The tongue is pink in color and is covered with small nodules called papillae. However, at times, the tongue could have a white coating. A white-coated tongue is fairly common and could lead to symptoms such as bitter taste in the mouth or bad breath.
The tongue could appear white when bacteria, food debris, and dead cells are trapped between inflamed papillae. This inflammation may arise due to fever, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking dehydration, and dry mouth. Furthermore, poor oral hygiene, as well as intake of sugary or highly acidic foods, could also lead to a white-coated tongue.
Diseases that could also contribute to white-coated tongue include; oral thrush, candida, lupus, jaundice, syphilis, and liver congestion.
However, in most cases, a white-coated tongue is often temporary and harmless as it is most often a symptom of dehydration. As such taking lots of fluids, such as water and fresh fruit juices, could relieve the dehydration as well as the white-coated tongue.
However, if the white-coated tongue is accompanied by inflammation, pain and lasts for more than 2 weeks, consult your doctor.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with a white-coated tongue;
- Endeavor to drink a lot of water daily as water keeps you hydrated, cleans your tongue, and dislodges food debris from the surface of your tongue.
- You could gargle warm water regularly, especially after meals, to help dislodge food particles from the tongue.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene and ensure you brush your tongue properly when brushing your mouth. Endeavor to brush your mouth twice a day.
- Include crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, guavas, apples, and strawberries, in your diet as they help to naturally clean the tongue.
- Avoid smoking tobacco as they tend to whiten the tongue.
- You could also use a tongue scraper to help reduce white coating of the tongue.
- Reduce your consumption of alcohol.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for white-coated tongue;
Having unhealthy bacteria in your gut can cause white-coated tongue or oral thrush. To control the growth of unwanted fungi and bacteria in your mouth, you should include yogurt in your diet. Alternatively, dissolve one probiotic capsule in a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. You can also take probiotic supplement 2-3 times a day. You could also include yogurt in your diet as yogurt is rich in probiotics.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties that help to heal wounds, infections, and skin irritations. Furthermore, aloe vera has enzymes that promote the generation of skin tissue while removing dead cells. To alleviate white-coated tongue, put one tbsp of aloe vera juice in your mouth and swish it for five minutes. Follow this remedy twice a day until the white coating disappears.
3. Oil Pulling
This old-age Ayurveda practice helps to get rid of the yeast-causing oral thrush. Oil pulling also helps to cleanse and detox numerous organs including the tongue, as well as creates a clean oral environment. You can either use sesame oil, olive oil or coconut oil. However, coconut oil is the most effective. Coconut oil can easily kill candida and is highly absorbable. Simple swish one tbsp of coconut oil for 10-15 minutes and spit it out. Then, brush your teeth as normal.
4. Sea Salt
Sea salt works as a natural antibacterial agent. It helps to remove food debris and bacteria from the tongue. Furthermore, sea salt has a coarse texture that helps to remove the white coating. Unlike table salt, it does not leave behind trace minerals. Simply make a mouthwash by dissolving half a tsp of sea salt in a cup of water and gargle. Repeat up to four times a day until you get the desired results. Alternatively, put some sea salt in the mouth, scrub with your toothbrush and rinse off thereafter.
5. Baking Soda
Apart from balancing the pH level in your mouth, baking soda works as a powerful exfoliant. Furthermore, baking soda has inhibitory activity against the bacteria and fungi in your mouth. To make your toothpaste, mix half a tsp of baking soda with some lemon juice. Use it to brush your teeth and then rinse off with warm water. Another way is to make a mouthwash by dissolving half a tsp of baking soda in a glass of water. Use it twice a day until you get rid of a white coated tongue.
Garlic has an active compound (allicin) which demonstrates some anti-candida properties. In addition to that, garlic is able to fight yeast and fungal infections. To treat white-coated tongue that is associated with bacterial overgrowth or oral thrush, chew a few garlic cloves a day. You can also take garlic supplements as advised by your healthcare provider.
