Good oral health goes beyond your teeth – it also includes looking after your gums and tongue too!

Taking good care of your tongue is essential in maintaining good oral health. 

People who ignore their tongues face a higher risk of suffering from bad breath and other dental health problems.

We get it, it’s easy to overlook your tongue at times. However, its function is vital in letting you enjoy various tastes, and is a vital tool in verbal communication.

Not to mention, it’s also a hotspot for bacteria that live and thrive in it.

Today, our dentist in Armadale will be explaining what you can do to look after your tongue, and how this impacts your overall health and wellbeing.

One of the biggest causes of bad breath, is in fact plaque build up on the tongue!  Removing plaque from the tongue not only helps with reducing overall plaque from the teeth and gums (something great on it’s own), but this reduces bad tastes and bad breath as well.

Often the number one thing to do to improve your breath and general gum health, is to tongue scrape.  At Dental care Group we import the best tongue scraper we’ve ever seen, it is under $10.00, and lasts for many years!

Common tongue problems

Common tongue problems can include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Impaired taste

If you happen to encounter these tongue problems in the future, chances are something’s wrong with your tongue.

What’s more, it’s also likely that you aren’t taking good enough care of it!

Some other signs of tongue problems are outlined below.

Tongue discoloration

Tongue colour is a good indicator of a nutritional deficiency, dehydration and other tongue-related oral problems.

For reference, a healthy tongue is usually pink in colour and has small nodules of papillae on the surface.

But what if your tongue is a different colour?

A white tongue on the other hand usually indicates an infection called leukoplakia that is often caused by dehydration, alcohol and tobacco use, and which can often result in digestion and skin conditions like rashes.

Open mouth breathing can also cause a white tongue, and in some cases, a pale tongue is often caused by anemia (lack of red blood cells). 

Finally, a yellow tongue is a major red flag, as it’s a precursor to a black tongue. A yellow and black tongue is caused by dead skin cell buildup in the papillae.

Burning sensation

Do you feel a burning sensation on your tongue? Can’t tie it to a specific hot meal that you had?

If so, you may be suffering from Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS).

Alternatively, you may be experiencing:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thrush (yeast infection)
  • Inflammation
  • Allergic reaction

There are many causes of tongue burns.

To ensure that your case is correctly diagnosed, we suggest booking an appointment with your dentist in Armadale.

Tongue pain

Ever experienced biting your tongue or consuming soup that’s still too hot?

These situations often result in immediate pain, can cause irritation, and leave a bitter feeling in your taste buds.

However, scalds aren’t the only thing that can cause this problem!

Canker sores make eating very difficult as they cause pain on or under your tongue. While no-one is 100% certain what causes them, some culprits include:

  • Stress
  • Tissue injury
  • Certain foods

Underlying health issues such as nutritional problems and an impaired immune system may also contribute.

Luckily, these sores will slowly go away even without treatment over the course of a week or two.

If your sores stick around for longer however, we suggest talking to an oral health professional, just in case!

Tongue swelling

Ever experienced a swollen tongue?

A sore or swollen tongue is usually caused by lichen planus, or a white lump that often forms and with pain.

Some common causes of a swollen tongue include diseases or medical conditions such as strep throat, overactive thyroid, and anemia.

dentist in Armadale

Ways to take care of your tongue

A healthy good tongue doesn’t happen – just like your teeth and gums, it requires ongoing care to keep your tongue clean and free from pain and other tongue-related problems.

Keep your tongue clean and fresh with these tips from our dentist in Armadale…

Tip 1: clean and brush your tongue properly

When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush or preferably “scrape” your tongue.

Many may miss this step, but it’s extremely effective at getting rid of bacteria that may cause bad breath and gum problems in your mouth.

We suggest using a tongue scraper, and as mentioned before in this article, the best tongue scraper we have ever seen sells for under $10.00.

Tip 3: rinse well

As mentioned above, many of the problems that can take hold on your tongue are the result of bacteria and other particles building up or getting stuck.

Keep your tongue clean by rinsing it well after cleaning and brushing. Doing this will help you get rid of any bacteria that may linger and cause problems.

Another good idea is to drink regularly. Drink plenty of water along with a meal and in between, as this can also help you rinse any food debris and bacteria from your tongue.

Tip 4: visit your dentist in Armadale regularly

Confused as to why your tongue is hurting or causing you trouble? Talk to a professional!

Pain isn’t the only thing our dentist in Armadale can help with – our expert oral health team can also advise you with preventative strategies and treatments.

We can also check your gums, teeth and tongue for underlying problems that may increase your risk of further tongue issues.

Experience a healthier tongue with the help of our dentist in Armadale

At Dental Care Group, our mission is to keep families smiling.

Healthy, shiny teeth are one part of that – another is a healthy tongue!

Just like your teeth and gums, taking care of your tongue is an important part of maintaining good oral health.

To help you maintain that level of oral hygiene, Dental Care Group provides various dental treatments that cover all parts of the mouth, tongue included.

We work with all members of the family, from baby’s first dental appointment to geriatrics and everyone in between.

Explore our dental treatments or enquire about our treatments today – book an appointment at our dental clinic now, or call our friendly team on (03) 9509 1500 today.