The Causes and Cures for a Case of White Tongue

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If you’ve recently noticed that you have a white tongue or an odd coating on your tongue, this could simply be excess debris or it may be a sign of a medical problem. Following are possible medical reasons for a coated tongue and the best remedies for treating the problem.

Hairy Leukoplakia

Reason: This condition is seen as a hairy, irregular white patch along the sides of the tongue. It’s caused by the autoimmune condition called Epstein-Barr.

Remedy: This type of coated tongue can be a recurrent problem, so people with an immune-compromising condition are usually treated with antiviral medications. If you are not suffering from a weakened immune system, then an HIV test may be given to see if there is any correlation.

Leukoplakia

Reason: Unlike oral thrush, this type of white coating on the tongue cannot be simply wiped away. The cause of this condition is sometimes uncertain, but it may be associated with tobacco use or a recurrent irritation in the mouth.

Remedy: The remedy could be as simple as stopping a smoking habit, but since it results from smoking, it may be an early indication of oral cancer. It’s wise to have your doctor do a biopsy and continually monitor the area for any changes.

Linea Alba

Reason: Instead of causing a completely coated tongue, linea alba results in a thin white line along the edges of the tongue. It is simply caused by an irritation or trauma from aggressive chewing.

Remedy: Since biting your tongue usually causes it, no treatment is needed.

Oral Lichen Planus

Reason: Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune response. It can result in a coated tongue, yet the coating appears as a lace-like white pattern.

Remedy: There is really no treatment for oral lichen planus because it’s an autoimmune response, but a doctor should regularly monitor it since any changes could indicate oral cancer.

Oral Thrush

Reason: This condition is also called candidiasis and it results from an excess of yeast in the mouth, which creates the appearance of a coated tongue. It often occurs after you’ve taken antibiotics, if you’re under stress, or facing an illness because these conditions disturb the balance of bacteria in your system.

Remedy: While you can easily wipe away the white sections of yeast, you always should brush your tongue when brushing your teeth, especially if you’ve been sick or on medication. So, why should you brush your tongue? Since oral thrush can develop at any time, brushing your tongue on a regular basis could help to prevent any problems. But to completely correct the white tongue, it should be treated with an antifungal medication, tablets, or lozenges that get your system back in balance.

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