Our tongue holds immense importance just like any other organ in the body because it is responsible for handling one of the 5 senses – taste. However, if we research more, it has more functions than that. Your tongue is a natural mouth cleaning agent and works as a health indicator by changing its color or texture whenever something different happens in the body; like, in case of dehydration, your tongue goes white. Let’s discuss the relationship between these two.

Dehydration and White Tongue

The human body comprises of 70% water. Every cell in the human body requires an adequate amount of fluid for functioning properly. It turns white when the body does not have enough, indicating severe dehydration. During this phase, the person may or may not have a slightly elevated temperature.

How Dehydration Turns The Tongue White?

A tongue is a muscular organ enveloped in tiny structures called papillae that have receptors that help us taste food. Salivary glands secrete saliva inside the mouth, keeping the oral cavity, as well as the tongue, moist.

Saliva largely consists of water with added su+bstances to aid in maintaining oral health. These include antimicrobials such as lysozyme,
hydrogen peroxide, and lactoferrin, all of which reduce yeast and microbial load inside the mouth.

When the body is under dehydration mode, saliva production reduces to a great extent, with a lack of moistening body, germs like bacteria and yeast growth. One such condition is oral thrush that forms a white patch on the tongue because of excessive yeast buildup.

Dehydration Dangers

Dehydration threatens the quality of life, and can also result in fatality. Few complications associated with dehydration are:


The human body requires electrolytes, which it takes from fluids to function. Electrolytes carry electrical impulses from one cell to another. Therefore, their imbalance because of dehydration often causes a seizure attack.

UTI and Kidney Issues

Minerals calcify into a hard stone when there is a lack of water in the body. Chronic dehydration causes urinary tract infection or UTI and other problems like kidney stone formation.

Low Blood Volume – Hypovolemic Shock

You might not understand, but low water level results in low blood volume that subsequently decreases blood pressure. Low BP makes the oxygen level go down, which causes a fatality.

Heat Injury

Electrolyte and water balance is essential for health maintenance during exercise. If your water intake is not enough and more is lost in sweat than taken in, the body will be more likely to go into heatstroke.

Final Take Out

Adequate hydration is important for a healthy mind and body. In these times, taking care of the body is now more difficult. The human body indicates things in its way, observe and rectify. If you feel that water intake and hydration are not changing the white coat condition on your tongue, get in touch with San Ramon Urgent Care for a checkup. Call now at 925 361 5959 – San Ramon 209 825 5155 Manteca and 209 983 9000 Lathrop to book an appointment.

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