBD.
Chronic constipation shows a problem with waste elimination. This occurs most frequently when the colon is unable to transfer stools through the digestive tract. You may have abdominal pain, bloating, and a decrease in bowel movements.
Fiber, water, as well as exercise are likely to help in the prevention of constipation. In addition, medications can provide relief for more serious conditions.
Pay Attention to Your Tongue
The tongue is an often-overlooked part of your body that can reveal important information regarding your health.
It is important to keep your tongue clean daily so that you can immediately notice any possible change. You can scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper or toothbrush while cleaning your teeth to prevent bacteria buildup and a gray tongue.
Lastly, if any tongue changes continue for over two weeks, you should consult a doctor immediately.
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This Content Has Been Reviewed For Factual Accuracy
About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She started her career as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up.