What is a White Tongue?

Have you ever noticed a strange white coating on your tongue’s surface? You may also experience bad breath, a hairy feeling, and irritation with that, too. While a white tongue can look very unappealing and concerning, it is normally harmless and would go away on its own. However, a persistent white tongue that lasts for a few weeks or causes discomfort while you eat and talk should be checked by a professional.

When the papillae–the fingerlike texture on your tongue–are overgrowing or swelling, they start collecting bacteria and dead cells between them. This build-up of debris can leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth and bad breath. The papillae can get inflamed, too.

What causes a white tongue?

The causes of a white tongue can be varied. Some causes include poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, dehydration, mouth breathing, excessive alcohol use, fever, or a low roughage diet. While these factors are common, a white tongue can be a sign of several risks;

Leukoplakia is a condition where white patches or spots form in your mouth and may stem from heavy smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Oral thrush is an infection caused when there is an overgrowth of Candida yeast inside the mouth.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) with several symptoms, including a white tongue

Geographic tongue causes red patches with white borders on your tongue. It happens more commonly in people with eczema, psoriasis, or Type 1 diabetes.

Oral lichen planus is likely to be related to your body’s immune system. It is a chronic inflammatory mouth condition that involves white patches on your tongue, inner cheeks, and gums.

Can a white tongue be treated?

A white tongue usually goes away within a few weeks but practising optimum oral hygiene and staying hydrated can hasten the process. Some tips you can try at home include:

  • Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily
  • Gently brushing or scraping your tongue using a tongue scraper to remove the white coating
  • Avoid cigarettes and vape pens as they can expose your tongue to more toxins
  • Avoid foods that can irritate your tongue especially if they are spicy, salty, acidic, or hot.
  • Use a mild fluoride toothpaste. Oradex Periodontal Toothpaste contains effective levels of fluoride to remineralise the enamel and panthenol and hyaluronic acid to nourish gum tissues.
  • Use an alcohol-free, therapeutic mouthwash daily. Oradex Everyday Antiseptic contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties to effectively improve oral health in the long run.

If this condition becomes painful or persists for weeks, get treated by a professional.

Preventing a white tongue

By doing the bare minimum of practising good oral hygiene with the right products, you can greatly reduce the chances of getting a white tongue. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, rinse your mouth thoroughly with a mouthwash, floss daily, and consume healthy, clean foods.


White Tongue | Cleveland Clinic

Symptoms: White Tongue | Mayo Clinic

Maintaining Oral Health as a Senior Adult

Ageing is an inevitable part of life and can affect oral health. Below are some age-related oral health risks.

Gum disease is caused by plaque and can worsen with tobacco, ill-fitting bridges and dentures, food residue in teeth, and certain diseases like anemia and diabetes–which are common problems for senior adults.

Root decay is the result of the tooth root being exposed to acids as gum tissues begin to recede from the tooth. Unlike teeth, roots do not have any enamel to protect them from decay.

Darkened teeth areusually caused by a lifetime of consuming foods and beverages that stain–like tomato sauce, wine, et cetera. Otherwise, the natural thinning of the outer enamel layer can expose the dentin, which is darker and yellower. A darkened tooth or teeth should be checked by a professional as it can be a sign of a more serious problem.

Uneven jawbone. Missing teeth in the mouth enable the rest of the teeth to drift and shift around into open spaces in the gums, sometimes causing the jawbone to be lopsided.

Apart from that, certain age-related medical conditions like arthritis may make brushing teeth difficult to perform. Certain drugs can greatly affect oral health, too, like dry mouth and thrushes.

To make matters more concerning, poor oral health can have an impact on social life when insecurities about one’s smile can make them feel less attractive and less likely to socialize; increasing their tendency to isolate.

Oral hygiene tips for senior adults

When it comes to caring for your teeth and gums as an ageing adult, prevention is the best medicine. While dental treatments can be costly, investing in optimum dental care and upkeep is ideal to maintain good oral health. Here are some basic yet crucial steps to follow in your routine;

  1. Rinse.  Before you brush or floss, rinse with plain water to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth and gums.
  2. Brush your teeth at least twice a dayfor no less than two minutes each time.If you are dealing with arthritis, opt for an electrical toothbrush to get more strokes. Choose a toothpaste with safe yet effective levels of fluoride. Oradex’s Periodontal Toothpaste contains decay- and plaque-fighting fluorides and is suitable for daily use, while Oradex Antibacterial Gel Toothpaste is incredibly gentle and suitable for those with sensitive teeth and gums. Explore our range of toothpaste here. 
  3. Use a mouthwash. Choose Oradex’s therapeutic, alcohol-free Everyday Antiseptic Mouthwash to effectively control plaque, gingivitis, disease-causing germs, and cavities in the long term. Find the product here.
  4. Floss after a meal daily, if possible. Instead of sawing back and forth, begin at the gum line, and slide it up and down the tooth several times. This motion helps to clean the tooth better, without excessive friction that can irritate the gums. If you have difficulties flossing, opt for over-the-counter tools like threaded flossers and tiny brushes that can reach areas between the teeth.

