Looking for information on what a coated tongue may mean? If you recently looked at your tongue and it looks white or you see white patches, then you have what is called a coated tongue, more commonly called a white tongue.
Causes of a coated tongue
When your tongue is white, it is often due to bad oral hygiene. When things like food and bacteria are not removed from your mouth in a timely manner, it could cause the tiny bumps on your tongue to become swollen, which makes them change from a pink color to a white color.
Other common causes of white tongue include being dehydrated, eating a lot of soft foods, having a fever, smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol and having a dry mouth, which is often due to breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. There are also a few medical conditions that can cause someone to have a white tongue, with three of the more common being leukoplakia, oral lichen planus and oral thrush.
What a coated tongue can mean
A coated tongue can mean that someone needs to simply provide themselves with better oral care or it can be a sign of a more serious disease. This fact makes it necessary for anyone who has any patches of white on their tongue or a tongue that is fully white for more than two weeks to make an appointment with a dental professional as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis. If the following symptoms are also present, then making an appointment as soon as absolutely possible is recommended—pain, fever, skin rash, difficulty chewing, difficulty talking, difficulty swallowing and open sores.
White tongue prevention
It is definitely possible for someone to avoid getting a white tongue as all they need to do is practice good oral health care. This includes gently brushing the teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, preferably with a fluoridated toothpaste. Flossing at least once a day in order to remove any hidden food particles in between the teeth is also necessary, as hidden food particles can cause plaque. When there is a buildup of plaque on a tooth, it is now in jeopardy.
If someone's white tongue is due to a medical condition, they will need to make an appointment with a medical professional for medical treatment.
Do you have a coated tongue?
If you currently have a coated tongue then you now understand what some of the causes are. Take the necessary actions so you can prevent yourself from getting a white tongue again. If you are not quite sure why your tongue is coated, then seeking professional assistance should be your next step especially if your tongue has been white for more than a couple of weeks. If you have a question or are ready to make an appointment, our team of dental professionals is ready to take your call!
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