Photo of a woman covering her mouth with her hand. at dentist in hermitage

Why Is my Tongue White?

June 21, 2023 4:57 pm

Have you recently looked in the mirror and wondered, “Why is my tongue so white?” Not every person’s tongue is the same color, but a healthy tongue should be some shade of pink—light, dark, or in between. If your tongue seems to be mostly white, here’s what it may mean.

Build-Up of Bacteria

Sometimes a white tongue is a sign that bacteria, food debris, and other unpleasant things have built up on your tongue. When this happens, the papillae on your tongue can get inflamed and it can look like there’s a white coating. Maybe you haven’t been brushing your teeth as often as you should. It’s also a good idea to scrape your tongue regularly as part of your oral hygiene routine. Maybe you’re smoking, chewing tobacco, or drinking regularly. In situations like this, changing your daily lifestyle habits can make a big difference in improving the health and appearance of your tongue.

Certain Health Conditions

Sometimes a white tongue is the sign of a more serious health condition. Geographic tongue, leukoplakia, oral thrush, and syphilis are just some of the conditions that can result in a white tongue. In each of these cases, the amount and arrangement of the white patches differ. For example, a border of white surrounding red patches could be geographic tongue while white patches that are raised on the tongue and even on your cheek or gums could be leukoplakia. It’s best to seek help from a professional because it is difficult to tell on your own which condition you’re experiencing.

Watching Your Oral Health in Hermitage, TN

If you currently have a white tongue and you’re not sure what to do, contact Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. With our range of services, we’ll be able to figure out what is going on and provide you with the right treatment to improve your oral health. Our office is always there for you with any smile needs you may have!

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