Maintaining good oral health when you’re a senior adult can be challenging, especially with factors like arthritis and other age-related health conditions at play. With the right oral care products and routine, you can slow down the effects of ageing on your teeth and gums.


The Senior’s Guide to Dental Care | Harvard Health Publishing

Dental Care for Seniors | WebMD

Get to Know Oral Cancers

Oral or mouth cancer occurs in the oral cavity such as on the lips, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, gums, roof, and floor of the mouth.

Oral cancers form when cells in the oral tissue mutate in their DNA, which tells the cell what to do. This mutation tells the cell to continue dividing and growing when healthy cells would die. Cancer-causing mutations will usually begin in the thin, squamous cells that line your lips and the inside of your mouth.

Some symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • A persistent lip or mouth sore
  • A white or reddish patch inside the mouth
  • A growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Loose teeth

If you experience any of these symptoms that last more than two weeks, talk to a doctor. They may not be cancerous but can be signs of a dangerous infection.

Types of oral cancers

Although most oral cancers occur in the thin linings of the mouth (squamous cell carcinoma), it’s helpful to learn the specific areas where they can begin and what treatment is best for each.

  • Lip Cancer is highly curable when diagnosed early
  • Gum Cancer is often mistaken as gingivitis and is highly curable if detected early
  • Hard Palate Cancer is a rare type of oral cancer with the most common sign being an ulcer on the roof of the mouth
  • Tongue Cancer usually begins as a persistent sore at the side of the tongue and may bleed easily
  • Floor of Mouth Cancer can be mistaken as canker sores
  • Buccal Mucosa Cancer occurs as a lump inside the cheek tissue

Risk factors

While cell mutation is the cause of cancer, no fact can determine why it happens. However, some risk factors that can increase the chances of an oral cancer may include:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Tobacco use – cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vape pods, and chewing tobacco, among others
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual transmission
  • Weak immune system
  • Excessive sun exposure to the lips


Like any type of cancer, there is no proven way to prevent them fully but there are some practises that can reduce their chances of occurring.

  • Stop smoking or do not start at all. It exposes the cells in the oral cavity (and your lungs) to cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips by staying in the shade as much as possible and using a lip product that contains SPF.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation. Alarming levels of alcohol can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them more vulnerable to cancer.
  • Consult with a dentist regularly. Routine dental exams can help identify any signs of oral cancer.
  • Rinse your mouth regularly with an alcohol-free mouthwash. Browse through Oradex’s range of alcohol-free mouthwashes here.


Mouth Cancer | Mayo Clinic

Types of Mouth Cancer | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

What Causes Teeth to be Sensitive to Cold?

Have you ever had a sharp, stinging sensation when you bite into ice cream or sip an icy beverage on a hot day? This sensation can radiate across your head, causing a ‘brain freeze’

The main culprit, tooth sensitivity, may occur as a dental discomfort or a sign of a more serious issue. This happens when a tooth’s outer protective layer–the enamel–starts to thin and wear down. Loss of enamel exposes the sensitive dentin of the tooth (or nerves) which reacts to heat and cold. Some common causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Acidic foods
  • Tobacco products
  • Forceful brushing
  • Alcohol-based mouthwashes

Another reason for teeth sensitivity can be the cementum–the layer covering the roots–being exposed due to receding gums, further increasing teeth sensitivity. A chipped tooth is most likely to cause this.

If you are frequently experiencing heat and cold discomfort when eating and drinking, a chronic underlying condition may be the issue. In this case, talk to a professional to get proper diagnosis and treatment.

Home remedies to ease discomfort

Practising these tips at home can help ease discomfort caused by teeth sensitivity.

  • Rinse with salt water
  • Rinse with honey and warm water
  • Rub gently with turmeric

Keep in mind that these methods may not be able to address them permanently. Consulting with a dentist to determine a proper treatment plan may be a better option to address any underlying dental issues.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Changing your daily habits can be effective in preventing further damage to your enamel layer and dentin.

