When you hear “white coating on the tongue” it almost sounds comical–why would a tongue wear a coat? Well, it wouldn’t. Or at least, it shouldn’t. If you have a white coating on your tongue, you probably want to shed that coat.
What causes a white coating on the tongue?
We’ve established that your tongue doesn’t have a white coating because it’s cold. In fact dehydration (sometimes caused by too much time in the heat–quite the opposite of being too cold) can cause a white coating on the tongue. A tongue can also have a white coating from oral thrush, a type of bacterial infection on the surface of the tongue.
Other possibilities for a white coating on the tongue include tongue cancer, geographic tongue (though, it usually looks more spotted), mouth breathing, tobacco or alcohol use, or some medications. You also may have just had a glass of milk and the cream is stuck to your tongue.
In most cases of a white coating on the tongue, your tongue is just covered in food residue, dead skin cells, dead taste buds, and a whole lot of bacteria. And unfortunately, the longer all that junk sits on the surface gathering more residue, plaque, and other various organisms, the more bacteria you will have calling your tongue home.
Not only does this cause a white coating on the tongue, but it also causes bad breath–really, really bad breath.
How do you cure a white coating on your tongue?
Before you resort to breaking out your razor blade to chop out your tongue, there are some things you can do to get rid of that slimy white coating.
First, drink plenty of water. If you are well hydrated, all that bacteria and gunk will have a harder time sticking to your tongue. It will also keep that stuff from drying on your tongue causing a whole new host of tongue problems.
Next, stay away from tobacco and alcohol products. These products cause faster bacteria growth and harm the salivary glands in your mouth that keep it hydrated.
Finally, practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing frequently, maybe using a mouth wash, and always brushing your tongue. Yes, you read that right. You have to brush your tongue to get rid of that white, filmy, tongue coating.
The best thing to use on your tongue is not a tongue scraper, toothbrush, or a spoon. Use an Orabrush if you want to remove the bacteria from your tongue without hurting it. The Orabrush is a tongue brush designed with microfiber bristles specifically for your tongue. These bristles move in between your taste buds pulling bacteria from the surface and out of your mouth.
The Orabrush will clean a white coating on the tongue, help cure bad breath, and save your tongue from a white, hairy disaster. Your tongue thanks you in advance.