We have all seen it — Miley Cyrus’ lovely tongue. She has no shame — she’ll show it anytime of the day. Except, not only are we tired of seeing it — but it doesn’t even look right! In fact it looks downright unhealthy to us.
A genius doesn’t need to point out that Miley’s tongue is clearly looking white these days. The DailyMail highlighted a recent photo of Miley (with her tongue out of course) along with the headline “Is Star’s Slimy Tongue Giving Away Her Health Secrets?” The article headline refers to Cher’s comment regarding the star’s signature tongue pose, in which Cher said to Miley’s tongue as ‘coated.’
It’s normal for a tongue to have a thin coating, but a thick white coating such as Miley’s can indicate a variety of health problems. Experts such as Dr. Uchenna Okoye, director of Oral B Smile, have weighed in on the mystery of Miley’s unsightly tongue. She says: “”A thin coating is normal but a thick white coating could indicate candidiasis or oral thrush, which is a fungus.”
That is just one of many possibilities. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, ‘white tongue’ is a condition which is “the result of inflammation of the finger-like projections (papillae) on the surface of your tongue. The appearance of a white coating is caused by debris, bacteria and dead cells getting lodged between the inflamed papillae.”
Causes include dry mouth, smoking, not enough water consumption, and most of all drinking alcohol — a huge irritant to the mouth. A patchy white tongue is a bit different, not that any of us have examined Miley’s tongue close enough to know the exact pattern of discoloration she has. However it is possible that a ‘white coating’ on the tongue is associated with other conditions such as drug use, oral thrush (a yeast infection on the tongue), leukoplakia (a sign of precancer) or even syphilis.
Yikes! We aren’t assuming poor Miley is privately suffering from any of these conditions; however we do believe she should to go see her dentist as soon as possible just to be sure. It is possible however that Miley is suffering from stress, as the tongue can indicate this according to Shabir Daya in the DailyMail. She says that stress “particularly on-going stress, can cause deeper cracks in the tongue since stress releases inflammatory hormones.”
Daya also mentions that brushing your teeth three times a day still might not make a difference if you have a dirty tongue. If you don’t brush your tongue as part of your dental cleaning routine, you could be leaving behind food particles, “allowing bacteria and fungi to thrive” in. If you’re tongue’s dirty, your teeth will soon become so. Not to mention a dirty tongue often comes along with bad breath.
In general, a white coated tongue is an indicator of poor oral health. So Miley, please take our advice and either visit your dentist, or purchase a tongue cleaner — you’re a celebrity, for goodness sake!
Dr. Mike Malone and his team practice expert cosmetic dentistry in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Malone is the former president and current accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is also the official Cosmetic Dentist of the Miss Louisiana USA and Miss Louisiana Teen USA pageants. Check out his website for more information.