We need our tongues to talk, so we’re probably all familiar with the sticky, dry tongue that interferes with our ability to make words come out properly from time to time (maybe because it’s time to speak in front of a crowd). But, occasional dry tongue aside, did you know that a chronically dry tongue is more than just an inconvenience? Here are some little known facts about dry tongue that may surprise you.
Fact # 1: It’s probably not just your tongue!
Your tongue, no surprise here, is a part of your mouth. So, if your tongue is dry all the time, your whole mouth is dry. You may notice the uncomfortable dryness in the tongue, but you really are suffering from a dry mouth.
Fact #2: It’s properly called xerostomia.
That’s right; there’s a scientific name for a dry mouth and tongue. It comes from the Greek words xeros, which means dry, and stoma, meaning mouth or opening.
Fact # 3: It can be accompanied by a white coating on the tongue.
That white coating is not just funny looking. It’s a symptom of oral candidiasis. Candidiasis is a yeast that can overgrow when the saliva isn’t there to stop it. Saliva protects your mouth from all kinds of microbes, and a lack of saliva can lead to other infections that require treatment.
Fact # 4: Dry tongue and morning breath go hand in hand.
Saliva production decreases while you sleep. That’s good because it keeps you from drowning yourself in your sleep. Unfortunately, that lack of saliva means bad breath causing bacteria don’t get washed away. Thus, you are likely to awaken from a peaceful night of sleep with a sticky, dry tongue and a mouth of stinky morning breath.
Fact # 5: It’s most likely caused by medications.
Dry mouth and dry tongue are a common side effect of many medications. Because the medications are necessary for overall health, stopping the medications may not be an option. Luckily, there are over the counter products that can increase moisture in the mouth and keep healthy function. CariFree CTx3 Rinse and CTx2 Spray can help quickly alleviate a dry tongue.
Fact # 6: Dry tongues and cavities go together.
The same antimicrobial action of the saliva that keeps morning breath and candidiasis at bay also keeps the bacteria that cause cavities in check. When there isn’t enough saliva, the cavity-causing bacteria go to work on the tooth enamel and damage it. Treating dry tongue isn’t just a matter of keeping it more comfortable, it can literally save your smile.