Why is my Tongue White?

August 6th, 2019


The human body is amazing in so many ways. Our bodies often try to tell us things about our health through triggering certain signs and signals. The oral cavity can be an easy spot to indicate signs of specific health conditions developing. For instance, the color and texture of your tongue could be a clue that something is going on within your body.

The normal anatomy of the tongue is comprised of tiny nodules known as papilla. The color is typically a shade of pink, although food debris may temporarily stain the tongue. An indicator of poor oral health or possibly an underlying health condition is the presence of a white tongue that remains for a prolonged period of time. A white tongue has been associated with mouth breathing, smoking, oral thrush (fungal candidiasis infection), infections, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects, and congenital heart disease.

Most frequently it is linked with dry mouth and dehydration, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay and infections. Saliva is crucial for helping us breakdown food and protecting our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Without it, the dry environment promotes bacteria and fungi growth and typically produces an odor.

Other conditions that have been known to cause white tongue include oral lichen planus, geographic tongue, oral cancer, and HIV/AIDs.

Although white tongue is typically harmless, if you notice any pain or persistence of white tongue for a prolonged time that does not respond to oral care, be sure to contact your dentist.

It is important to remember to brush your tongue with either a toothbrush or tongue scraper each day to remove all of the plaque and leftover food particles that become trapped between the papilla on the surface of the tongue. Also, staying hydrated is important, especially during these hot summer days!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.




Staying Hydrated Smart

June 20th, 2014

After eating a meal, working out, or even after performing routine activities, do you immediately grab a sports drink or a soda? These beverages are typically acidic and contain large amounts of sugar, leading to tooth decay. Even some fruit juices are packed with decay-causing sugar. Acids and sugars damage tooth enamel. Enamel is the outer surface of the tooth that helps protect them from an ordinary day's use. Once damage is caused to enamel, the damage is irreversible. Before you turn to sports drinks and sodas for hydration, consider reaching for a glass of water!

Staying hydrated, especially in the warm weather months, is essential for your overall health. Since water makes up more than half of your body weight, it is needed for proper function of tissues and organs, as well as for survival. Without water, your blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism are at risk! A deficiency in body water can lead to dehydration and negative physical and psychological changes in your body. Those involved in sports, or have certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of dehydration and should consume greater amounts of water.

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Darker yellow urine
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sunken eyes

Did you know that staying hydrated also helps your mouth? Hydration is particularly important in maintaining good oral health. Dehydration can lead to halitosis, dry mouth, gum disease, and possibly even heart disease! Drinking water will help increase your levels of bacteria-fighting saliva, and ultimately help reduce your chances of developing these common oral health problems. Along with brushing and flossing, drinking an adequate amount of water will help wash away bacteria in your mouth. The recommended daily intake of water for women is about 8 cups, and roughly 13 cups for men. Even though water is often the best option for staying hydrated, a glass of milk can also be a good beverage for replenishing energy after a day of hard work.

Here are a few tips for staying hydrated:

  • Try carrying a reusable water bottle around with you during the day.
  • If you find water to be too plain, consider adding a slice of lemon.
  • Make sure to drink water before, during and after your exercise.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • Order water when dining out. It’s not only healthy, but also free!
  • Try drinking water with each meal or snack to help make it a routine.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.



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