  • Avoid foods and drinks that are acidic such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, pickles, and wine as they tend to wear down tooth enamel.
  • Elevate your dental care routine. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush gently in a circular motion. Apart from that, opt for safe fluoride-based toothpaste such as Oradex Periodontal Toothpaste, Oradex Antibacterial Toothpaste, Oradex Antioxidant Toothpaste, or Oradex Charcoal Green Tea Toothpaste, all of which help strengthen your teeth. Oradex Charcoal Green Tea Toothpaste additionally contains xylitol and hydroxyapatite, which together with fluoride, employs a three-in-one method for reducing tooth erosion while actively remineralising its enamel.

A number of reasons can cause tooth sensitivity. Whether they may be from poor oral care, injury, or a disease, these practices and remedies can provide short-term relief for pain and discomfort.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Heat and Cold — and How to Treat It | Healthline

Best Tips and Practices to Maintain Healthy, White Teeth

Who wouldn’t want a bright, radiant set of teeth? After all, the smile is one of the first parts of a face that people notice. However, factors like dietary habits, lifestyle choices, aging, and natural wear and tear can greatly influence the brightness of your teeth.

While booking a dentist appointment to whiten your teeth can give you almost instant results, it can be quite expensive. Instead, practice these tips to maintain those healthy, white teeth!

1. Avoid consuming food and drinks that stain

Some food and drinks that can stain teeth include coffee, soft drinks, red wine, tomato sauce, and curry. It’s hard to give up your favourite foods completely but try reducing your intake and practice rinsing your mouth with water thoroughly after you consume them.

2. Use a straw when drinking stain-causing beverages

If you find it hard to quit coffee, red wine, or soft drinks, make sure to use a straw when drinking them. By doing this, you’ll allow the liquid to bypass the front part of the teeth.

3. Eat foods that can help whiten your teeth

Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery sticks, or carrots increases saliva production which plays an important role to protect your teeth from staining.

4. Stop smoking

Besides causing a lot of damage to your vital organs like the lungs and heart, smoking also affects the color of your teeth. Nicotine and tar present in tobacco gets trapped in your enamel’s porous surface, which will ultimately turn yellow or brown when exposed to oxygen. To stop this from further worsening both your teeth and general health, abstain from smoking entirely.

5. Practise good oral hygiene regularly

Teeth discolouration due to aging can be inevitable sometimes but that shouldn’t be an excuse to neglect a good oral routine. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day gently, so as to not damage your enamels. Rinse with mouthwash and scrape your tongue as well to reduce the chances of bacteria staining your teeth. Your mouth will thank you!

6. Use teeth whitening products

It’s best to understand the ingredients in the toothpaste before you buy them. Some bleaching agents can help whiten your teeth but may be harmful to sensitive teeth. On the other hand, activated charcoal is a popular, natural alternative in the market proven to help absorb surface stains.
Oradex Charcoal Green Tea Toothpaste contains activated charcoal and green tea extract which effectively remove stain-causing residues on your teeth surface. Its mild and comforting formula is suited for everyday use, so you can get the best of both worlds—whiter teeth and protection from plaque build-up.
Complete your oral hygiene essentials for whiter, healthier teeth here


7 Teeth Whitening Tips From a Dentist | Brushin’ On Belmont

10 Helpful Tips For Keeping Your Teeth White | Dental Associates Near Me

What is Fluoride and Why do we Need it?

It’s common knowledge that fluoride is ‘good for teeth’. However, how far do we know about the mineral and how good can it be for us?

Fluoride is a naturally-existing mineral in your bones and teeth. It can also be found in soil, plants, rocks, air, and the water we drink. It is also produced synthetically to supplement dental products like toothpaste and mouth rinses. Other uses of fluoride include PET scans, pesticides, and the making of Teflon products.

Since it was found to help prevent tooth decay, water management authorities have been adding small amounts of fluoride to the water supplies of areas that have low fluoride levels. This benefits the local population since many people can’t afford regular dental checks.

How does fluoride benefit oral health?
Your teeth contain minerals. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar and carbs, producing acids that eat them away. This loss of minerals—or tooth demineralisation—weakens your enamels, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and decay.

Fluoride basically remineralises your tooth enamel, preventing cavities and reversing early signs of tooth decay—by accumulating in the damaged or demineralised areas, strengthening the enamel and forming a resistance against acids and cavities. It also provides a better environment for stronger enamel formation in the developing enamel structure of a child under the age of 7 years.

Risks and side-effects
If it’s beneficial to our oral health, why would there be risks? Fluoride is a neurotoxin, which means it can be harmful when taken in high doses. Some side-effects of fluoride are:

Dental fluorosis
This condition typically affects children under the age of 8 who are still developing permanent teeth. Using large amounts of fluoride will result in white spots on the tooth’s surface. Otherwise, this condition doesn’t cause any more symptoms or harm.

