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Dirty Tongue Can Be A Major Turn Off! Treat It At Home

Geographic tongue or benign migratory glossitis affects the top and sides of the tongue. Though it is a harmless condition, it can be pretty annoying and embarrassing. Worry not, we have for you the best home remedies for geographic tongue.


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According to the The American Academy of Oral Medicine,

“Geographic tongue (also known as benign migratory glossitis) is an inflammatory disorder that usually appears on the top and sides of the tongue.

Typically, affected tongues have a bald, red area of varying sizes that is surrounded, at least in part, by an irregular white border (see Right). The appearance of the affected portion of the tongue results from loss of the finger-like and mushroom shaped projections (papilla) which normally cover the tongue’s surface. Occasionally, similar appearing lesions occur on other oral sites, such as the palate, cheeks, under the tongue, or on the gums. Such lesions are known as geographic stomatitis or erythema migrans.”

If you have a geographic tongue, then your papillae are likely to become white, which will make it more pronounced. Soon red, pink and white patches begin to form on the tongue.

Suggested read: 10 Miraculous Home Remedies For Burnt Tongue To Give You Instant Relief

Some people with a geographic tongue also experience sensitivity when eating hot or acidic food. Spicy food is the worst on geographic tongue. The red patches on the tongue can get infected by bacteria or thrush like candida. Some symptoms of geographic tongue apart from the patches on the tongue include burning pain, sores on the tongue and also bad breath.

The causes of this oral condition is still not known, but the risk factors which increase your likelihood of developing the geographic tongue include oral parafunctional habits, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, some kind of allergy and hormonal imbalances.

The American Academy of Oral Medicine further says,

The cause of geographic tongue is unknown. Several factors have been proposed as possible causes such as emotional stress, psychological factors, habits, allergies, diabetes and hormonal disturbances. However, none of these factors have been conclusively linked to geographic tongue. A relationship between geographic tongue and psoriasis (a skin disease) has been reported. Geographic tongue was found to be more frequent in patients with psoriasis. Some consider geographic tongue an oral form of psoriasis.

The geographic tongue though a common problem, is more common among people with psoriasis. Irrespective of age or sex, anyone can develop this oral condition. However, you need not worry about the condition being contagious or even ever turning into oral condition.

The condition, if not treated, can persist for months or even years. And even if it gets treated on its own, then it will revive again.

You cannot cure a geographic tongue, but to take care of the mild pain and irritation that the oral condition causes, try these home remedies and also include some lifestyle changes. For a proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment, you will have to consult a doctor. Furthermore, not getting treated, the condition might develop into something more serious.

Home remedies for geographic tongue

Here are the top 10 natural treatments for your geographic tongue.

1. Dietary Choices

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The first remedy on our list of treatments is making changes in your dietary choices. You will have to avoid some foods and limit others to keep the sensitive tissues in the tongue from getting aggravated. These food irritants tend to worsen the geographic tongue and then trying to treat it with remedies will be a complete failure.

You need to keep away from hot and spicy food for a while. Also avoid salty food items. You need to dodge tobacco products. Flavored candy too isn’t a very good choice. If you love acidic fruits and veggies, then for a few months you need to avoid them. Highly sugary foods or even processed foods might not be a good idea when you have a geographic tongue.

2. Fluid Intake

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Keeping the body hydrated becomes essential when trying to treat geographic tongue. It also treats discomfort, which is a very common symptom of this oral condition. By hydrating your body, you will also be able to stimulate the saliva production in your mouth, which will improve your oral health.

Start by drinking a lot of water through the day. You can also suck

  • Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day. You can also suck on small pieces of ice.
  • Eat frozen chunks of water-based fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber.
  • Drink smoothies, fruit juice or vegetable juice.
  • Drink 1 to 2 glasses of coconut water daily.
  • Drink chilled herbal teas like green or chamomile tea.

Avoid sugary drinks, and cut down on regular tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.

3. Vegetable Glycerin

To treat geographic tongue, you can try vegetable glycerin. It keeps the tongue moistened, and this will speed up the healing process. If you have bad breath, then vegetable glycerin will treat that too.

To apply the glycerin, use a cotton ball. Leave it on for five minutes, and then using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your tongue. Wash with lukewarm water.

You need to repeat this two times a day for at least two weeks.

If all this is too much trouble, then you can also use a glycerin mouthwash.

4. Aloe Vera

The next remedy for geographical tongue is aloe vera, which treats not only this oral condition but many others. You can also get rid of your bad breath with this aloe vera.

Begin by scraping out the gel of an aloe vera leaf. Now gently apply it on your tongue. Leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

You need to repeat the remedy two times every day, for at least a month.

You can also rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice for its benefits

Suggested read: 10 Amazingly Effective Natural Home Remedies For White Tongue

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

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Try apple cider vinegar to treat the signs of infection. If you think you are developing an oral thrush, then rinsing your mouth with diluted with apple cider vinegar can help. The vinegar will balance the acid-base level in your mouth. This will fight the infection too.

Apple cider vinegar is sour and so might cause some burning sensation. Worry not, because your condition will improve soon.

First mix a tablespoon of the vinegar and a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda. Now add this to a glass of water, and use the mix as a mouthwash twice or thrice a day.

6. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an old ayurvedic practice that treats the red and pink patches related to geographic tongue. Oil pulling will also help you get rid of the toxins from the tongue, the mouth and also your body. To maintain oral health too, oil pulling is the best natural treatment.

For the remedy, begin by putting two teaspoons of organic coconut oil, or cold-pressed sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, spit out the oil and wash your mouth with lukewarm water.

In case you were worried, while using oil pulling, you can brush your teeth as usual. You should make sure you use the remedy early in the morning, before you eat anything. Also, you need to make sure that you do not swallow the oil.

7. Mint

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To inhibit the growth of bacteria in your mouth, try mint leaves. It helps with several oral problems, and also prevents the burning and irritating sensation that is likely in your tongue if you have geographic tongue.

Mint, as we all know, also freshens up the breath.

For the remedy, you can prepare a cup of mint tea, stronger the flavor the better. Now chill the tea in the fridge for half an hour or so. Now drink it. You need to repeat the remedy at least three times a day until the condition is completely treated.

You can also chew some fresh mint leaves or chew on a mint gum every day.

8. Vitamin B

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The last remedy on our list is vitamin B, because geographic tongue is seen to be associated with vitamin B deficiency. By eating foods that are rich sources of vitamin B, eating more of those will treat and also prevent the occurrence of this oral condition.

Vitamin B also treats the red patches that develop on the tongue due to this condition.

Start taking whole grains, milk, cheese, eggs, oats, salmon and avocados as they are rich in vitamin B. Other foods that are also good sources of this vitamin are bananas, turkey, and liver.

You might also take vitamin B supplements, but consult a doctor first for the right dosage.

Suggested read: 9 Wonderful Home Remedies For Plaque Which Actually Work

That is all we have on today’s post on home remedies for geographic tongue. Was this helpful? Will you be recommending it to others too? If you have some remedies that you would like to share with us, then please do so in the comment section below.

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Article Name
8 Best Home Remedies For Geographic Tongue  
Geographic tongue/benign migratory glossitis affects the top and sides of the tongue. Worry not, we have for you these home remedies for geographic tongue.
Ruth Russell

Ruth Russell

‘To be or not to be’ if that’s the question, I would always want to be who I am – a lover, who binges on ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ every Christmas; that is, if she decides not to wallow in bed with ‘Wuthering Heights’! The other thing that I absolutely love is weddings! Well, who doesn’t like being in a room full of love stories, eh?!