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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!

Created: May 4, 2022 | Updated: January 19, 2023

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. Besides white deposits on your tongue, you may suffer from white deposits on your teeth. 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.

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10x the cause of white tongue

Deposits on the tongue can have several causes, such as a poor diet a dry mouth, reduced resistance, fatigue or stress. In addition, the following contribute to the cause and build-up of tongue stains.

1.Structure of the tongue

If you have a rough or many grooves on the tongue, then the deposits get a chance to attach easily.

2. Dry mouth

Saliva’s function is to wash away the bacteria in the mouth, so to speak. When a person has low saliva production, the bacteria have a chance to attach to faster.

3.Aggressive ingredients

Some oral care products such as mouthwashes contain alcohol, sodium lauryl sulphate or chlorhexidine, these dry out the mouth, reducing saliva production.

4.Poor oral hygiene

Hit is important to clean your teeth daily to prevent plaque, if not removed, it can cluster and worsen white deposits.


When you have a cold, there are more bacteria from the virus present that can cause a coating

6. Fungal infection

Another cause can be a fungal infection. This is caused by the yeast Candida Albicans. This type of yeast is found in almost everyone; when it gets out of balance, this yeast can result in a white tongue.

7.Alcohol, coffee and tobacco

As much as you may enjoy smoking and your favourite alcoholic beverage, both result in dry mouth, this, as you read about dry mouth earlier, leads to more bacteria that can cause a coating.

8. Inflamed gums

Gum inflammation is also known as periodontitis. When you suffer from inflammation in the mouth, there are more bacteria in the mouth that can result in a white coating on the tongue.

9. Nutrition

Sugars are a source of bacteria that cause plaque. Consuming many sugary drinks and foods can aggravate a plaque layer on the tongue.

10. Side effects

The deposit can be a side effect of taking medicine or antibiotics, read the drug’s package insert for side effects.

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

The colour can say a lot about your general health. You can read more about white, red, yellow, brown and black colour below.

White tongue

A white-coloured tongue 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 colour is pink, if it turns bright red, it could be a sign of burning or a vitamin deficiency. If you suffer from painful swelling, it could be caused by inflammation or an allergic reaction.

Yellow tongue

A yellow-coloured tongue is common. When you suffer from yellow deposits, there are a lot of bacteria in your mouth. It is important to brush away yellow deposits, as they can cause oral problems such as cavities and inflammation.

Brown tongue

A brown colour is caused by bacteria that have a brown pigment, in addition, it can also come from excessive coffee and tea consumption.

Black tongue

A black colour is not common, it is a result of poor oral hygiene. In this, there are so many bacteria and dead cells present in the mouth which makes this tarnish turn black.

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Best remedies for a white 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 to clean white deposits

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.

Natural colour of a healthy tongue

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.

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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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