White Tongue: Causes, Remedies & Risk Factors

Your tongue turning white indicates that dead cells, bacteria, and food particles get  trapped between infected papillae

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Feb 24, 2023 16:51 IST
White Tongue: Causes, Remedies & Risk Factors

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Have you noticed a thick white coating on your tongue? Are you dealing with bad breath, redness, or a bad taste while eating meals? This is a symptom of white tongue, in which your tongue develops a white coating on some parts or on its entire surface. It is also known as furry tongue. It may develop gradually or appear suddenly if you get an infection. Your tongue turning white indicates that dead cells, bacteria, and food particles get trapped between infected papillae. This article lists causes, remedies, and risk factors for developing a white tongue.

Causes Of White Tongue

Some causes of the white tongue are as follows:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Oral thrush
  • Leukoplakia

Home Remedies To Treat White Tongue

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an effective ingredient that helps exfoliate your tongue and remove any residue that produces a white tongue. It has antimicrobial properties and helps maintain pH levels in your mouth. Take one teaspoon of baking soda and add some water to form a paste. Next, take a soft-bristled toothbrush, put the paste on it, and brush your tongue with it. Rinse your mouth after brushing your tongue for about two minutes.

Also Read: Tongue Cleaning With Toothbrushes And Scrapers: Merits & Demerits


Turmeric has antimicrobial properties that help prevent oral pathogens from growing in your mouth. Combine half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of lemon juice. Apply the paste on a soft-bristled brush and brush your tongue with it. You can even apply the paste with your fingers and scrub your tongue. Do it for a few minutes, and then rinse your mouth clean.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil pulling helps in oral detoxification and getting rid of bacteria from your mouth. Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. You can brush your teeth once you have spit out the oil. 


You should start adding probiotics to your diet as they help promote healthy bacteria in your mouth and prevent a white tongue. Start consuming plain probiotic yoghurt daily for best results.

Also Read: 4 Causes Of Canker Sores On The Tongue

Sea Salt

White tongue can be removed quickly, easily, and effectively by rinsing your mouth with salt water. It has antimicrobial properties and helps remove bacteria and debris from your mouth. 


Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera has a plethora of benefits and is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial. Swish one spoonful of aloe vera juice in your mouth twice to thrice a day until the white coating on your tongue is gone. 

Who Is At Risk?

  • People who smoke or chew tobacco may develop a white tongue
  • Over-consuming alcohol makes you prone to furry tongue
  • People who consume too much spicy or soft foods are likely to develop a white tongue


Although a white tongue is typically brief and innocuous, it can potentially be a sign of an infection or other serious problems. Maintain good oral hygiene, stay hydrated, reduce alcohol consumption, and quit smoking to promote a healthy tongue. Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your mouth after brushing your teeth. If you experience dry mouth, open sores, a burning sensation, and trouble chewing or swallowing, you should visit a dental expert immediately.