MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: What is the white substance which appears on your tongue when you are sick?

Date: Tue Jun 13 11:02:32 2000
Posted By: Peter Burrows, Faculty, Microbiology
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 954782844.An

The normal surface of the tongue has a variable coating composed of debris 
from food materials, bacteria and exfoliating (shedding) epithelial 
cells.  This coating can be accentuated during times of illness when the 
patient is eating and drinking little and sleeping more.  It is generally 
of no clinical significance but may suggest mild dehydration.

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