Read: White Tongue Dr Katz, America’s Bad Breath Expert, explains why your tongue may become white and yellow…and how to get rid of the coated tongue.
Posts Tagged ‘coated tongue’
There are many different causes of bad breath, as most of us know by now. Another cause is gluten intolerance (also known as celiac disease), which can cause halitosis, white tongue (a coating of white on the tongue that will not go away), and mucus in the throat.
Since the body’s own immune system causes damage with celiac disease, it is said to be an autoimmune disorder. This disease exists in one’s digestive and damages the small intestine, not allowing the correct absorption of nutrients. What happens is the small intestine is damaged as gluten is consumed, and the villi on the lining of the small intestine are lost. These villi are supposed to be what is absorbing the nutrients into the bloodstream. Without villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats. Those who have this disease cannot tolerate gluten, which is often found in rye, wheat, barley, oats, and so on.
This disease runs in families, and can be triggered by pregnancy, childbirth, viral infections, surgery, or severe emotional trauma. Different people have different symptoms.
One way to know that you might have a problem with gluten is if you begin a diet that is gluten-free and the symptoms (like bad breath, bloating and gas) go away. Some people with mild cases of this disease may never be diagnosed, so their sensitivity to gluten remains unexplained. However, other health issues can cause similar symptoms, so do not jump to conclusions until you have a solid diagnosis.
In order to get diagnosed with celiac disease, one usually needs to run blood tests that check for the antibodies antigliadin, anti-endomysium and antireticulin.
For those who have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, there might not be a cure, and the only way to deal with this problem is to simply avoid gluten. If you do have a gluten intolerance and continue eating gluten, you are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
It is thought that some people may never be diagnosed with celiac disease because the case may be mild, but they might still have a gluten sensitivity.
A white tongue is something that nobody wants to have. Not only does a coated tongue look abnormal, but if it is left untreated, it’s a strong indication of a breath problem. People who have the condition known as geographic tongue are definitely more likely to experience a white tongue. Geographic tongue simply means a tongue that has lots of grooves and fissures in it, and these grooves and fissures make an excellent breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath and a white tongue. The way around this problem is simply making sure that your tongue is kept as clean as possible. However, not all tongue cleaning is created equal….
Tongue cleaning (or tongue scraping) is a process that the majority of people in the United States don’t do on a daily basis. It’s one of the most important steps you can take to keep your breath clean and fresh!
It’s not difficult to do, and it’s not even that time consuming. That extra minute or two per day can reap huge rewards in preventing bad breath, helping to prevent white tongue and returning it to its normal color.
- It’s not necessary to scrape hardI’ve seen patients make their tongues bleed because they were pressing down too hard. In general, pressing harder does not remove more bacteria. You simply need to press hard enough so that the tongue cleaner contacts your tongue, flush across the cleaning surface. Try not to leave any gaps.
- Tongue cleaning alone does not prevent bad breathTongue cleaning does not kill the bacteria that cause bad breath that are breeding below the surface of a geographic tongue. It simply removes the gunk on the surface of your tongue (mucus and food debris) which are a food source for the anaerobic bacteria. In order to get rid of those anaerobic bacteria (which are responsible for white tongue), you must use an oxygenating toothpaste which can penetrate beneath your tongues surface.
- It’s not necessary to use one of those complex, expensive gizmos to successfully clean your tongue. All you need is a fairly rigid instrument that you can easily make flush with the largest amount possible of your tongue’s surface area. The electronic tongue cleaners you see can be helpful if you have arthritis, difficulty with coordination, or in general have a tough time performing the actions listed below.
Step-By-Step Instructions to Successfully Clean A Geographic Tongue and Prevent White Tongue
Here is an average tongue cleaning from start to finish from one of my patients who volunteered to allow me to take his picture.
- Starting at the very base of your tongue, place the tongue cleaner flush against your tongue’s surface and make slow sweeping strokes from back-to-front. Start at either side (left or right) and work your way to the other. Depending on the tongue cleaner you are using, you might need to make 3-4 different ‘swaths’ across your tongue.
- Once the surface debris from your tongue has been removed, apply a small bead of oxygenating toothpaste to the head of your tongue cleaner.
- Gently coat the surface of your tongue (as far back as possible without gagging) with the toothpaste. This allows it to penetrate below the surface of your tongue to neutralize those sulfur-producing anaerobic bacteria! There are more bacteria in the rear of your tongue than in the front.
- Once your tongue is coated, allow the toothpaste to stay on the surface of your tongue as long as you can, up to 90 seconds is ideal. If you begin to cough, or your gag reflex kicks in, it’s alright to spit it out whenever you need to.
- Ideally, it’s best to leave the toothpaste on the surface of your tongue, while you brush your teeth normally.
Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, are caused by an accumulation of sulfur-producing bacteria and debris that become lodged in the tonsils. The debris, which can include mucous from post nasal drip, putrefies in the back of your throat and collects in the tonsil crypts (small pockets which appear on the surface of the tonsils).
Along with tonsil stones, when the debris combine with the volatile sulfur compounds produced by the anaerobic bacteria beneath the surface of your tongue, it can also create chronic Halitosis (and other bad breath and taste disorders).
Important: If you do not have your tonsils then you will not under most circumstances experience tonsil stones. However, this does not mean that you should run out and get your tonsils removed.
As we get older, tonsillectomies become increasingly dangerous; however, even if you have your tonsils removed, you will most likely still have bad breath! Why?
The sulfur-producing bacteria breeding beneath the surface of your tongue, which are integral to the creation of those tonsil stones, are the most likely candidates to cause bad breath!
So, even if you have your tonsils removed, unless you remove or hinder these anaerobic bacteria, you may still scare away people with your bad breath!
And, since you can’t have your tongue removed (at least not in the U.S.), there is a better idea. Fortunately, getting rid of tonsil stones is not that difficult…
How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones
A simple combination of oxygenating tablets and nasal sinus drops will effectively eliminate tonsil stones without unnecessary tonsil surgery. Also, the occasional use of an oxygenating spray will help to immediately neutralize the anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria on contact.
The Bad Breath Bible states that if you truly want to prevent bad breath then you must use oxygenating toothpastes and mouthwashes, and ideally a tongue scraper to effectively neutralize the anaerobic bacteria from the very back of the tongue.
When you use such an oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash, you will experience a residual effect from the oxygenating tablets and nasal sinus drops solution, and it will stop the tonsil stones from ever forming again.