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White tongue? The 10 causes and treatment against tarnish on the tongue!

White tongue? The 10 causes and treatment against tarnish on the tongue!
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What colour is your tongue when you look in the mirror, is it covered with a white layer? The healthy tongue naturally has a pink colour. Having a white coating on the tongue can be caused by various factors and can lead to bad breath and a foul taste. It is important to remove the tongue coating in order to improve the health of your mouth. Learn more about the causes and ways to remove white deposits below. 

What is tongue coating?

A white coating on the tongue can be a sign of a large number of bacteria in the mouth. It can be a sign of reduced resistance, vitamin deficiency or poor dental care. In most cases, the cause is innocent. By removing the white layer regularly you can maintain fresh breath and healthy teeth.

Causes of white tongue

It can have a number of causes, including poor diet, dry mouth, reduced resistance, fatigue or stress. In addition, the following contributes to the build-up of tongue odour.

Tongue Scraper


1. Texture of the tongue: if you have a rough tongue or many grooves in the tongue, the deposit can easily attach to the tongue. 

2. Dry mouth: Saliva has the function of rinsing away the bacteria in the mouth. When a person does not produce much saliva, the bacteria have a chance to attach to the tongue and teeth more quickly.

3. Aggressive ingredients: some oral hygiene products such as mouthwashes contain alcohol, sodium lauryl sulphate or chlorhexidine, which dry out the tongue and mouth and reduce saliva production.

4. Poor oral hygiene: It is important to clean your teeth daily to avoid plaque, which if not removed can build up and exacerbate white deposits on the tongue.

5. Cold: when you have a cold, more bacteria from the virus are present which can cause a white tongue

6. Fungal infection: Another cause can be a fungal infection. This is caused by the yeast Candida Albicans. This type of yeast is present in almost everybody, when it gets out of balance it can cause a white tongue.

7. Alcohol, coffee and tobacco: As much as you might enjoy smoking and drinking your favourite alcoholic beverage, both can lead to dry mouth, which, as we have seen in the dry mouth section, leads to more bacteria that can cause a white film.

8. Inflamed Gums: Gum inflammation is also known as periodontitis. When you have inflammation in the mouth, there are more bacteria in the mouth which can cause a white film on the tongue.

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9. Nutrition: Sugars are a source of plaque-causing bacteria. Consuming a lot of sugary drinks and foods can aggravate tongue coating.

10. Side effects: The plaque can be a side effect of medication or antibiotics, read the medication leaflet for side effects.

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

The colour of your tongue can say a lot about your general health. Find out more about white, red, yellow, brown and black tongues below.

White tongue

This white color is caused by a large number of bacteria in the mouth, these bacteria form a white layer on the tongue and can be the cause of bad breath.

Red tongue

A healthy tongue is pink in colour, if the tongue is bright red it can be a sign of burning or a vitamin deficiency. A painful red or swollen tongue may be caused by inflammation or an allergic reaction. 

Yellow tongue

A yellow-coloured tongue is common. Yellowish tongue deposits are caused by a large amount of bacteria in the mouth. It is important to brush off the yellow deposits as they can cause oral problems such as cavities and inflammation.

Brown tongue

A brown tongue is caused by bacteria which have a brown pigment. It can also be caused by excessive coffee and tea consumption.

Black tongue

A black tongue is a rare occurrence and is the result of poor oral hygiene. This is the result of poor oral hygiene where so many bacteria and dead cells are present in the mouth that the tongue turns black.

Best remedies for white tarnish on the tongue

Wondering what you can do to remove white deposit on the tongue? Below you can read about the different tools which can help to clean your tongue

Removing white deposits on the tongue with a tongue cleaner

There are different kinds of tongue cleaners, such as a tongue brush and a tongue cleaner. The difference between the two is that the tongue brush cleans the tongue and the tongue cleaner allows you to scrape the white coating off the tongue. If you prefer to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner, choose a stainless steel version as these are antibacterial and easy to clean.

Preventing white tongues with mouthwash

Mouthwash rinses your mouth clean and removes bacteria in the mouth which can attach to the tongue and cause bad breath. Mouthwash can be used to prevent tongue infections and the best way to remove these is to purchase a tongue cleaner.

Why you shouldn’t use your toothbrush

The toothbrush is often used to clean the tongue but unfortunately brushing the tongue with a toothbrush is not effective as the toothbrush only shifts the tongue coating back and forth and cannot remove it. In addition, a lot of bacteria get stuck in the toothbrush and are spread all over your teeth during the next brushing session.

Tongue Scraper



The natural colour of a healthy tongue is pink; it may vary in colour. When the tongue is covered with a white layer it is known as a tongue deposit. This is a layer of bacteria that has attached itself to the tongue. The thickness of this deposit can vary. A white tongue can cause a bad taste in the mouth and bad breath. It can have several causes, the most common being low resistance or reduced saliva production. Would you like to get rid of the white deposit on your tongue quickly? Order your tongue cleaner here.


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.