40246109 - close-up of a woman cleaning her tongueThe human tongue is an amazing feat of biologic engineering. On average, a human tongue is 10 centimeters long, consists of eight different muscles, and is home to thousands of taste buds.

Despite all the fun facts though, we really don’t think about our tongues very often. Sure, they help us taste our food, and it hurts when we bite down on them. Other than that, we rarely spend more than a minute or two thinking about our tongues.

But that should probably change. Believe it or not, your tongue can tell you a lot about your overall health. In fact, one of the most common tongue-related health problems dentists see in their patients is yellow tongues. A healthy tongue should be light pink or reddish in color. If you notice your tongue is yellow, however, while startling, it’s probably nothing serious.

According to Colgate, the surface of the tongue is covered with bumps and ridges. Food particles, as well as bacteria, can find their way into these crevices and start breeding. Since the mouth is warm, moist, and dark, it provides the perfect ground for mouth bacteria to thrive. These bacteria release a yellow pigment, which over time, can cause the tongue to turn yellow.

In order to avoid this kind of thing in the future, invest in a tongue scraper or make sure to spend a few minutes brushing your tongue every time you floss and brush your teeth. Not only will this ensure your tongue stays healthy and pink, it will also help to keep your breath fresh and clean.

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