Doctor!? Why do I have a white tongue (and smelly)?

Doctor!? Why do I have a white tongue (and smelly)?
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White tongue… as unpleasant as it is embarrassing when accompanied by a dry mouth, even bad breath. While most of the time causes are somewhat natural, and based on small habits that are easy to correct (oral hygiene, alcohol intake, etc.), it is sometimes possible that radical action is necessary to regain a healthy mouth.

Here’s everything you need to know about your tongue, and how to restore it to its former glory!

Tongue Anatomy!

Your tongue is about 4 inches long and is divided into three parts:

  • the root of the tongue,
  • the pharyngeal segment,
  • the buccal segment.

It is composed of eight extrinsic muscles and seven intrinsic muscles to facilitate its mobility. The tongue is also innervated to detect tastes and sensations such as cold and hot. This small organ is therefore extremely complex.

Four types of taste buds are located on the front part:

  • The foliate papillae
  • The filiform papillae
  • The fungiform papillae
  • The caliciform papillae

There are 12 caliciform papillae that form a V at the back of the tongue, while the fungiform papillae are distributed over the entire tongue. Filiform papillae are the most numerous papillae and are the ones that form the texture of the tongue. Finally, the foliate papillae are located on the sides of the tongue.

They all perceive taste in different ways;

  • Foliate papillae are sensitive to acidity.
  • The filiform papillae are sensitive to sweetness,
  • The fungiform papillae are sensitive to salt and sweetness,
  • Caliciforms’ taste buds are sensitive to bitterness and acidity.

The tongue is an organ that, like the skin, reflects your state of health, so if you have made any excess, your tongue can quickly change appearance or color.

cause et traitement langue blanche

The different aspects of the tongue

It is possible that your tongue will temporarily change in appearance and color throughout your life – It will only be temporary, and quite easy to treat. It usually is smooth and pink, but if it takes on a whitish appearance with a more or less thick layer, this is a sign of change in health.

The appearance and discomfort of white tongue can also present the following symptoms: pasty mouth, pain, inflammation, swallowing discomfort, and sometimes fever. These symptoms disappear quickly once treated.

A healthy tongue is pink in color but can turn white. White tongue, also called the saburral tongue, is often a temporary and mild symptom.

The white tongue is often a sign of digestive disorders, but also liver inflammation, or a fungus, like candidiasis. It creates a white coating on the tongue as it develops. The lichen planus can also create this whitish appearance on the tongue, lips, and inside the cheeks. In this case, only treatment with antibiotics, such as Nystan, will be effective!

Sometimes a white tongue is a result of taking medication such as antibiotics, or neuroleptic treatment, or digestive disorders. Tobacco and alcohol can also be a cause.

If your tongue is rather pale, it may only be dehydration, a lack of vitamin and some nutrients, but also anemia. In this case, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, should solve the problem. Just as a very red tongue shows a deficiency of vitamins B9 and B12, closely monitor the appearance of taste buds, it can also be scarlet fever or Kawasaki disease.

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Finally, if your tongue turns black, it may be due to overuse of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, oxidizing toothpaste, tobacco, coffee, medication or antibiotics or fungus.

You now have a better understanding of why your doctor checks your tongue at the beginning of every consultation; this examination gives him a general idea of your health.

Before proceeding with a natural treatment against the white tongue, it is therefore essential to know the cause and to solve it.

In general, the best way to solve the problem of white tongue, which leads to discomfort due to bad breath and a pasty mouth, is to opt for an alkaline diet. That is, based on green fruits and vegetables. For example, consume more vegetable and green juices, but also soups and chewable fruits.

Nine causes of white tongue

A white tongue is often due to an accumulation of bacteria and cellular debris between the enlarge papillae, which is what turns your tongue white. White tongue is also called saburral tongue; you will quickly recognize it by its color and this coating above the tongue that can be removed by scraping it.

The causes can be:

    • Dehydration
    • Digestive disorders
    • Liver problems
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
    • Lack of vitamins
    • An infection
    • A fat or spicy diet
    • Poor oral hygiene

1- Dehydration

If you don’t drink enough water, your tongue will dry out and turn white. It is recommended to drink about three times more water than you drink coffee and alcohol.

2- Digestive disorders

Have you been overeating lately? Family dinner, birthdays, parties, the overconsumption of food and alcohol can quickly become an issue.

It is therefore recommended to detox your body from time to time. Intermittent fasting, 16 hours once a week is good for your digestive system. Your tongue and stomach will thank you!

3- Liver problems

Avoid protein and high-fat foods. Your liver is then intoxicated and uses your tongue as an exit route. It can also release toxins through the skin, which can create pimples or rashes. It happens when you overeat or take certain medications.

There are several natural remedies that we will discuss later.

4- Smoking

The chemicals in tobacco can whiten the tongue, try to stop smoking until this symptom disappears, use a tongue scratcher, and wash your teeth and tongue regularly without using non natural mouthwash.

5- Alcohol

We all know that alcohol is dangerous for our health because it slows down our immune system, and once our body is weakened, it becomes more prone to bacteria and other germs. Moreover, alcohol easily damages the liver, which is why it is one of the causes of white tongue.

6- Lack of vitamins

It is likely that you lack in vitamins, especially during this winter season, when your immune system is struggling to keep you at the right temperature. So you need to increase the number of vitamins consumed.

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7- An infection

A fungus, like candidiasis, can be responsible for the white tongue. It is therefore essential to know the origin of the symptoms, consult your doctor if they persist.

8- A fat or spicy diet

A fat diet or spicy diet is responsible for the lack of vitamin and a weaker immune system. Your body then becomes acidic and prone to infections.

Healthy eating habits are then necessary; a detox can help the patient first to cleanse liver and intestines, then a diet based on green vegetables will restart the body’s PH level to make it alkaline and avoid this kind of problem.

9-Poor oral hygiene

Il est recommandé de se laver les dents après chaque repas afin d’éviter l’accumulation de bactéries responsables de la langue blanche. Vous pouvez aussi utiliser un gratte langue et des rince-bouches naturels, fait à base d’eau salée et citronnée, avec du bicarbonate de soude etc.

6 remèdes naturels contre la langue blanche

Il existe des remèdes naturels contre la langue blanche en application locale afin de se débarrasser de ce symptôme, utilisez ces remèdes tous les soirs après vous être brossé les dents.

    • la glycerine végétale
    • le jus d’aloe verra
    • le bicarbonate de soude
    • le sel
    • le jus de citron

Instructions for use:

You can use these remedies individually in mouthwash or mix one or more of them, as you wish. Place them on your tongue and scrape with the back of your toothbrush. Have a toothbrush with a tongue scraper at the back for extra comfort.

Mix half a lemon juice with a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt, add a little mineral water and use this solution as a mouthwash.

Coconut oil is an antibacterial and natural antifungal, mix coconut oil with salt or baking soda, and a few drops of lemon juice. Use this solution as a tongue scrub, apply it to the back of your toothbrush and rub your tongue with it (you can also use it as a body scrub to soften and brighten your skin.)

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After using these natural remedies against white tongue for a few days, your tongue will again be pink and healthy. However, to avoid this from happening again, it is essential to treat the cause of white tongue. For this reason, a healthy diet and a tobacco- and alcohol-free lifestyle with sufficient sleep are important.

If your tongue turns yellowish, unless you have eaten a particularly yellow food, it may be related to a digestive or liver disorder.

Make sure to book an appointment with your doctor if the color of your tongue changes radically and suddenly.

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