All About Bad Breath and White Coatings on Your Tongue
You’ve probably had the experience of waking up with an unpleasant and unexplained taste in your mouth. In most cases, this issue is also accompanied by a whitish coating on the surface of your tongue. This can be an embarrassing situation to endure. Certainly no one enjoys having a white coating on their tongue. The cause of such a coating includes the build up of mucus, bacteria, and various food particles. Ultimately, this can be an indication that halitosis (more commonly known as “bad breath”) may be present. This should not be a great cause of concern, however. There are a wide number of remedies for halitosis that can help get rid of the issue completely.
It’s understandable to be curious about how the white coating wound up on your tongue to begin with. What you may not know is that anaerobic bacteria lives underneath the tongue’s surface, and is a common cause for a white tongue coating. Hydrogen sulfide is a compound caused when bacteria and protein come into contact, and it’s characterized by a very unpleasant smell. Chronic bad breath is caused by this scent. An increase in bad smelling compounds will occur when you are dehydrated or have a dry mouth.
Additionally, if the surface of your tongue has a number of fissures or grooves, it will naturally attract greater amounts of the anaerobic bacteria. The condition of “geographic tongue” will often be present in the form of a yellow or whitish color, as well as a cracked or coated surface. Those with this condition are much more likely to experience a white coating on the tongue, as well as halitosis. Normal, healthy tongues are fairly smooth and moist, and are pinkish in color.
The good news is that you will not need to undergo a medical procedure to solve these issues. By thoroughly and frequently cleaning your tongue, you can eliminate many of these problems completely. The method for cleaning your tongue is also referred to as scraping. You can get rid of bad breath and promote a healthier looking tongue by taking the time to clean, or scrape, your tongue on a daily basis. It’s not an altogether common practice, however. But keep in mind that it’s a brief process that’s simple to undertake and will lead to long-lasting, positive results.
It’s important for the best cleaning experience to utilize a tongue cleaner (scraper). You can also use a toothbrush as an alternative if necessary. For the best results, the tongue cleaning device should be placed against your tongue and moved in long strokes (back to front) in a slow, continuous motion. Your gag reflexes may initially kick in when you try cleaning the back of your tongue. Just keep at it, and you will soon adapt to the procedure. It’s important to use a side to side stroke as well. In order to avoid potential bleeding of the tongue, be sure not to use too much pressure.
While this cleaning method will get rid of the white coating, bad breath may still occur. In order to get rid of (and ultimately prevent) halitosis, the presence of oxygen beneath the tongue’s surface is critical. This is the best way to eradicate anaerobic bacteria, which causes bad breath to begin with. One effective method is to purchase oxygenating toothpaste and spread it over your tongue’s surface. Don’t forget the back part of your tongue as well, since that’s the area with the most active bacteria. Ninety seconds should be a sufficient treatment time to allow the oxygenating toothpaste to do its work. By penetrating your tongue’s surface, the oxygen inside the toothpaste is able to get rid of the bacteria that is promoting the bad breath.