Just as an eye examination can offer clues about your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more, a quick look at your tongue can tell you a lot about your health.
Various lumps, bumps, sensations, and different colors on your tongue can all be indicators of certain diseases and conditions, many of which need urgent medical attention. One of the most common is a white tongue, which often comes with added symptoms, such as bad breath.
But what does your white tongue say about your health and what can you do about it? Let’s take a look!
What Does It Mean if I Have a White Tongue?
A white coating, lines, or patches on your tongue could be an indication of:
Creamy white spots with the consistency of cottage cheese on your tongue could be a sign of oral thrush. As well as a white tongue, symptoms of oral thrush can include bad breath, dry mouth, and irritation.
But what is oral thrush and what causes it? It’s an infection in your mouth caused by an imbalance of Candida yeast in your mouth. Since an illness or medications can often trigger this imbalance, oral thrush is more common in people with certain medical conditions. For example, people taking inhaled steroids for asthma or lung disease are also more susceptible to white tongue, as are people with diabetes. Taking antibiotics for a prolonged period can also lead to oral thrush.
Rather than a white tongue or patchy coating, lichen planus looks like a network of lacy lines on your tongue’s surface. It’s an inflammatory chronic mouth condition caused by an immune system disorder but it’s not contagious or dangerous.
This condition occurs when an overgrowth of mouth cells combines with the protein keratin to form white patches on your tongue. Often, irritating your mouth and tongue by smoking and drinking alcohol can be the cause.
While leukoplakia isn’t serious, it is a precursor to mouth cancer. This means that the patches can turn cancerous, sometimes even years after you first notice the condition.
How to Get Rid of a White Tongue
Treating your white tongue depends on the cause. If you have oral thrush, trying a Candex supplement is the best way to solve the problem. Unlike other antifungal medications, Candex works in the long-term by digesting Candida with a potent blend of enzymes.
Drinking more water and using a tongue scraper can also control white tongue and stop bad breath. It also helps if you avoid irritants such as alcohol, cigarettes, and scalding-hot food.
However, if you have leukoplakia and your health provider considers you a high risk of mouth cancer, they may recommend surgery to remove the white tongue patches. This surgery helps ensure that your tongue cells don’t turn cancerous.
What Your White Tongue Is Telling You
As this guide shows, there are several different causes of white tongue.
Most of the time, an imbalance of mouth bacteria is to blame, especially if you also have bad breath. But, since a white tongue can also be a precursor of cancer, it’s important to get it checked out as soon as possible.
Want more health tips like this? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest news and advice on everything from nutrition to mental health.