Did you know that the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body? It’s actually the most sensitive place for our sense of touch, and it allows us to talk, taste food and swallow. Plus, according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, the tongue plays an important role in determining and treatment health conditions. For that reason, white tongue can be viewed as a warning sign of a possible health issue, like oral thrush or poor oral hygiene.
There are simple, natural remedies that get rid of white tongue, get rid of bad breath and boost your oral health.
What Is Coated Tongue?
A healthy tongue is pink and covered with papillae, small nodules that are on the surface of the tongue and have a rough texture. When your tongue appears white, that means food debris, bacteria and dead cells have been lodged between inflamed papillae. White tongue is usually harmless and only temporary, but it can also be an indication of an infection or some serious conditions.
White tongue may be caused by the following factors:
- poor oral hygiene
- illness or infection
- dry mouth
- reaction to certain medications, including antibiotics or steroids
- candida yeast infection (oral thrush)
- smoking or tobacco use
- alcohol use
- spicy food, such as habanero and jalapeno peppers
- congenital heart disease in adults
The most common cause of white tongue is dehydration or dry mouth, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, if you don’t diligently brush your tongue and teeth at least twice a day, you increase your risk of developing white tongue.
White tongue is often due to an overgrowth of candida, a fungus that causes yeast infections or oral thrush. It’s actually perfectly normal for the fungus candida to live in your mouth, but when it accumulates, it can spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tongue, tonsils and back of the throat — creating white tongue, white lesions, redness and even bleeding. Aside from white tongue, other candida symptoms include chronic fatigue, skin and nail fungal infections, and brain fog.
Sometimes, white tongue that cannot be scraped off and doesn’t go away after using antifungal treatments is the result of a more serious condition. A white tongue and sore throat may be symptoms of strep throat. White tongue may also be due to bacterial infections, such as syphilis or periodontal disease, or a chronic autoimmune disorder called oral lichen planus. HIV/AIDs, leukoplakia (when cells in the mouth grow excessively) and geographic tongue (reddish spots on the tongue with a white boarder) are other conditions that may cause white tongue or white patches on the tongue. These conditions require medical attention.
Home Remedies For Coated Tongue (Black or White)
Salt is the best remedy to treat a white-coated tongue. The coarse nature of salt will work as a natural tongue scraper to remove debris and dead cells. Plus, its antiseptic property will help kill bacteria that may cause bad breath.
- Sprinkle some salt on your white tongue and scrub gently with a toothbrush for a minute. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Repeat twice daily and you will surely get the results you want in a week.
- Also, mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle with this salt water thoroughly and then spit it out. Repeat several times a day until you are satisfied with the results.
Probiotics are a good remedy for a white-coated tongue caused by the growth of candida fungus. Probiotics contain L. acidophilus and B. lactis cultures, which help control the growth of bacteria and fungi in the mouth.
- Mix the powder of one probiotics capsule with a little water. Brush your teeth as usual and then use the solution as a mouthwash, swishing and swallowing. Then drink a glass of water. Repeat this treatment once daily for a week.
- Also include yogurt with live cultures in your diet.
- Alternatively, take probiotic supplements at least 3 times a day.
3. Vegetable Glycerin
Another popular tried-and-tested home remedy for a white-coated tongue is vegetable glycerin. It is especially effective when the problem is due to dry mouth. It can even help get rid of bad breath. Vegetable glycerin is readily available in health food stores.
- Put a little vegetable glycerin on your tongue.
- Lightly brush your tongue with a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
- Do this 2 times daily until your tongue returns to its natural pink color.
Garlic’s antifungal activity makes it an effective natural treatment for white tongue. Research shows that allicin, one of the active compounds in garlic, demonstrates anticandidal effects and may be just as effective as fluconazole, a drug that’s used to treat fungal infections, including yeast infections of the mouth.
To treat white tongue, especially when it’s the result of oral thrush or bacterial overgrowth, take one clove of raw garlic per day or use an organic raw garlic supplement.
5. Aloe Vera Juice
Due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, aloe vera can help treat oral problems. Being an antimicrobial, it also kills bacteria that cause white tongue as well as bad breath.
- Put 1 tablespoon of aloe vera juice in your mouth.
- Swish it around for a few minutes and spit it out.
- Then drink 1 tablespoon of aloe vera juice.
- Repeat this remedy a few times daily for 2 weeks.
Another good remedy for a white tongue is turmeric. Its strong antibacterial properties help prevent the growth of bacteria on the tongue.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Scrub this paste on your white tongue for a few minutes. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Do this once daily for a few days.
- You can also mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of water. Gargle with this solution once or twice daily for a healthy tongue.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda is an inexpensive remedy to remove a white coat from the tongue. Its exfoliating nature can help get rid of residue sticking to the tongue. Plus, it maintains good pH levels in the mouth by neutralizing acids.
- Mix a little baking soda with enough lemon juice to form a paste. Use this paste to brush your tongue with a toothbrush. Rinse your mouth with water. Do this once daily until you get the desired results.
- You can also dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Use this as an effective mouth rinse twice daily to treat white tongue and beat bad breath.
8. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, can also effectively treat a coated tongue. Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, neem can clear fungus, yeast and bacteria from your mouth. Plus, neem is a blood purifier that will help remove toxins from your body.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried neem leaves to a cup of water.
- Boil the water until it is reduced to about 1/2.
- Allow it to cool and then gargle with it.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Do this twice daily until you get rid of the problem.
- Drink enough water to keep the tongue clean and prevent food deposits on the tongue’s surface.
- Regularly gargle with warm water, especially after meals to prevent the accumulation of food particles on your tongue.
- Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, strawberries, guavas, carrots and others to naturally clean a white-coated tongue.
- Always brush your tongue when you brush your teeth to maintain oral health.
- You can also use a tongue scraper to easily remove a white coating from your tongue
- Stop smoking and using tobacco products that can discolor the tongue and leave a coating.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Avoid dairy products and sugary foods that create mucus and also coat the tongue.
If you have a white-coated tongue that lasts more than 2 weeks and is accompanied by pain and inflammation, consult a doctor immediately.
Natural Herbal Treatment For Coated Tongue (Black or White)
- Epo Oganwo (Bark of Khaya ivorensis)
- Epo Akomu ( Bark of Pycnanthus angolensis)
- Epo Orupa (Bark of Hymenocardia acida)
- Epo Igira (Bridelia Ferruginea)
- Epo ati Egbo Asofe-yeje (Bark and Root of Rauvolfa vomitoria)
- Epo Ahun (Alstonia Boonei)
- Osan wewe (Citrus aurantifolia twig leaves)
- Epo Osapa (Enantia Chlorantha)
- Epo Iroko (Bark of Melicia Excelsa)
All cooked with unripe lime and to be drank twice a day..