Say 'Ah' to Your Korean Dentist to Check for These 3 Tongue Diseases


The average Korean dentist will just consider your teeth and gums. Top-class Korean dentists providing exemplary dental care like those at Minish Dental Hospital in Seoul will go the distance, even right to the tip of your tongue. And there is good reason for that.

A normal tongue is bright red. However, if there is any abnormality in oral health, the color of the tongue may change due to problems with the tongue mucosa. If the condition of your tongue is different from usual when you look in the mirror, you might have a disease forming.

Here are some diseases that can be identified through the color of the tongue:

If it is dark brown, ask your Korean dentist about BHT

An image referencing the importance of understanding black hairy tongue according to a Korean dentist

If the tongue is blackish brown, you should suspect BHT or more specifically 'Black Hairy Tongue Syndrome'. This is when protrusions on the tongue mucosa become long like hair, which are usually about 1 mm, lengthen up to 1.5 cm. In this process, the color of the tongue also changes to black or white. Since the protuberances on the tongue are dark, it is referred to as “black hair”. But in rare cases when it turns white, it is called “white hair”. The biggest cause of BHT is smoking. When nicotine and tar adhere to the oral cavity, the filiform papillae distributed on the tongue mucosa are deformed, resulting in changes in cellular sensation.

Food and tar are piled up on the deformed cells and it looks like a bump is growing. It can also be caused by poor oral health, medication, or lack of vitamins. Talking to a good Korean dentist in Korea will put you on the right track to deal with this. In order to prevent and alleviate these symptoms, you should clean your tongue when also brushing your teeth. Clean your tongue with a soft toothbrush and a good Korean toothpaste. Also, try not to leave any residue in your mouth after eating. As smoking is often the main cause, efforts to quit or reduce smoking are also necessary. It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth. If your mouth is dry and saliva secretion is reduced, bacteria in your mouth can become more active.

Ask about dry mouth if whitening is severe

An image referencing the importance of understanding dry mouth according to a Korean dentist

If your tongue looks white and mouth is often dry due to severe white discharge, it may be 'dry mouth'. Xerostomia is a disease in which the salivary glands underproduce saliva and make the inside of the mouth dry. Severe dryness in the mouth can make it difficult to chew, swallow, or speak. Also, the risk of oral disease increases as saliva does not protect the inside of the mouth from external substances. An excellent Korean dentist will tell you that dry mouth can be treated with medications that promote salivary secretion. To alleviate symptoms, drink plenty of water, chew gum that stimulates salivation, or eat sour foods.

Whiteness of your inner mouth skin? Maybe oral candidiasis

An image referencing the importance of understanding oral candidiasis according to a Korean dentist

Oral candidiasis is also a disease that causes white discharge. This is when the fungus ‘Candida’ proliferates in the oral mucosa or the 'mouth skin'. This is commonly found among the elderly, those with chronic diseases, and infants with weak immunity. The white coat continues to expand, and if left unattended, the white coat forms extensively on the oral mucosa. In severe cases, the mucous membrane of the tongue under the white coat can be sore with redness and pain. Symptoms can be alleviated through drug treatment, and for prevention, keep your oral health clean by brushing your teeth.

Regardless of the color, preventative care is the hallmark of a good English speaking Korean dentist in Seoul. With that in mind, you should consider visiting a great one like Minish Dental Hospital. Message them today to at least put your mind at ease about any slight discolorations on your tongue