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Sticking your tongue out at the doctor to say “Ahhh” seems like a routine thing to do when you go to the doctors office. Oftentimes, it often seems pointless because the doctor usually takes a look and goes right ahead with the next part of the examination. But little do you know, the tongue itself can reveal a lot about your health without you saying a word, especially if it changes colors.

Here’s what you need to know if your tongue changes any of these colors:

White Coating / White Spots

A white tongue, or white spots on your tongue, could be an indication of:

Oral thrush: a yeast infection that develops inside the mouth. It appears as white patches that are often the consistency of cottage cheese. “Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with weakened immune systems,” says Dr. Allan. “People with diabetes and those who are taking inhaled steroids for asthma or lung disease can also get it. Oral thrush is more likely to occur after you’ve taken antibiotics.”

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