Oral Hygiene: What Your Tongue Is Telling You about Your Health

Practicing good oral hygiene will help you to not only keep your mouth clean and healthy, but your whole body as well. Brushing and flossing your teeth is good, but if you really want a clean mouth you also need to take good care of your tongue. It is important for you to practice good oral hygiene in order to have a healthy mouth and a healthy immune system.

What Your Tongue is Telling You

Your tongue helps to reveal what is inside of you. The tip of the tongue reveals the condition of the heart and the lungs. The sides reveal the condition of the liver and kidney. The middle reveals the condition of the stomach, and the the back reveals the condition of the lower part of the bowels.

By looking at your tongue, your doctor is able to diagnose medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, lung and kidney diseases, stomach problems and many other illnesses.

Generally, those who are healthy and practice good oral hygiene will also have a healthy tongue which is fairly smooth, moist and has a nice pink color. Sometimes the tongue can become dry, coated, discolored and inflamed, which may be a sign of a serious illness. But in many cases it is the result of poor oral hygiene.

When your tongue becomes a darker color it may be the result of certain foods, such as coffee. It may also be due to tobacco use or medications. This is usually nothing to worry about and can easily be taken care of by lightly brushing the tongue.

A white coating could be a sign of dehydration, or it could be caused by smoking or alcohol. Drinking more fluids and brushing the tongue daily should help to remove the coating. However if the coating does not go away, it could be a sign of an overgrowth of candida bacteria, or other disease depending on where the coating is.

Canker sores or a red, swollen and painful tongue may be the result of nutritional deficiencies or a reaction to certain foods.

Better Oral Hygiene

Practicing better oral hygiene by purging your tongue will help to eliminate bad breath and discoloring of the tongue. It can also help you to better deal with any underlying health issues such as diabetes.

To purge your tongue, you can either use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. When using your tooth brush gently brush from the back to the front of the tongue to get rid of the debris. A tongue scraper is a plastic strip that you place at the back of your tongue. Gently push down, then pull it to the front of the tongue. Be careful that you do not apply too much pressure as it may cause the tongue to bleed.

You may not be able to get all the coating or discoloring the first time, especially if you have an underlying health issue. But if you keep practicing good oral hygiene you should be able to get it under control.

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