What Is Up With Miley's White Tongue?

Does she have ... oral thrush?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2013 10:12 AM CDT
What Is Up With Miley's White Tongue?
In this Aug. 25, 2013 file photo, Miley Cyrus and Mike WiLL Made -t arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

You may have noticed that, of late, Miley Cyrus cannot seem to keep her tongue in her mouth. Well, Slate noticed something else, and it's even more disturbing: Her tongue often appears to be white. (Sadly, we cannot offer you any photographic evidence of this, but Google certainly can.) "Can we just confirm that Miley's not dying of rabies?" writes Katy Waldman. She consults first with the Mayo Clinic, which says white tongue can be caused by any number of things, from the dangerous (leukoplakia, which can be precancerous) to the bizarre-sounding (oral thrush) to the scandalous (syphilis) to the perhaps-most-likely ("excessive alcohol use").

Waldman suggests Cyrus go see her dentist, and one dentist who studied the photos notes that Miley's tongue often looks normal. But a handful of the images "concern" him, he says, and "knowing her wild lifestyle, I would start thinking alcohol, drugs, or maybe bulimia, since all those things can compromise the immune system and inflame the papillae. Alcohol in particular is such an irritant to the mouth." Treatment could be as easy as a saltwater rinse or using a tongue scraper. Cher may have been the first to point out Miley's tongue issues—she gave Cyrus some advice via USA Today last month: "Chick, don't stick out your tongue if it's coated." (More Miley Cyrus stories.)

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