See the Light on What’s Causing a White Tongue
Since a healthy tongue is a rosy pink, a white tongue can be cause for concern. While the condition is rarely serious, you’ll want to uncover the cause of your coated tongue and ways to make the white go away. Here are three common causes of a white tongue:
This condition causes the cells in the mouth to grow so rapidly that there’s no time for your tongue to shed its old cells. With so many cells covering the tongue, it creates a coated tongue that’s covered in white patches. A coated tongue can simply be caused by irritation and the coating will subside as it heals, but it is also attributed to smoking and it may be an early sign of cancer. This is why you should ask your dentist to discover the cause of your white tongue to make sure there’s no underlying medical issue.
- Oral Thrush
Also called candidiasis, this is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth. It appears as white, bumpy patches all over the tongue and mouth. It is often seen after the use of antibiotics that kill the beneficial bacteria in the mouth. This type of white tongue is also detected in people with diabetes and weakened immune systems, as well as those taking steroids for lung disease or asthma. Infants, the elderly, and people who wear dentures experience the problem most frequently. Dentists advise eating yogurt with live and active cultures to restore proper pH balance in the mouth or taking medication to fight the infection. It often results from poor oral hygiene, which is why you should brush your tongue when brushing your teeth.
- Oral Lichen Planus
A tongue covered in lace-like, raised white lines may be a sign of oral lichen planus, which is an autoimmune disorder. The cause is unknown and there is no cure, but the condition may subside on its own. You can prevent this type of white tongue by avoiding tobacco and eating fewer foods that irritate your mouth.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth. And why should you brush your tongue? Because practicing proper oral hygiene is the best prevention for a coated tongue, which includes brushing your tongue and teeth.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Westminster, call Dental One Associates of Westminster today at (410) 970-0292 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Westminster. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Westminster, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Westminster.