If you have noticed that your tongue is not the normal pink colour but instead has a white film or white patches on it, you may have white tongue. Although white tongue does not always indicate that there is something wrong, especially if it’s temporary, if you see that your tongue is often white, then it might pay to know more about what causes it, and what you can do to treat it the easy and natural way.
What causes it?
More often than not, white tongue can be caused by unhealthy lifestyles or bad habits such as smoking, alcohol use, or the wrong diet. Other causes of white tongue can be poor hygiene (especially oral hygiene), denture irritation, fever, and, in more extreme cases, oral cancer.
Conditions which cause white tongue
There are also certain conditions which may cause your tongue to become white, such as oral thrush or oral candidiasis, leukoplakia, and syphilis. Oral thrush or candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of a bacteria called Candida. If you have taken or are taking antibiotics, you may develop oral candidiasis. Leukoplakia, on the other hand, is a condition where you can have white patches on your tongue and mouth. It may be caused by tobacco or the excessive drinking of alcohol. Although it is often harmless, it can also be found inside the mouth if someone has oral cancer. A condition like syphilis can also be a cause for white tongue, as it often begins in the form of sores (usually painless) inside the mouth. If syphilis is not treated, it can result in white patches on the tongue as well.
When to visit a doctor
Although white tongue is not always an indication that something is seriously wrong, you should visit a doctor if your symptoms get worse or if you have other symptoms, such as a painful tongue or fever.
Some home remedies
Fortunately, there are some effective home remedies for white tongue. This includes taking better care of your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day (at least), and don’t forget to floss. Make use of a toothpaste high in fluoride, and brush your tongue as well. You can also purchase a special cleaner for your tongue, which is better than a toothbrush.
Another remedy would be to use hydrogen peroxide (known for killing bacteria). Simply make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, and use a toothbrush to spread it around your tongue’s surface. After spreading and scraping, rinse with cold water.
You can also make use of other remedies such as garlic (crush two or three cloves into a paste, apply it to your tongue, and rinse off), olive, sesame, or coconut oil (put a tablespoon in your mouth and gargle or swish it around for approximately 10 to 15 minutes), or salt water.
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