How Do I Get Rid Of The White Stuff On My Tongue
A white tongue is a term that is used to describe a white covering on your tongue. The whole tongue may be coated in white or it might have patches of the white coat. Having a white tongue is usually nothing to worry about but sometimes it can be an indication of an infection and you need to see a health care provider if that happens.
CAUSES OF WHITE TONGUE
Having a white tongue is associated with oral hygiene. Your tongue can trap Bacteria, fungi, dirt, food, and dead cells, this collected debris is what makes your tongue white. Some of the reasons your tongue gets white include:
- Poor brushing and flossing
- Dry mouth
- Breathing through your mouth
- Eating a lot of soft foods
- Irritation, such as from sharp edges on your teeth or dental instruments
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Using too much alcohol
INFECTIONS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH WHITE TONGUE
Oral lichen planus: This is an inflammatory oral disease that is caused by a disorder in your immune system and causes white patches on the tongue. Besides the white patches, you may have sores in your mouth and a sore gum.
Oral thrush: This is an infection of the mouth that is caused by the yeast Candida. It is normal for Candida to grow in your mouth but excessive growth is something to worry about. People who have diabetes, a weakened immune system from a condition like HIV or AIDS, an iron or vitamin B deficiency are those likely to have an oral thrush
Leukoplakia: This is a condition caused by an overgrowth of cells that causes a white patch in your mouth and on your tongue. Excess use of alcohol and use of tobacco is the leading cause of Leukoplakia. Although it is harmless it can lead to cancer over the years.
Syphilis: This is a sexually transmitted disease that causes soreness in the mouth. Not treating it will cause white patches in the mouth.
HOW TO TREAT WHITE TONGUE
A white tongue which is caused by a build-up of debris on the tongue can be treated by practising oral hygiene. Some of the ways include drinking more water, brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush, using mild fluoride toothpaste, avoid substances that irritate the tongue.
Those that have Leukoplakia should visit the dentist regularly and avoid lifestyles such as excessive use of alcohol and using tobacco to clear up the patches.
Those with oral lichen planus can see a doctor who will prescribe a steroid spray or a mouth wash that has steroids as a component.
Oral thrush can be treated with antifungal treatment. It comes in the form of liquids or a gel that you apply to your mouth.
WHEN TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR
You should contact your doctor if you:
- You have trouble chewing, swallowing, or talking
- You have other symptoms, like a fever, weight loss, or skin rash.
- You feel pains in your tongue or it burns.
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