Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
To practice good oral health and to remove the tongue discoloration:
- Brush your tongue. Giving your tongue a gentle brushing whenever you brush your teeth removes dead cells, bacteria and food debris. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a flexible tongue scraper.
- Brush after eating or drinking. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal, using a fluoride toothpaste. If you can't brush after eating, at least try to rinse your mouth with water.
- Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Get professional tooth cleanings and regular oral exams, which can help your dentist prevent problems or spot them early. Your dentist can recommend a schedule for your situation.
- Goldstein B, et al. Oral lesions. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Images in clinical medicine: Black hairy tongue. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2006;354:67.
- Cleaning your teeth & gums. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/2624.aspx. Accessed Jan. 28, 2011.