Hacks From the Kitchen Cupboard For a White-Coated Tongue

30 March 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Ever glanced at your tongue in the mirror from time to time and wondered why it appears to be white more often than pink? If so, this is a sign that food particles are trapped on the surface and are festering as bacteria between the small nodules on your tongue, known as papillae. In most cases, a white-coated tongue will disappear naturally by staying hydrated and brushing your tongue daily.

If this doesn't do the trick, however, there are other simple ways to remove the white coating and prevent another from forming altogether. Here are a few quick remedies and tips you can try at home to banish a white-coated tongue.

Vegetable glycerin

Not only can vegetable glycerin help restore your tongue to it's natural pink colour, it can even help eliminate bad breath. A thick white coating on the tongue is essentially made up of food debris, bacteria and dead cells—all of which can contribute to pretty pongy breath, especially in a dry mouth!

Thankfully, a dash of veg glycerine on your tongue helps to cleanse the tongue of the nasty white layer, whilst adding some much needed moisture to your mouth. Brush a teaspoon of veg glycerin on to your tongue at night with a soft-bristle toothbrush and rinse with warm water. 

Baking soda

The cupboard staple, baking soda is another cheap remedy for white-coated tongues. Thanks to it's exfoliating nature, baking soda helps to get rid of the sticky residue left on your tongue by dead cells and food debris. It also helps to maintain a good pH balance in your mouth by neutralizing acids.

For a pink and healthy tongue, simply dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water for an effective daily mouthwash. Alternatively, you can mix baking soda with lemon juice to form a paste. You can then use this paste on your toothbrush to brush on to your tongue before bed. Repeat these actions once daily for a clean, fresh tongue!

Aloe Vera

When food debris builds up on the tongue, this inflames the papillae and causes the thick white coating that creates nasty breath and dulled taste buds. Fortunately, this can be remedied by nature's soother, aloe vera. The juice of aloe vera is packed with anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation. It is also antimicrobial, which helps cleanse the tongue of the nasty white coating and kill the bad breath-causing bacteria too!

Put one tablespoon of aloe vera juice in your mouth and swish it around for 2 minutes before spitting it out. For particularly effective results, you can follow this up by drinking one tablespoon of aloe vera juice. Repeat this twice daily and you'll start to spot a difference within 2 weeks.

Extra tips!

  • Limit your intake of dairy products and sugary foods, as these create mucus which can coat the tongue more easily.
  • Eat crunchy foods. In the same way that munching on fruit and raw veggies helps contribute to squeaky clean teeth, crunchy foods help cleanse a white-coated tongue of bacteria and promote an overall healthy mouth.
  • Gargle with warm salt water after meals. The warm temperature of the water helps prevent food particles accumulating, whilst the salt temporarily alkalinises the mouth - deterring the proliferation of bacteria. Take care when rinsing with salt water that you do not swallow as large quantities can cause vomiting and dehydration.

If the above tips do not make a difference to your tongue in 2 weeks, make an appointment with your dental clinic. A persistently white-coated tongue could signify an oral infection or an underlying health condition. Since a stubborn white coating can relate to your oral hygiene habits, a check up with your dentist may prove more conclusive than with your local GP.