You can reduce the risks by providing them with toothpaste that contains safe levels of fluoride and supervising them to make sure they aren’t swallowing too much product.

Skeletal fluorosis
This severe but rare condition affects the bones instead of the teeth. Early symptoms are joint pain and stiffness, which can worsen to the point it alters the bone structure. Ultimately, it can cause the calcification of ligaments.

This condition is usually a result of long-term exposure to very high levels of fluoride in water. Some factors include contamination from fires and explosions or the geological location containing large deposits of fluoride which can contaminate its water supplies.

How much fluoride is enough?
Now that you’ve learnt the risks of fluoride toxicity, it’s crucial to know how much you’re incorporating it into your daily oral routine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sets the level at 0.7 ppm or 0.7 mg in every liter of water to prevent tooth decay.

The bottom line
Fluoride is a proven and essential mineral to prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, like with any substance, excess exposure can be harmful.

Oradex’s Periodontal Toothpaste contains safe levels of fluoride to provide you with just the right amount of enamel care and cavity prevention, plus other ingredients like hyaluronic acid and panthenol to strengthen gums. Get optimum care for your teeth today here.

Why do we Have Fluoride in our Water? | Medical News Today
What Is Fluoride, and Is It Safe? | Healthline

The Relationship between Oral Health and Nutrition

Your oral cavity begins at the lips and ends at the throat—which means that what you choose to eat can directly affect your oral health as well as it affects your overall health. Sugars, acids, and minerals can impact the quality of your gums and tooth enamels. 

Signs of a healthy mouth

You aren’t truly healthy without good oral health. Although this statement may only be true to a certain extent, your teeth and gums are key indicators of overall health. So, what are some signs in your mouth that show your diet is well put together?

Your gums–or gingival tissues–and the supporting bone that holds your teeth are known as the ‘periodontium’. The gingiva usually varies in color and pattern between different people, but a healthy gingiva is firm, moist, not red nor swollen, and does not bleed when they’re brushed or flossed. It should also let out a neutral smell, not an offensive one.

It’s worth checking the tissues of the inner walls of your mouth as well. Your cheeks and tongue (and under it) should have no evidence of lumps, ulcers, spots, or unusual colors.

On the other hand, your teeth should be adapting to cold foods and drinks which indicates that your enamels are strong and functioning well. They should be opaque and smooth, and free from cracks, rounded edges, and signs of yellowing. If you find a tooth that appears to be wiggly, it may be a sign of weak or unhealthy gums.

Pink gums and white teeth aren’t just for a pretty smile, they are important at all stages of life because they support crucial human functions like breathing, speaking, and eating. 

Nutrition and oral health

Besides a proper care routine and adequate dental check-ups, good oral health also depends on good nutrition. While your systemic health can have a more direct impact, poor diet habits can also lead to a plethora of teeth and gum complications such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and bad breath. 

Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up on your teeth as a result of leftover food particles left unremoved. It is usually a mixture of carbohydrates, saliva, and bacteria. When the bacteria feed off the plaque, they produce acids that can corrode your teeth’s enamel. A large number of bacteria harboring the plaque can also induce inflammation in your gums, leading to infections and gingivitis.

What to avoid

You don’t have to completely cut down all the foods we’re about to list below, but consuming in moderation and having a solid oral care routine can go a long way if you find them hard to ditch.

Refined carbs or sugars

Complex carbohydrates from bread, chips, or French fries break down into sugars. When the sugars linger in your mouth, bacteria feed off them and produce lactic acid which can quickly erode the enamel. White bread and hard candy are one of the worst causes of plaque as they tend to stick to the teeth easily, giving bacteria more time to create acid.

Soft drinks

Believe it or not, the ‘sugar-free’ or ‘healthy’ sodas you see on grocery shelves still contain acid. Soft drinks being high in sugar is already a good reason for you to cut them off, but the acids can also soften your teeth’ enamel–making them more susceptible to abrasion.

Citrus fruits

They’re refreshing and healthy but are also mighty acidic. While they’re rich in vitamins, they contain high amounts of citric acid that make your teeth’ enamel more vulnerable to cavities. Try drinking juice with a straw instead so that some of the acid bypass your teeth.

Acidic food and drinks

Other food and drinks containing high amounts of acid include red and white wine, coffee, pickles, and tomato sauce. They not only erode your teeth’ enamel but also stain them. If you plan to brush your teeth after consuming them, make sure to wait for about 30 minutes to avoid excessive abrasion as your enamels are softened.

