The white tongue, also known as lingual saburra, is a bacterial plaque made up of mucus containing waste and bacteria or dead cells on the tongue that give it a whitish color. 
Although the color of the tongue can be alarming, the disease is usually temporary and not dangerous.

However, white tongue may be an indication of some serious diseases, ranging from infection to a precancerous condition.

Among the diseases that can cause the white tongue are:

 

When to worry?

You should see your doctor if:

  • The white spots are not disappearing with natural remedies;
  • If the condition is associated with pain, swelling or discomfort in the tongue;
  • If the white tongue lasts for more than 2 weeks.

 

Causes of white tongue

Intestinal Overload
A white patina in the center of the tongue or in the back indicates an overload of the digestive system. 
The color of the patina on the tongue can be white or yellow, and varies from person to person. 
When the digestive system is overloaded by overeating, it lowers the intestinal motility.

Anyone who suffers from savory at the base of the tongue of intestinal origin can try the lactic ferments. 
Fermented foods and probiotic beverages are some of the most effective methods to restore balance to the intestinal flora. 
A healthy tongue should have a fresh appearance and a very fine white patina. 
An effective remedy to combat candidal fungus is the introduction of live enzymes and probiotics to aid in the digestion of food and to repopulate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria.

Piercing
is a lesion that causes an inflammatory response of the body, causing swelling, heat, redness and pain. 
It can also cause a tongue infection and so it is best to use an antibacterial mouthwash. 
The white tongue that forms is usually due to the mouthwash or is a viscous liquid that contains white blood cells, waste and dead cells. 
It is normal after a piercing and should disappear by itself in 3/4 weeks. 
It is best to consult your doctor if other symptoms appear.

Candida and Candidiasis
The most common cause of white tongue is thrush, a fungal disease caused by a fungus called Candida . 
The presence of Candida is not serious, but may indicate a weakened immune system. 
A tongue infection with Candida (candidiasis) can occur after taking antibiotics or steroids. These medicines cause thrush , allowing the fungus to proliferate on the tongue. 
Among the possible causes, there is also  AIDS that reduces immune defenses. 
Newborns may suffer from this  infection because they have a weak immune system.
To distinguish an oral candidiasis from the accumulation of dead cells on the tongue, use the tongue depressor to gently scrape the white patina of the tongue. 
If the white coat can be removed and leave a reddish area, it may be candidiasis.

Oral lichen planus
The Lichen planus is a disease that occurs mostly in middle-aged people and is characterized by white spots that can spread to adjacent structures of the oral cavity such as teeth and gums. 
Oral lichen planus can respond significantly to changes in diet and lifestyle. 
It is a chronic disease. 
According to some doctors, this disease may be linked to stress and spicy foods. 
Treatment for lichen planus: 
Most cases resolve spontaneously without medical intervention. Good oral hygiene and alcohol and smoking abstinence are sufficient. 
Doctors also suggest a method of stress management  and decrease the intake of spicy foods to control the symptoms.

Syphilis
Description:  Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that often occurs in individuals who have oral sex without a condom with someone who has symptoms of genital syphilis. 
The primary lesion can begin from 10 to 90 days after exposure and may begin with the development of a small painless ulcer in the oral cavity and tongue. 
Treatments for syphilis: It is advisable to speak with a doctor to manage the symptoms with oral penicillin. Avoid sexual intercourse during active infection to prevent transmission to the sexual partner.

Throat Cancer
Description: Cancerous mouth disease may also have oral blemishes that may occur along with a lump, weight loss , pain, frequent bleeding, and difficulty performing activities that involve the use of the throat (such as chewing, swallowing, or speaking). 
In most cases they are associated with the consumption of tobacco or cigarette smoke. 
Other factors that may play a role in the origin of the disease are a family history of cancer, excessive alcohol consumption and a compromised immune system, such as in AIDS. 
Treatment for throat cancer : if there is the development of symptoms like weight loss, frequent bleeding by mouth without gum disease  and progressive hoarseness or dysphonia , it is advisable to consult the doctor at the earliest opportunity to check for signs of cancer.

