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Does the tongue change color?

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1. Does a tongue change colors throughout the day? Sometimes my tongue is a light pink; sometimes a very light red; and sometimes looks like a beef color. Does coffee affect tongue color?
Other foods or dinks?

2. I have noticed that sometimes my pants stick to my knees in the mornings. I take a shower every morning.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 47 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

1. The Tongue is a very vascular organ with a very XXXXXXX blood supply. It is also a very sensitive organ with a XXXXXXX nerve supply.

2. A 'within normal limits' description for the throat, mouth and tongue encompasses a wide variety appearances.

3. The variation of tongue color in the absence of disease is due to the changes in blood flow, stasis of venous blood, stimulation of nerves which alter muscle tone. The normal tongue is moist light pink. Increased blood flow and muscle activity turns it darker pink or reddish. Too strong a muscle tone decreases blood flow by squeezing the blood vessels, causing a build-up of waste materials and giving the tissue a beefy color.

4. Venous blood stasis causes dark red or purple color. The tongue also stains easily on the dorsum (upper side) because of the presence of taste bud papillae. It is a common experience with orange colored food dyes and drinks. Brown staining usually occurs with tobacco use.

5. Milk products and digestion problems cause white or yellow coatings on the tongue. Coffee stains teeth, but tongue discoloration is temporary, usually a stain on this coating.

6. Vitamin deficiencies (geographic tongue due to loss of papillae), liver problems , temporary burns or scalds with hot liquids are also responsible for change in color.

7. Your pants stick to your knees because of static generated by the cloth material, clothes dryers or because of dryness of your own skin. Use a moisturizer after your daily shower.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

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