What Your Tongue Color Says About YouMonday, February 3rd, 2014, 5:39 pm
While many take their dental health seriously, the condition of one’s tongue is often overlooked. Read on to find out how to care for your tongue, and to find out what the color of your tongue can tell you about your health.
Brushing thoroughly means reaching the back molars, behind the front teeth, along the gum line — and brushing your tongue. Many people unknowingly overlook their tongues during their brushing routine, but the tongue is a hotbed for bacteria. Neglecting to clean your tongue can lead to infections and bad breath, also known as halitosis.
Along with brushing your tongue with toothpaste and rinsing with mouthwash, using a tongue scraper also helps to clear harmful and stubborn bacteria off of the tongue’s surface. Regularly examine your tongue’s appearance to make sure that it is a healthy pinkish red color. Visit your dentist if your tongue consistently has a whitish or yellowish hue, as this can be a sign of several harmful conditions.
For example, if your tongue has whitish patches, oral thrush may be to blame. This is caused by a yeast infection and is often seen among those with a weakened or compromised immune system. Oral thrush is also often seen in babies and the elderly, so if you notice this condition among one of your relatives or loved ones, make sure that they get examined by a dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis.
For smokers and those who use tobacco products, leukoplakia is a condition that also leads to white or gray patches to show up in the mouth, cheeks and on the tongue. These patches cannot be rubbed off, and although leukoplakia is itself not a dangerous condition, it can be a precursor to or early sign of oral cancer.
During your annual exam or bi-annual tooth cleanings, make sure to ask your dentist to examine your mouth for any unusual white patches. Incorporate tongue brushing and scraping into your daily mouth-cleaning routine, and make sure to avoid smoking and using other tobacco products in order to protect the health of your teeth and mouth.
Oral Health in Toccoa
If you would like to learn more about oral health, annual dental check ups or any of the dental treatments that the Wilbanks Smile Center offers, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.