Leukoplakia
Description: leukoplakia is a disease that is mostly found in patients who smoke and causes cell proliferation at a higher speed. 
Cell multiplication produces white spots on the tongue. 
It can also be caused by other inflammatory diseases or linked to the immune system of the tongue and can remain with normal brushing.

Although at first not dangerous, if leukoplakia is not treated properly it can progress to a precancerous condition over time. 
This is due to the abnormal multiplication of cells that can accumulate genetic mutations over time. 
Treatment: It is advisable to talk to the doctor about this training as well as maintain a good oral hygiene. 
It is necessary to make sure to avoid any irritating substances that can cause leukoplakia, such as chewing tobacco and smoking.

Dehydration and white tongue
The easiest cause to control is dehydration . 
If we do not drink enough water, we can have a white tongue. 
Another thing to keep in mind with dehydration is that not all liquids are moisturizing. 
For example, with  coffee and tea we should drink a double amount of water to compensate. 
I always recommend drinking 1/2 liter of water upon waking. The body needs water first thing in the morning.

 

White tongue

Other causes of white tongue

Other possible causes of white spots on the tongue are streptococcal infections, a bacterial infection that can develop in the throat and can cause white spots on the red tongue or red spots on a white tongue.

In the case of infections, the white tongue is associated with  bad breath or halitosis. 
Most cases are identified by blood test and bacterial culture.

Other common causes are a long history of alcohol consumption and certain antibiotics. 
Most people who inhale steroids have the risk of developing white patches on the tongue from fungal infections (quite common in immunocompromised or chronic asthma patients).

 

What are the causes of a red tongue or strawberry color?

There are several factors that can cause a red tongue. 
In some cases, the tongue may also take on the appearance of a strawberry with broad, red taste buds that dot the surface. 
Possible causes include:

  • Lack of vitamins.
  • Folic acid deficiencies and vitamin B-12 can give the tongue a reddish appearance.

Glossing site or geographic language

Geographic language
This disease (also known as benign migratory glossitis ) is called this because of the pattern of reddish patches resembling a world map that develop on the surface of the tongue. Sometimes these spots have a white border around them and their location may change over time. Although they are generally harmless, it is advisable to speak with the dentist if red spots last for more than 2 weeks. If the dentist says that redness is the consequence of a benign migratory glossitis, no additional treatment is needed. If the disease causes pain in the tongue or causes discomfort, it may prescribe topical medications to relieve pain.

Scarlet fever
People who get this infection can develop a strawberry-like tongue. It is necessary to contact the doctor immediately in case of high fever and red tongue . Antibiotic treatment is necessary for scarlet fever .

Kawasaki Syndrome
This disease usually occurs in children under 5 years of age, affects the blood vessels of the body and can cause the tongue to look like strawberry. 
During the severe stage of the disease, children often have a very high fever and may also have redness and swelling of the hands and feet.

 

Treatment for white tongue

The best diet for white tongue 
Drink enough, at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. 
Try some type of vegetable juice such as celery juice, beetroot, carrot, mint or ginger. 
Drink a glass of lukewarm water with lemon juice in the morning. This helps to purify the digestive system and liver.

Soy milk can leave a white residue on the tongue. 
Foods that favor white tongue formation are dairy products and fats because they cause digestion problems.

White-tongue lifestyle factors
Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing the teeth regularly, flossing and scraping the tongue. Ayurvedic language scrapers are available at many health stores. 
Avoid alcohol and smoking. 
Consider liver detoxification. 
Consider Candida infection if there are other digestive tract symptoms, such as bloated belly , flatulence, and constipation .

 

Natural remedies for white tongue

  • Take probiotics because they can help fight the hyperproliferation of yeast Candida Albicans.
  • Use an alcohol-based mouthwash to kill bacteria.
  • Apply the charcoal powder or salt on the tongue.
  • Brush your teeth with vegetable glycerin every night.
  • Another natural remedy that can be rubbed in the mouth with warm water is 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but it is very spicy and according to  Shelton’s hygiene is harmful to the nerve endings of the tongue and oral cavity.

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