Dental One Associates of Annapolis
2623 Housley Road, Gateway Village, Annapolis, MD 21401

What to Do About a White Tongue

dca-blog_tongue-scraping-brushing

Have you noticed a weird white coating on your tongue? There is usually no need to worry, but you may wonder what is causing your white tongue and how you should properly treat it. For the causes of a white tongue, check out these tips.

Causes of a Coated Tongue

A white tongue occurs when the small, hair-like projections on the tongue called papillae become swollen or overgrown. Then, bacteria, debris, and dead cells get trapped between these inflamed and enlarged papillae. This leads to the appearance of a coated, white tongue. The primary causes include:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Unbalanced diet that is low in roughage
  • Breathing only through the mouth
  • Alcohol use
  • Fever
  • Irritation from a sharp tooth or dental tool

Conditions That Contribute to a Case

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

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

Treatments for a White Tongue

A coated tongue typically isn’t serious and dentists often say that the best treatment is simply brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth. But why should you brush your tongue? Well, white tongue is often just a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. By brushing your tongue regularly, you can remove that 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 there are certain times when a coated tongue requires medical care. If you notice any changes or pain in your tongue, or your white tongue lasts for more than a month, call your dentist or doctor to have it looked at.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Annapolis, call Dental One Associates of Annapolis today at (410) 793-4922 or make an appointment.

Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Annapolis. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Annapolis, 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 Annapolis.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Elizabeth was wonderful, super quick and professional!@
Erin R.
Doctor Sagafi has been very helpful, and the staff is very nice.
Azhar I.
I am very pleased to hear from a coworker the results of his appointment. He was very apprehensive about going for his cleaning. This individual is a cigar smoker and his teeth were stained. Let’s […]
Ronald P.
Best Dental office I’ve ever been a patient of, so helpful that every specialist is all in the same office. From dental to oral surgery to ortho to periodontist to you name it it’s all covered […]
Janelle W.
My dentist knew I have a lot of anxiety and he took his time, explained everything before hand and didn’t get upset with me.
Tina C.
My hygienist, Cheryl gave me the best cleaning ever and was very thorough of my dental health and overall health.
Gary E.
The staff and Dr. B were absolutely outstanding! Everyone was very personable and attentive. Dr. B. was very knowledgeable regarding my tooth issue and she walked me through all my viable options. […]
Anita E.
Appointments are always on-time, and thorough. I feel like I receive a good service each time I come into the office.
Gayle A.
Michelle is the best hygienist ever!
Eric D.
Very friendly knowledgeable staff. Clean office. Great location.
Brianna S.
professional, friendly courteoous service
Michael H.
Dr. Fooksman is wonderful.
Benjamin M.
This is the best, most professional, and friendliest dental practice I have ever used.
Gail R.
Everyone was friendly and professional
Bianca O.
Jennifer was personable, friendly, informative, and performs her job very well
Nancy H.
Office is always clean. Cheryl does an amazing job cleaning my teeth & is always on time!
Kimberly W.
Over the last 60 years or so that I’ve been going to the dentist, I’ve lived in 24 different places in the U.S. and overseas, and the level of care at Dental 1 is the best I’ve found.
John K.
Excellent Staff
Terrence R.
Professional and competent.
George L.
Dr. Fooksman listens, understands, is patient, and is always trying to help come up with the best treatment plan for me. I am lucky to have him as my dentist and I trust everything he tells me and […]
Victoria C.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 7:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (410) 793-4922
Our Location