Healthy habits to maintain healthy enamel and gingival tissues

It can be hard to avoid your favorite soda or pasta dish, but there are simple habits you can practice to avoid plaque buildup and cavities. 

Drink water regularly

Plain water is the best drink for your teeth, hands down. It cleans out most leftover food particles, neutralises acids, and fights dry mouth. Water with fluoride is an added advantage as it is necessary to strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities. Drink in between meals or in one sitting. 

Consume enough fruits and vegetables 

They are high in water and fiber which balances their sugar contents. They help stimulate saliva to break down acids and food particles, as well as keep the gingival tissues moist. These foods also contain essential vitamins to promote healthier teeth and gums.

Have a solid oral care routine

This goes without saying, but a consistent oral routine can really benefit you in the long run. A good routine should include products that are effective and do not contain harmful ingredients such as SLS, alcohol, parabens, triclosan, benzoates, or carrageenan to name a few.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day using Oradex’s Periodontal Toothpaste. Its pH alkaline formula helps neutralise enamel-eating acids and contains safe levels of fluoride for tooth remineralisation, while hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 rejuvenate the gingival tissues to reveal healthy, pink gums. It is free of harsh chemicals and contains no artificial flavors or colors.

To complement tooth brushing and elevate good oral health, rinse your mouth daily with Oradex’s alcohol-free Everyday Antiseptic Mouthwash. Soak, hold, and swirl in the mouth for 30 seconds to eliminate germs that cause dental plaque build-up thus preventing gum disease and bleeding gums. 

What you eat and drink matters much more than you think when it comes to oral health. Adjunct healthy eating habits with the best of oral care today with Oradex.


What are Some Signs My Enamel is Wearing Down? | Hancock Village Dental

The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan

Diet and Nutrition | Australian Dental Association

How Does Oral Health Affect Your Systemic Health?

Disease-causing bacteria can enter your body through the mouth, before penetrating the respiratory and digestive tracts. Hence, without proper oral hygiene, this roll-on effect may have a greater impact on systemic health when oral conditions such as tooth decay and gum periodontitis occur.

As if this isn’t alarming enough, certain medications such as antihistamines, painkillers, and antidepressants can reduce saliva flow—further reducing your natural ability to reduce microbes from multiplying in your mouth, and ultimately, your body.

What diseases can be linked to poor oral health?

Cardiovascular disease. Studies suggest that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke may be linked to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria cause. 

Endocarditis. Bacteria or other germs entering your mouth can spread through your bloodstream and attach themselves to certain areas in your heart, causing an infection of the inner lining of its chambers or valves.

Pneumonia. Similar to endocarditis, certain oral bacteria can multiply all the way to your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory complications.

Birth and pregnancy complications. Periodontitis has been linked to cases like low birth weight and premature birth.

Can certain conditions worsen oral health?

Certainly—individuals who suffer from health complications are more likely to develop gum diseases. Some examples include:

Diabetes is one of the many culprits of gum disease. Studies show that gum diseases are more frequent in individuals with diabetes, mainly because it weakens the body’s resistance to infections. Furthermore, they have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels due to impaired insulin functions.  

HIV and AIDS. Searing mucosal lesions on the gums and tongue are common in people who suffer from this condition.     

Osteoporosis. This bone disease can contribute to periodontal bone and tooth loss. Drugs used in its treatment can also damage the bone jaw.

Depression and anxiety. Oral disease can stem from poor mental health due to neglecting or avoiding hygienic routines.

Teeth and gum diseases can worsen or lead to many other conditions like eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system disorders, and even certain types of cancers. Medications treating these conditions can also affect the individual’s oral health. 

How to improve oral care for your general health

While some systemic diseases can be caused by other external factors and are sometimes inevitable, having a solid oral care routine can optimise your body’s defense against germs. 

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a therapeutic toothpaste. Oradex Periodontal Toothpaste is formulated with hyaluronic acid to promote periodontal tissue regeneration, panthenol to strengthen gum tissues, and fluoride to remineralise the tooth’s enamel. 
  • Floss regularly.
  • Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing your teeth. We recommend using Oradex Everyday Antiseptic Mouthwash for effective, long-term maintenance and protection against gum diseases.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles start to look worn out.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks.

Now that you’ve learned the risks that poor oral care can carry to your systemic health, choose Oradex to protect your oral health and general well-being today! Browse through our products here.


Oral-Systemic Health | American Dental Association 

Oral health: A window to your overall health | Mayo Clinic