White coated tongue is a common sign of fungal infection known as Oral Thrush. As it is mostly caused by overgrowth of fungus called Candida, this condition is also referred to as Candidiasis of the mouth and throat.
The presence of white patches on the surface of the tongue and bad breath are the most common white coated tongue symptoms. The coating can also be yellow or brown in color. In severe cases, coated tounge may appear as though it is covered with fur or hair (Hairy Tongue).
Coated tongue causes no pain in most of the cases. The condition is more common in infants, people wearing dentures and individuals with weakened immune system.
What causes a white coated tongue?
White coating on tongue due to Oral Thrush is caused because of an increase in the growth of Candida Albicans, a form of fungus naturally present in various parts of the body. Under normal circumstances, certain good bacteria help to maintain a balance in the growth of these micro organisms.
But, when the normal population of these bacteria reduces, it leads to unchecked growth of Candida. This is usually caused because of weakened immune system which in turn, is often a result of taking certain medications (like antibiotics or steroids used for the treatment of sinusitis, asthma etc) or diseases affecting the normal functioning of the immune system.
Some other causes of coated white tongue are accumulation of keratin or dead skin cells on the surface of tongue, tobacco abuse, consumption of extremely hot foods or beverages etc. Abnormal buildup of keratin is generally caused by dehydration as it tends to dry out saliva, thereby making the tongue dry. It is for this reason that individuals tend to develop white tongue during Fever.
Besides, coating on the tongue or cheeks, in the form of raised white lines with a lace-like appearance can be a symptom of Oral Lichen Planus. This chronic inflammatory disease is an autoimmune disorder. This sort of white coated tongue with bumps can also be painful.
How to get rid of a white tongue?
• If you are looking for ways as to how to get rid of white tongue caused by the intake antibiotics or other medicines then you simply need to wait until the course of treatment finishes.
Most likely, the problem will resolve on its own within a week after that. If the condition persists longer than that then you ought to seek specific medical attention.
• Treatment for white tongue due to fungal infections usually requires for the use of antifungal treatments specifically recommended by doctors. Nystatin, Difluca, Fluconazole and other such medications are usually advised for eliminating fungal infection leading to white coating on tongue.
• Those of you who find the natural home remedies more appealing can make use of probiotics to get rid of this nasty problem. Consumption of yogurt serves as an excellent coated tongue cure in this regard.
The acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt are highly beneficial in restoring the microbial balance in the body. You can also take nutritional supplements containing acidophilus bacteria.
• Besides, bad breath due to white coated tongue and dry mouth can be relieved by using mouth washes. Although mouthwashes are generally available in the market still, you can also try some homemade mouthwashes.
For instance, you can prepare a mouthwash at home by boiling chopped parsley leaves and three cloves in a cup of water. Finally, cool and strain the mixture and use this solution as a natural mouthwash.
• Effective coated tongue treatment usually depends on the underlying cause, especially when it is caused because of medical conditions like Diabetes or Cancer.
Nonetheless, maintain proper oral hygiene and clean the tongue with the help of a tongue scraper regularly to remove the buildup of food debris, dead cells and bacteria in order to prevent as well as cure white coated tongue.
Moreover, apply a small amount of any oxygenating toothpaste (not containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) on the surface of the tongue, particularly on the back, for about one minute to one and a half minutes to reduce this problem considerably.
In case you have more tips on how to treat a white coated tongue then you can also share your valuable suggestions here.
Dr Roman says
Hi,i m dr roman(dentist).i found ur article most beneficial, written in an iteresting way,which atracts the reader.it wil increase the awareness among the masses,thanx.
Good write-up, I heard if I took lactobacillus acidophilus it would help clear up these infection. Will just any probiotics work for fungal infections? Or need a specific probiotics?
my mum got sort of white fungus patch which turns to red colour quite painful and itchy. she got diabetes since last 5 years.it initially started through bitting as she got couple root canal done and cap on those tooths.she been given antibiotics,now it look like round patch on toungue changes colour sometime its less painful but become very severe too.
no more white tongue says
I had a white tongue for about 6 months, I thought I should tell someone what I did to get rid of it. I’m not exactly sure which remedy worked, but I started taking probiotics daily. That did seem to help some, then I found a probiotic chewable. It actually helped more, maybe because it was directly on my tongue??? And finally I started using Crest mouthwash, with peroxide. Within a few days I noticed a dramatic improvement. I just finished my first bottle and my white tongue is completely gone. I started using mouth wash twice a day for the first week, then once a day for a couple of weeks, now about once every two or three days. WOW- can’t believe it’s finally gone!
one of my friend is having chronic halitosis problem he had white coat on tongue which is non scrapable, no periodontal problems are present, he will not take hot drinks/ used any antibiotics for a long period. how to solve this problem ?
Hello Soujanya ,I had similar white coating on the back of my tongue and had a foul taste for as long as I can remember .I brushed my teeth 10 to 15 times a day and gargled with mouthwash to lime juice also scrubbed my tongue with my toothbrush to get rid of the white film but nothing cleared it then I heard about acidophilus at the Health food outlet BINGO it’s been completely clear for the last 6 days and I started to take 1/2 teaspoon per day 7days ago .
i had been infected in 20 yrs says
I had been involved in unsafe sex with a hooker about 20 yrs ago when I was 16 , I know I was infected Syphilis by her because I remember embarrassed her when she try to kiss me , her breath is a real kicker . Couple months later which I don’t remember but peoples which I talk to make same act when I talk to them and at that time I noticed I had bad breath , but not sure what’s cause . I went to the dentist to check on my teeth but it was all good then but still don’t know why my breath still very bad 🙁 20 yrs had passed and my white coated tongue still with me 🙁 . I had seen many doctors in years , tried many things like Acidophilus , nytastin and many mouth wash products but nothing worked . Now , I only use Peroxide and it does work a little …..Last month , I went for screening and when the result came back …it shows my LDL cholesterol too high and need treatment quick ,So, I scared and start taking OMEGA 3 ACID FISH OIL once a day to help lower my cholesterol ….but, with in a week I noticed my breath much less stink despite my tongue’s still coated , but …to me . I can live with it as long as my breath wont kick anyone anymore . I still use Peroxide along with OMEGA 3 ACID FISH OIL once a day and maybe to the rest of my life …….Uhm ,by the way , I had seen there is cured for white coated tongue problem when I saw it on TV way back in July, 2001 in Twin cities , Minnesota, there are a Black woman and a White man were treated with a liquid color like MILK , and both of them were cured after 3 weeks , their tongue color look pink and the white coating thing wont come back…….My biggest mistake of my life was aint quick enough to write down telephone # and wont make a call to the TV station to ask for Telephone # , I though doctors out there might already known , but I was wrong …..when I decided to call in and ask for that old news ? it was gone .