Your tongue is an important part of your mouth and you have to include it in your oral hygiene routine. It helps us eat, drink, speak and have a beautiful smile. The tongue is the one which initiates digestion by transforming food during the chewing process.It is vital for your oral health to keep this organ healthy.
In order to clean your tongue, you can use a tongue cleaner, a small tool designed to scrap the tongue. Make a habit to clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth. It removes the deposits on the tongue that are known to be the cause of bad breath. In fact what causes bad breath is bacteria on the tongue. These germs can affect your sense of taste and bacteria can travel to other parts of your mouth. As a result your tongue may become yellow, white or even black, instead being pink.
A white tongue is usually a result of smoking, drinking alcohol or poor oral hygiene.
Red tongue or strawberry tongue may occur as a result of deficiencies of folic acid and vitamin B12.
Black hairy tongue is the result of poor oral hygiene in most of the cases. People who are on antibiotics or have chemotherapy and people with diabetes may be more likely to have this black tongue.
The majority of tongue problems are not serious and can be resolved quickly.
If you have problems with your tongue, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- A hairy appearance of the tongue;
- White or red patches, that are often painful;
- A change from the pink normal color of your tongue to white, brown, dark or red;
- A loss of taste or changes in your ability to taste sour, salty, bitter or sweet flavors;
- Tongue swelling.
According to the Canadian Dental Association, tongue jewellery hurts your mouth. The risk of infection with tooth piercing is higher because our mouth are already full of bacteria. The metal in the tongue jewellery may also damage your teeth and gums, wearing away enamel.
Tongues can also get cancer. Always check your tongue in the mirror and check the top, bottom and sides. Look for any skin changes, cuts or white or red patches that are not healing in one or two weeks. Your dentist should also examine your tongue. Oral cancer is more common in people who smoke or drink alcohol in large quantities.
For a healthy mouth, do not forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings. Also eat a healthy diet and examine your mouth during your oral hygiene routine to make sure there are no changes in your mouth or on your tongue.
To conclude, your tongue is an important part of your mouth. You should take care of it as you you take care of your teeth and gums. In case you may think you have tongue problems or you need extra information on this topic, call today to make an appointment. Dr. Arhiri is here to help.