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Dental and Oral Health Center

What does a green coated tongue mean?



Please explain why I would have a green coated tongue. Health wise, I`m not sick. I've never felt better and am 76 years old.


This probably is caused by staining of the normal layer of keratinized (dead) cells on the surface of the tongue. The staining can come from food dyes or occasionally normal bacteria in the mouth can produce pigmentation such as this. This is unlikely to be anything serious.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University