Kazakhstan's Nikita Stalnov catches his breath  as he rides in the last kilometers during his breakaway in the second stage of the 70th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race between Montbrison and Belleville, southeastern France, on June 5, 2018. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Health - Wellness
What Does It Mean If Your Tongue Is Pale?
A healthy tongue will appear pink in color, of medium thickness, and the surface will be clear of cracks or sores. Any color variations are usually minimal, such as the presence of a thin, white film across the tongue; however, severe discoloration, such as yellow, black, purple, or gray, can signify an underlying health condition.
According to 2016 research published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, tongue coloration is one factor used in traditional Chinese medicinal practices to detect blood stasis, or poor blood circulation, in patients. Based on this approach, some experts believe that a pasty tongue can indicate that you're not getting enough blood flow to the area.
"Just like you would think about somebody not having enough blood — they [may] go pale in the face," says board-certified acupuncturist Paige Bourassa. However, individuals with pale tongues experiencing accompanying symptoms, such as fatigue or cold extremities, should consider speaking with a physician.