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How to Care for Your Tongue

March 26, 2023
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Have you ever wondered about the reason your dentist checks your tongue? Did you know that the condition of your overall health can be found by just looking at your tongue? Well, here is everything you need to know about your tongue health.   


The importance of caring for your tongue health

Cleaning your tongue should be a vital part of your oral hygiene routine. If not done properly, bacteria can accumulate on the tongue, producing mercaptans and hydrogen sulphide, leading to a foul odour. The tongue is a crucial body part that helps us to speak, eat, taste, and swallow food. It also acts as a first barrier to any harmful bacteria or virus you may have ingested. So, you have to make sure your tongue is healthy.

A healthy tongue has a pink colour to it. It is covered by papillae which are small painless nodules. Change of colour and texture of the tongue is a significant indication of an underlying health issue and should be addressed immediately.

Regular tongue cleaning helps avoid oral health issues, bad breath, plaque deposits, and bacteria coating the tongue. It also helps enhance your oral hygiene and taste buds and boosts immunity.

What your dentist can tell you

Your dentist examines your tongue’s colour, texture, look, shape, and size. During this process, the dentist will ask you to open your mouth wide and take out your tongue. Then they will hold the edge of your tongue in one hand and twist it to one side and then the other. Then they will ask you to raise your tongue tip towards your upper lip so that they can see the base of your tongue. This helps them identify if you have any abnormal growth, nutritional deficiencies, or any type of infection.

A few unusual changes to your tongue that can affect your oral health include the texture and colour of your tongue. If you notice white, red, or pink patches, painful lumps or sores, bleeding, or burns, visit your dentist urgently.

Healthy tongue tips

You can maintain a healthy tongue by developing a few good practices. Firstly, you ought to clean your tongue regularly. There are many ways that you can follow to clean your tongue. You can brush your tongue, use a tongue-scrapper, and a mouth rinse. Ideally, it would be best to combine all three tips to ensure you effectively clean your tongue.

A tongue scrapper can clean the top surface of your tongue. Make sure your scrapper does not have a sharp edge, take out your tongue, and insert the scrapper towards the back of your mouth. Now apply a little pressure and drag the scraper towards the tip. Repeat this action 2-3 times. Use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth correctly to wash off all the debris. Then using your toothbrush clean the sides and base of your tongue. Use the mouth rinse for a final wash.

Staying hydrated, having a balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and visiting your dentist regularly to ensure optimal oral health.


Now that you know the importance of maintaining your tongue health, follow the tips to maintain oral hygiene. In case you face any issues or need more information, talk to your dentist. They will be able to do a thorough check-up and share a treatment plan.

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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