Dentist Explains 3 Reasons Why Your Tongue Is White
October 16, 2017
If you are perplexed by your white tongue, you’re not alone. Many individuals who begin to notice white patches or a complete discoloration of their tongue often wonder if there is a problem occurring. The reality is that while yes, there is something to blame, only your dentist in Carrollton can diagnose the problem and offer safe and reliable treatment. In this article, you will discover a few of the most common reasons your tongue is changing colors and what your dental team can do to help get your oral health back on track.
What is Causing My Tongue to Appear White?
Understanding why your tongue is suddenly changing colors may have you in panic mode, but before you start self-diagnosing your problem, stop and consider what your dentist can tell you about your oral health. It is likely one of three things that are causing you to have a white tongue. These include:
Poor Dental Hygiene Routine
Because much of the bacteria that accumulate in your mouth live on your tongue, you’re likely not cleaning it as you should. While brushing and flossing can eliminate that which is found between your teeth and along your gum line, you must also remember to thoroughly remove these harmful particles from the surface of your tongue. If left untreated and allowed to build and spread, the bacteria can multiply, resulting in bad breath and a white coating or patches that appear on your tongue.
Everything from dehydration, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and the food you eat can contribute to developing a white film on your tongue. It is now thought that tongue piercings and meat consumption could also be factors in the plaque buildup on your tongue.
If you smoke or drink, you can develop a condition known as Leukoplakia. Also caused by irritation when wearing prosthetics (i.e. dentures), it can lead to white patches on your tongue. Although it is considered harmless, it is important that in your search for a “dentist near me,” you find an expert professional who can diagnose the problem and offer the right method of treatment. It is also helpful to inquire about ways in which you can discontinue these bad habits and instead, find ways to incorporate newer, healthier ones that will positively impact your oral health i.e. drinking plenty of water, cessation resources for smoking and drinking, eating nutrient-rich foods).
There are some medical conditions that can cause the white coating on your tongue including dry mouth, hairy tongue, sinusitis, and postnasal drip. Also, conditions like advanced gum disease, gingivitis, and dental cavities thrive because of the bacteria on your tongue. So, cleaning your tongue twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush or scraper can make a significant difference in fixing these dental problems.
Ways to Treat a White Tongue
Apart from practicing good oral hygiene at home, the most effective way to treat a white tongue is to see your dentist twice a year for professional checkups and cleanings. These visits will not only allow your dental team to check for abnormalities and possible problem areas that can lead to complex restorative care, but it also enables your hygienist to thoroughly remove bacteria and debris from your oral cavity
If you want to take better care of your tongue and keep it looking healthy, here are a few tips to follow:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. This will remove harmful bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and around the gums.
- Make sure to floss between your teeth at least once a day, preferably before you go to bed. This will remove debris from your mouth and keep it from turning into plaque and tartar, both of which can attack your soft tissues and result in gingivitis as well as a white tongue.
- Incorporate a tongue scraper into your daily routine, making sure to effectively clean the surfaces and sides. You will want to start at the back of your tongue and scrape forward. This is most effective if performed twice a day.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash and swish around for 20-30 seconds.
Just a few minutes each day can better protect your smile from a multitude of problems, one of which is a white tongue.
About Our Office
After just a short time of visiting DD Family Dentistry, you’ll not only have a beautiful smile, but you’ll also have way more confidence. When interacting with friends, colleagues, and loved ones, you can speak with conviction and show off your bright teeth, knowing you’re not subjecting them to bad breath. If you would like to schedule a deep cleaning and dental exam with our office to receive real results fast, feel free to call our friendly office team.
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