Some of Miley Cyrus’ recent antics may have left you feeling like an amateur gynecologist – that VMA performance, those Terry Richardson pictures… As it happens, such intimate access and some close inspection has given away something about her health; you just have to look two feet higher - at her tongue.
We weren’t the only ones to notice something was a little ‘off’ but perhaps Cher said it best: ‘Chick, don't stick out your tongue if it's coated.’ Agreeing with Cher is Shabir Daya, co-founder of VictoriaHealth.com : ‘Your tongue is a window into what’s happening in your body; colour, coating and cracks are all indicators of the state of your health.’
Cara Delevingne has been at it too, choosing a protruding tongue and rock sign as her pap-pose of choice. They may think their tongue-poking gives nothing away but actually they couldn’t reveal more.
Daya reveals: ‘A healthy tongue has a thin, white and moist coating and any deviation from this indicates possible problems.’ Oral B Smile Director Dr Uchenna Okoye agrees: ‘A thin coating is normal but a thick white coating could indicate candidiasis or oral thrush, which is a fungus.’
Chinese medicine actually uses the tongue as a matter of course to diagnose the state of someone’s health and given that the mouth harbours anywhere between 300-400 species of bacteria, it’s vital to have a dental hygiene routine that includes cleaning the tongue. Maybe Miley wasn’t making out with that sledgehammer in her Wrecking Ball video, but cleaning her tongue on its rough surface instead?
You may brush your teeth morning, noon and night but according to Daya that might not be enough: ‘Small protrusions in the tongue can harbour food, allowing bacteria and fungi to thrive and this results in a whitish tongue.’ Essentially clean teeth can be almost immediately ‘reinfected’ by a dirty tongue.