Proper oral hygiene is more than about brushing and flossing daily. Keeping your tongue clean is also essential, as neglecting it can lead to discomfort and problems like soreness and discoloration. While most of these problems are not serious, they can still make you uncomfortable and frustrated.
Burning sensation. Some postmenopausal women may experience this problem, which makes the tongue feels scalded or burned. Others may also develop strange sensations or tastes. Burning sensation may also be due to irritants like cigarette smoke.
Tongue pain. This may occur because of infection or injury. If you, for instance, accidentally bite your tongue, you may have a sore that can last for several days. Another common cause of pain is canker sore on or under your tongue. In most cases, these sores go away without needing treatment.
Change in tongue color. Glenlake Dental Care, dentists in Wilmette, IL, notes that a healthy tongue is pink in color with papillae or small nodules. If you have a white tongue, this may be due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, or drinking alcohol. White bumps or lines are called lichen planus, which can affect the skin or the mouth.
Change in tongue texture. A furry or a hairy tongue may be due to antibiotics. Hairy tongue is usually harmless, as papillae can overgrow the tongue surface. Scraping off the tongue is beneficial in correcting the problem.
Geographic tongue. Also known as benign migratory glossitis, this changes the appearance of the tongue, with spots and ridges over it. This is usually harmless, but it is best to consult your dentist if you have red patches that can last longer than two weeks.
Simple Remedies for Tongue Problems
It is possible to relieve or prevent some tongue issues with good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as seeing your dentist also help. If you have canker sore because of a mouth injury, the following tips can help:
- Drink cold beverage or eat soft and bland foods until the sore is gone.
- Try over-the-counter oral pain medications.
- Rinse mouth with warm saltwater or a mixture of baking soda with warm water.
- Suck on ice cubes to soothe the sore.
Taking care of your tongue can prevent these conditions, while also improving your dental health. This can also eliminate bad breath and prevent toxins from entering your body.