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Coated tongue – should it alarm us?

16 September 2017

The complex oral hygiene requires us to do a couple of things every day: brush our teeth, floss the interdental surfaces, wash our mouth out and clean our tongue. Many of us simply forget about doing the last of these functions, which might have some disastrous consequences. The bacteria which cause both cavities and bad breath build up on our tongue, just like in case of teeth. A coating might also appear in this area of our mouth. Should we be alarmed by its presence?

Coating’s color might be the evidence of an illness

Coated tongue might be a sign of a disease roaming in our body. Depending on its color, it will be a sign of a different illness.

  • White – as long as it’s not thick, it shouldn’t be the reason to worry. However, it might be a sign of the diseases such as typhoid, syphilis, anemia or leukoplakia at times. Some diseases related to the stomach or heart might have this coating on the list of their symptoms too.
  • Yellow – it might be the evidence of problems with a liver or a gallbladder.
  • Brown – it appears on the tongues of people addicted to, for example, cigarettes, coffee or tea and those who suffer from digestive system diseases, such as the duodenal/stomach ulcers.
  • Dark brown – it might be a sign of acidification of the body.
    Redness in the middle of the tongue – it’s a sign of being under a lot of stress for a long time. It might also signalize liver or gallbladder diseases.

Shape of the tongue

The tongue’s shape might also signalize a disease. For example:

  • a swollen tongue might be the sign of hypertension,
  • a fissured tongue can be the symptom of diabetes or pancreatic disease,
  • a saliva collecting on one side of the tongue might signalize rheumatism,
  • mouth ulcers, thrushes or sores should be the reason to consider candidiasis-related treatments,
  • small furrows on our tongue might signalize some problems with vitamin absorption.

How to get rid of white coating on our tongue?

The white coating on our tongue can be minimized. This will surely prevent more cavities from happening, along with making our breath better. In order to do that, we need to take three basic steps:

  • stop smoking altogether and reduce the stimulants, such as tea or coffee,
  • change the diet to the one rich in fruits and vitamins, but lacking highly processed products,
  • take a complex care of our mouth cavity.

The coating on our tongue isn’t always a sign of disease, but if it has a strange color or it happens to be very thick, we should start thinking about the state our body is in. It can be an easily overlooked symptom of a dangerous disease. However, even the smallest coating should be removed by cleaning our tongue regularly. This will help us fight the cavities and volatile sulphur compounds responsible for bad breath.

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