Calm down. You probably aren’t dying from any white spots on your tongue, no monsters have been playing in your mouth (unless you consider bacteria a monster), and you most likely aren’t carrying a new strain of a super virus. Your white tongue spots are actually an indication that your tongue wants a little extra attention.
What are causes of white spots on the tongue?
White spots on the tongue are often bacterial infections on the surface of your tongue. That means your tongue is dirty and overworked, and it has finally decided to complain about not being treated properly (conveniently in the form of white spots).
Types of these bacterial infections are oral thrush, leukoplakia, or oral lichen planus. Most of these can easily be treated with a little medicine and a bit of scrubbing, but we’ll get to that later.
White spots on the tongue are commonly the result of overly acidic, spicy, or hot foods that irritate your taste buds. Your irritated taste buds then become inflamed and grow little white heads to show how angry they are. Sometimes these taste buds also start to pick up extra food residues and bacteria which cause a white coating on your tongue. Normally, your taste buds will return to their normal size after they’ve had a few days to heal.
A type of white spots on the tongue, called geographic tongue, are often caused by spicy foods. Geographic tongue looks like a white ring around a pink or red spot where taste buds have fallen off and begin to regrow.
Other times, white spots on the tongue or in the mouth are canker sores. Canker sores come from all sorts of things like extra stress, imbalanced hormones, or coming in contact with another canker sore. There are many canker sore cures on the market that can help heal these angry white spots on the tongue.
What are treatments for white spots on the tongue?
Some types of white spots on the tongue are very painful (like canker sores), while others are numb to feeling (like white tongue coatings). If you have painful white spots on your tongue, try an over-the-counter numbing agent to help dull any throbbing or aching.
You can also talk to a doctor about pain medications or healing products that might help. Some online natural healing sites suggest gargling with salt water or hydrogen peroxide to speed healing.
Until your white spots on your tongue heal, avoid foods with high acidity like citrus fruit. Acid will irritate your white spots causing extra pain. You may also want to stay away from foods with sharp edges (chips, crackers, etc.) that could cut your white spots on your tongue or other parts of your mouth.
The same policy goes for hot and spicy foods that may do more harm to your tongue. And, as a rule of thumb, also avoid tobacco and alcohol products that increase bacterial growth and harm salivary glands.
Generally, white spots on the tongue heal on their own in about 4 to 10 days depending on the severity of the tongue spots. If for some reason your white spots don’t heal in that period of time, or if the pain in your tongue increases, see a doctor. He or she may know of a better treatment option and give you a more specific diagnosis.
For those white spots on the tongue that spring from a dirty tongue, the best treatment is to practice good oral hygiene, especially brushing your tongue regularly.
How do you brush your tongue?
The Orabrush allows you to brush your tongue, harmlessly and effectively removing gunk from the surface of your tongue that can cause infections and bad breath. The soft micro-fiber bristles on the head of the Orabrush pull residue from your tongue that cause bad breath and tongue problems.
All that bacteria removed makes for a happier tongue with fewer white spots in the future.