Poor Oral Hygiene, Infection Among Reasons Tongue May Turn White
You’re getting ready to brush your teeth when you notice something a little different in the mirror. Instead of the normal pink color, your tongue is now white instead. What gives it that look?
It can be alarming to notice your tongue has become white. But this is common, and probably not a major health issue, says New York City-based cosmetic dentist Edward A. Alvarez, D.D.S.
Most likely, what you’re seeing are the papillae—the bumps on your tongue that stick up like carpet fibers, Dr. Alvarez explains. Buildup from bacteria, food particles, dead skin, and other plaque can cause these to look white. This occurs when you don’t brush your tongue regularly, and the buildup is not able to slough off (Here are 6 serious health problems your doctor can spot).
On top of making your tongue white, this buildup can release sulfur, making your breath smell like rotten eggs, says Dr. Alvarez. The longer you go without brushing, the thicker it gets and the harder it is to get off.
“To stop the white stuff from building up—and to bring the surface of your tongue back to its healthy pink color—simply brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth”, Dr. Alvarez says, “and make sure you’re drinking enough, too”. If you’re not well hydrated, you may not be producing enough saliva, which plays a vital role in helping wash that plaque away before it can start to build up. This approves that poor oral hygiene contributes to making your tongue white.
You might want to avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, too. They can dry your mouth out, which can, again, make it hard to slough off the particles. Keep your use of these drying products to a minimum.
Article from: Men’s Health
Lorin Berland, DDS