White tongue (saburral): causes, prevention, treatment | The USA Print

We often pay little attention to our language… Probably wrongly! Because if it is most often pink, it sometimes happens that it is covered with a whitish deposit, associated with bad breath and a pasty mouthfeel. We then speak of white tongue, or saburral tongue. It is most often a temporary and benign condition, but it can also betray serious pathologies, such as tongue cancer. Update on the different causes and management of this warning sign.

Symptoms: how to recognize a coated tongue?

It is important to remember that the coated tongue is not a disease, but a symptom.

As stated above, our tongue is usually pink or even slightly red. In case of white tongue, it is covered with whitish or even yellowish depositsin the middle or on the edges.

Note: You can remove the deposit by scraping or scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper, but in the absence of treatment or adequate measures, it will reform.

What are the symptoms associated with white tongue?

Abnormal filing is usually associated with:

In some cases, white tongue can also be associated with fever, inflammation, or discomfort when swallowing.

Why do I have a whitish or yellow pasty tongue?

Several reasons can explain the presence of a whitish or yellowish deposit on the tongue. Most of the time it is related to hygienic and environmental factors not serious, but it can also be a sign of a digestive disorder or a more serious condition.

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene (irregular brushing, failure to floss, etc.) can lead to a buildup of plaque, bacteria, and food debris between the taste buds of your tongue, which can give it a whitish, pasty appearance.

Alcohol and tobacco

Regularly consuming alcohol and / or tobacco can impact our oral health and cause a white tongue. In effect, alcohol and tobacco reduce saliva production and dry out the mouth, especially the tongue, which may explain the appearance of a whitish deposit.

Stress and anxiety

These are lesser known factors, but stress and anxiety can also be the cause of a white tongue. Indeed, they contribute to our dehydration, therefore potentially to the change of color of our language. In addition, stress and anxiety also accentuate digestive pathologies likely to cause a white tongue, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Certain medications

The side effects of certain medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants may be involved in dry mouth.

Oral candidiasis (oral thrush)

Oral thrush, also called oral candidiasis, is a mycosis of the mouth caused by the proliferation of the microscopic fungus Candida Albicans. It manifests itself by white, creamy deposits on the tongue and inside the cheekswhen the immune system is weakened or the natural flora of microorganisms is unbalanced

The “geographic” language

The presence of white “spots” on your tongue may be a sign of a so-called “geographic” tongue. Do not panic, therefore, it is a irregular desquamation (and without risk) of the superficial tissues of the tongue. No treatment is necessary.

tongue cancer

The presence of whitish spots on the tongue can, in the most serious cases, betray cancer of the tongue, generally linked to smoking. We then speak of leukoplakia. Consult your doctor quickly to confirm the diagnosis and adapt the treatment as soon as possible.

What other disease makes the tongue white?

White tongue can also be a sign of several other pathologies, such as:

  • A diabetes ;
  • a HIV infection ;
  • even heart or digestive disease (bloating, swelling or GERD).

White tongue and Covid 19?

In June 2020, a few months after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a team of British researchers reported a surprising symptom in some patients: the presence of ulceration and blisters. on the tongue. Nicknamed “tongue-covid”, this phenomenon has also been described by Professor Tim Spector, British epidemiologist, but it remains marginal and does not, on its own, allow the diagnosis of the disease.

Is it serious to have a white tongue? What is the normal color of a tongue?

If your tongue is gradually discolouring, do not be alarmed and consult your doctor, a dentist or a dermatologist to explore the causes of this phenomenon. On the other hand, if your tongue becomes colored rapidly and/or accompanied by symptoms such as burns, itching, or even an alteration of your taste, consult quickly! The doctor will thus be able to carry out a clinical examination and take samples if necessary: ​​biopsy and/or blood test.

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White deposit on the tongue: what consequences?

As you have no doubt understood, the coloring of the tongue is not necessarily problematic, unless it is accompanied other deleterious symptoms such as itching, burning sensation, loss of taste, or even the persistence of an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Treat yourself: how to get rid of the white deposit on the tongue?

First of all, it is essential to determine the cause of this unusual coloration. When in doubt, we therefore consult our doctor, who can make an accurate diagnosis and set up an appropriate treatment. In the meantime, follow these few rules to regain a healthy tongue:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene (brush your teeth at least twice a day, use dental floss to limit tartar and regularly wash your mouth);
  • Get enough hydration (1 to 1.5 liters per day) and throughout the day;
  • Avoid overeating and alcoholic beverages ;
  • Limit or even stop smoking;
  • Increase your fiber intake ;
  • etc

In addition, depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, treatment may include:

  • stopping certain medications ;
  • learning how to manage stress;
  • there taking an antifungal orally, in case of mycosis;
  • there taking anti-inflammatories Or antibiotics in case of infection;
  • I’surgical excisionin case of leukoplakia;
  • etc

As a reminder, the white tongue is often a benign and punctual symptom which disappears in a few days when one takes charge of one’s oral hygiene and one scrupulously follows the prescribed treatment.

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