Dental One Associates of Columbia
10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 410, Columbia, MD 21044

How to Lick a Case of Coated Tongue


Is there is an odd white coating on top of your tongue and you’re not sure how to react or remove it? Well, you just have a case of white tongue and it’s usually easily treatable, but there are times when it signals a problem. Find out the cause and cure for a coated tongue and why the white is usually no cause for worry.

Primary Causes of a White Tongue

White tongue occurs when the small, hair-like projections on the tongue called papillae become swollen or overgrown. When the papillae become enlarged, the mouth’s bacteria, debris and dead cells can get caught between them. This leads to the appearance of a white coating on the tongue. The primary causes of a coated tongue include:

  • Bad dental hygiene
  • Breathing only through the mouth
  • Irritation caused by a dental tool or sharp tooth
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Fever
  • An unbalanced diet that’s low in roughage

Medical Causes of a Coated Tongue

White tongue is usually harmless, but it may have a more serious meaning and be a sign of a health condition. A coated tongue is a noticeable symptom of the following medical conditions:

  • Yeast infection caused by prolonged use of certain antibiotics
  • Oral thrush
  • Geographic tongue, which is when smooth patches form on the tongue
  • Leukoplakia (white patches in the mouth that can’t be brushed away), often attributed to the use of tobacco
  • Syphilis
  • Tongue or mouth cancer

Treatment Options for a Coated Tongue

According to dentists, the simple solution is to brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. A coated tongue typically isn’t serious and white tongue is often just a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Why should you brush your tongue, you may wonder? By brushing your tongue regularly, you can remove any dental debris and get your tongue back in the pink. Now that you know why should you brush your tongue, you should also know that sometimes a coated tongue requires medical care. If you notice any changes or pain in your tongue, or your white tongue lasts for more than month, call your dentist or doctor to see if it’s more serious.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Columbia, call Dental One Associates of Columbia today at (410) 346-2350 or make an appointment.

Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Columbia. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Columbia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Columbia.

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Dr kleiff and his assistant were extremely kind and caring and knew how nervous I was. They carefully explained everything to me even after I asked many questions to make sure I understood all my […]
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Dr. Wright is very proffesional and was awesome I am giving him personally 5 stars for how he explains what is wrong, what needs to be done, and he is painless he did an amazing job so far have to go […]
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  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
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  • Sunday Closed
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