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White tongue? 10 causes and treatment against tongue tarnish!

White tongue? 10 causes and treatment against tongue tarnish!

Created: May 4, 2022 | Updated: July 26, 2023

Suffering from a white-out tongue or a struck tongue? The natural colour of a healthy tongue is pink. If your tongue is covered with a white layer of tarnish on the tongue, it may indicate a number of health problems. Read more about the causes and how to remove the white coating on the tongue below.

What does white buildup on your tongue mean?

A white fogged tongue may indicate an increase in bacteria in the mouth, reduced immunity, a vitamin deficiency or poor oral hygiene. By removing white deposits regularly, you can maintain fresh breath and healthy teeth. [¹]

10 causes of white fogged tongue

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of a white rash tongue. These include:

1. Poor oral hygiene

A lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to the build-up of bacteria, resulting in a white fogged tongue [²].

2. Dry mouth

When saliva production decreases, bacteria have a chance to easily adhere to the tongue, which can lead to a dry mouth foggy tongue [³].

3. Cold

During a cold, bacteria can multiply more easily and form a layer on the tongue [⁴].

4.Fungal infection

A fungal infection, such as oral candidiasis, can also lead to a white fogged tongue [⁵].

5. Structure of the tongue

A rough or grooved tongue can allow deposits to adhere more easily.

6. Aggressive ingredients

Some oral care products, such as mouthwash containing alcohol, sodium lauryl sulphate or chlorhexidine, can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva production.

7. Alcohol, coffee and tobacco

Consuming alcohol, coffee and smoking tobacco can lead to dry mouth, making it easier for bacteria to adhere and cause a white coating on the tongue.

8. Inflamed gums

Gum inflammation, also known as periodontitis, can lead to an increase in bacteria in the mouth and a white deposit on the tongue.

9. Nutrition

Consuming sugary drinks and foods can promote bacterial growth and contribute to a white coating on the tongue.

10. Side effects

Some medications, including antibiotics, can cause a white deposit on the tongue as a side effect. Consult the package leaflet of medicines for more information on possible side effects.

It is important to remember that a white tongue is often harmless, but it can also be a sign of an underlying problem. If you continue to suffer from a white tongue, consult a dentist or health expert for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What does the colour of your tongue say about your health?

The colour of your tongue can say a lot about your overall health. A white deposit on the back of the tongue, for example, may indicate the presence of bacteria. On the other hand, a red, yellow, brown or black colour may indicate other health problems [⁶].

Best remedies for white tongue

There are several tools available to remove white deposits on the tongue to prevent a dry mouth fogged tongue. These include:

  1. Tongue cleanser: Using a tongue cleanser can help remove bacteria and dead cells from the tongue, resulting in fresher breath [⁷].
  2. Mouthwash: Rinsing the mouth with mouthwash can help remove bacteria, preventing a dry mouth fogged tongue [²].

It is important to remember that while a white fogged tongue is often harmless, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem. If you continue to suffer from a fogged tongue, consult a health professional.

Why you should not use your toothbrush to clean your tongue

Using a toothbrush to clean your tongue is not as effective as a tongue cleaner. This is because a toothbrush mainly shifts the tongue back and forth without actually removing it. In addition, a lot of bacteria can be left behind in the brush that can be spread all over the teeth again during the next brushing [⁸].

The brown tongue coating

A brown tongue coating can be caused by the growth of certain bacteria that have a brown pigment. It can also be caused by excessive consumption of drinks such as coffee and tea, which can leave stains on your tongue [⁹].

The difference between a white tongue stain and a healthy tongue

A healthy tongue is naturally pink in colour. A white-out tongue, on the other hand, is caused by an accumulation of bacteria that have attached themselves to the surface of the tongue. This build-up can vary in thickness and can cause bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth [⁴]. To get rid of the deposit quickly, it is best to use a tongue cleaner.

It is important to note that a change in the colour of the tongue, such as a white or brown tongue coating, is not always a cause for concern. However, it may be a sign of an underlying problem, so if the condition persists, it is wise to consult a health professional.

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Frequently asked questions

The white coating on the tongue can indicate a large number of bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria form a white film on the tongue and can be the cause of bad breath.

The main cause of white coating on the tongue is poor dental care. In most cases the cause is innocent.

The white layer on the tongue can be easily cleaned using a tongue cleaner or a tongue brush, which removes the bacteria on the tongue.

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