Say Ahh: What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Oral Health?

Say Ahh: What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Oral Health?

We’ve all been told by our dentists to brush our tongue as well. We’ve all been told to use a mouthwash at least once a week. And we’ve all come across special toothbrushes with a tongue cleanser.

Your tongue is for more than just tasting food. The saliva it produces helps keep your mouth clean and bacteria at bay.

But what really is the connection between our tongue and our oral health? What does the texture and color of our tongue say about our health?

Here’s what you should know:

White Patches

If you’ve noticed a white, creamy patch on your tongue, it’s a sign of a yeast infection. This often happens after taking strong medication. Medication often throws off the balance of bacteria in our mouths.

It could also be a sign of poor oral hygiene or leukoplakia—a condition that can lead to mouth cancer.

Try scraping the white patches with a toothbrush. If they disappear, it’s a yeast infection. If they don’t, consult a physician immediately.

Hairy Tongue:

If you notice a brownish patch on your tongue with hair or fur-like texture, then you’ve got a hairy tongue. It’s nothing to panic about because it usually indicates poor oral hygiene and the presence of too much protein in the body.

It’s caused by a mixture of protein and bacteria and should go away when you brush your tongue properly.

However, if it doesn’t, it’s recommended that you check with your dentist as soon as possible.

A Burning Feeling

If your tongue feels like it’s been set on fire, then you’ve got burning mouth syndrome. This could mean a variety of things—nerve damage, dry mouth, infections, acid reflux, and diabetes.

It could also be related to your diet and the type of food you’ve been eating. If you eat acidic foods and have too many citrus foods, that could also be a reason.

However, this condition is most common in adults over the age of 60. Women are twice as likely to have the condition as men.

What Should Your Next Step Be?

If you have any of these conditions, it’s best to consult a dentist who can provide you with an effective treatment plan.

We offer exceptional periodontal solutions in Bethesda, MD.

Our professional staff and dentists will take care of all your oral hygiene woes. Book an appointment today at our family dental clinic by calling us at (301) 654-1887.

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