7. Vegetable Glycerin
Glycerin is a time-tested remedy that offers effective results. Glycerin works as a humectant, eliminates bad breath and keeps your mouth moisturized. To get rid of a white-coated tongue, put one tsp of glycerin in your tongue and brush with a soft-bristled brush for one minute. After that, rinse your mouth with warm water. Use this remedy two to three times a day until you get satisfactory results.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties that help to whiten your teeth. Additionally, it works as a disinfectant by killing the bacteria that cause white coating. Simply mix one tsp of hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) with one cup of water and then brush with a soft-bristled brush. Another way is to dip your toothbrush in diluted hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and then brush your tongue. Ensure you do not swallow hydrogen peroxide.
9. Oregano Oil
Due to its strong anti-fungal properties, oregano oil helps to treat oral thrush which can cause white tongue. Oregano oil also eliminates other symptoms like inability to taste and white patches in your mouth. There is also some evidence that oregano oil has antioxidants that inhibit the growth of candida. To get rid of the white patches in your mouth, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and drink it once a day. You should not combine antibiotics with oregano oil to avoid interfering with the intestinal flora.
10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties which make it effective in healing white-coated tongue. Tea tree oil also alleviates symptoms that come with candida like bad breath, cracked skin in your mouth, as well as swallowing difficulties. To make your tea tree oil mouthwash, add one tsp of tea tree oil in a glass of water. Swish the solution for 30-45 seconds, in your mouth, and spit it out. For best results, use the solution 2-3 times daily.
Turmeric has powerful antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and eliminates bad breath. To combat white tongue, add one tbsp of turmeric powder with some lemon juice. Scrub the mixture on your tongue and rinse with warm water thereafter. Alternatively, add half a tsp of turmeric in a cup of water and gargle the mixture.
12. Indian Lilac (Neem)
This Ayurveda herb has strong antibacterial properties that help to inhibit yeast as well as bacteria. Neem also aids in flushing out toxins from the body while purifying the blood. To prepare an infusion, boil one tbsp of dried neem leaves in a cup of water, allow it to cool and then rinse your mouth with the water. Use this mouth rinse 2-3 times a day until you get the desired results.
13. Pau D’Arco Tea
If you’re looking for a powerful herb that helps to stop candida overgrowth, Pau D’arco should be on top of your list. Pau D’arco tea helps to build a strong immune system. To treat white-coated tongue, boil the bark in four cups of water for 20-30 minutes. Remove it from heat, allow it to cool and then drink in small portions throughout the day. Apart from oral candidiasis, this herb can eliminate toenail fungus, dandruff, and vaginal yeast infections. If you’re struggling to put up with the taste, you can flavor it with some honey.
14. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has natural antibacterial properties that help to reduce discoloration and sores in your tongue. Furthermore, peppermint oil offers a cooling sensation to the tongue. To restore the tongue’s natural pink color, add two drops of peppermint oil to your toothpaste and scrub it on your tongue while brushing. After that, rinse with lukewarm water. Use this peppermint remedy every day until you get the desired results.
Lemon juice has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help to eliminate bacteria and fungi. To get rid of a white-coated tongue, swish some fresh lemon juice in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. To create a powerful exfoliator, add some baking soda. You can also apply the lemon-baking soda paste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth gently. Follow this remedy 1-2 times daily until you get rid of the white patches.
16. Tongue Scraping And Oral Hygiene
Sugary or acidic foods can contribute to a white-coated tongue. That’s why you need proper tongue scraping to remove the dead skin cells and debris. Tongue scraping also helps to remove sulfur compounds that may cause bad breath. Furthermore, ensure you brush your mouth twice a day.
17. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that help to treat white-coated tongue. To inhibit the yeast growth, add one tbsp of colloidal silver in a cup of water, swish the solution in your mouth and then rinse off. Use this remedy twice a day until the white patches disappear.
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