No one wants to have a stinky, white tongue. Including me. Well, I went to the dentist a few weeks back and overall the news was good. I have great alignment and no signs of periodontal disease. The only negative news. I have a white tongue. So I thought let’s talk about some ways to deal with a stinky, white tongue.
This diagnosis long confirmed what I’ve known for the last few years. I went to see my naturopathic doctor last November and she told me my tongue was glossy. She gave me an Eastern Medicine explanation for it about my chakras and so forth. Most of it went over my head. She said that the tongue offers a glimpse into the overall health of the body. Well, maybe I’m not as healthy as I thought, despite my 48 beats per minute resting heart rate.
Going back to the dentist. She said some people have higher ridges in the papillae of their tongue, where our taste buds are located. Because of this more bacteria gets trapped in there and multiplies thus leading to the discoloration and bad breath.
I told the naturopath and the dentist that I regularly scrap my tongue…for years. I, of course, promote it to my students as well. But in my case it wasn’t ameliorating it. The dentist told me to brush my tongue more gingerly and that is pretty much it, aside from brushing and flossing.
Causes of White Tongue
So what have I been doing to resolve my white tongue? Let’s backtrack first. Aside from having papillae that are as jagged and high as the Himalayas, what are some other causes of white tongue? The most common is a fungal condition called Thrush caused by the Candida fungus. I used to show my students pictures of thrush-infected patients and they would be disgusted. In the West, a common anti fungal med will knock it out.
What are some other causes of stinky, white tongue?
- Poor oral hygiene (makes sense)
- Dry mouth and dehydration
- Throat Infections
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Alcohol (dries up your mouth. This is one of the many reasons why conventional mouthwash should be avoided. Click Here to listen to an NPE Radio episode on it.)
- Spicy foods
The only one of the aforementioned with which I have problems is dry mouth. I’m one of those people who sleeps with his mouth open at night. I can’t help it. Dry mouth encourages bacterial and fungal growth since saliva is not present. Saliva, as we have discussed in the gum NPE Radio episode, is a natural mouthwash. So the absence of it proves problematic for those dealing with a stinky, white tongue.
Common Natural Remedies
First of all, if you are predisposed to doing one of the aforementioned…stop. Stop or limit your smoking, drinking, eating spicy foods, etc. Aside from that what are some easy things you can do to resolved your stinky, white tongue?
You know I’m a big proponent of oil pulling. What is it? Essentially, just swishing around a tablespoon of an oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes either in the morning or night. I prefer coconut oil but you can use olive oil. Aside from being a natural breath freshener and teeth whitener, studies are showing it leads to overall better periodontal and lingual health. Swish away!
(Click HERE to here more about the benefits of pulling.)
Use a toothpaste that boasts baking soda. Baking soda has been shown to eradicate fungal infections and inhibit the grown of bacteria production in the mouth. Try a teaspoon of lemon juice mixed with some baking soda to make a paste. Add this to your conventional toothpaste (if your current one does not contain baking soda). And by the way, avoid fluoride and food dye-containing toothpaste.
Garlic might be pungent but it contains an active ingredient called allicin. Allicin is “God’s antibiotic.” We have known for millennia that garlic is a natural antibiotic so whether your stinky, white tongue is caused by a bacterial or fungal overgrowth increase the garlic production. You can implement that buy purchasing garlic supplements, garlic tea, or grinding raw garlic in your mouth. If you do the latter, just be prepared for the “heat” that it will generate and do your best to brush your teeth afterwards.
(Click HERE to learn about the other amazing benefits of garlic!)
Increase Your Probiotic Intake
We talk about probiotics ad nauseam on this site. These are the “good” bacteria that inhabit our bodies. We want to have a preponderance of them in relation to the “bad” pathogenic ones. The best way to do this is increase your PREBIOTICS. The other method is buy augmenting your prebiotic uptake with fermented, probiotic foods like Greek yogurt, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, or take a supplement. This will increase the “buggers” in your mouth to fight the Candida causing the thrush and/or other pathogenic bacteria.
An old remedy for a sore throat is swishing your throat with salt water. Salt water, in particular sea salt, can help in removing the debris in the papillae. Salt is also important in maintaining good electrolytic balance in the body. Use sea salt in your foods. Afterwards, add a little sea salt to your lemon water, baking soda concoction.
(Click HERE to read about other natural remedies for bad breath.)
Now, not all of these may work but they likely won’t hurt. And remember the dreaded atomic bomb of probiotic bacteria that is the Antibiotic. Aside from leading to superbugs, possibly causing obesity, and devastating your microbiome, antibiotics make you more predisposed to having systemic fungal infections. Why?
Fungus is present on our skin and the gut microbiome. When you kill your probiotic bacteria, it is easier for this omnipresent trouble-maker to get a foothold in the foregoing spots and multiply. So try to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary which is essentially only when you have sepsis. Don’t fall for the ruse that you must take one every time you have an ear, sinus, throat, or tooth infection.
Remember, stinky, white tongue is not typically life-threatening. It is just unsightly and unpleasant. Keep up the good oral hygiene, avoid antibiotics, keep that mouth closed when sleeping, and implement the aforementioned natural remedies and that stinky, white tongue should become a thing of the past.
Try our natural essential oil mouthwash! Click Here to try it out.