Gentle Dental of Springfield
760 W Sproul Road, Suite 100, Springfield, PA 19064

The Black-and-White Facts About White Tongue

dca-blog_tongue-scraping-brushing

A tongue that’s covered with a strange white coating may frighten you at first, but it’s often a temporary tongue issue that is easily resolved. Yet there are some times when a white tongue signals a more serious medical problem, so you will want to get some answers to its cause, its care, and its cure.

What Causes a Coated Tongue?

White tongue is seen when the tiny bumps called papillae that cover the tongue get inflamed or enlarged. Then, bacteria, debris and dead cells get trapped between these inflamed and enlarged papillae. This leads to the appearance of a white coating on the tongue. The primary causes include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Breathing only through the mouth
  • Irritation caused by a sharp tooth or dental tool
  • Poor diet that is low in roughage
  • Alcohol use
  • Fever

What Health Conditions Cause a White Tongue?

While a white tongue is usually is no cause for concern, it is occasionally a sign of a medical problem that demands a doctor’s attention. A coated tongue is a noticeable symptom of the following health conditions:

  • Oral thrush
  • A yeast infection caused by prolonged use of certain antibiotics
  • Geographic tongue, which is when smooth patches form on the tongue
  • Leukoplakia, which are white patches in the mouth that can’t be brushed away, is often attributed to tobacco use
  • Syphilis
  • Mouth cancer
  • Tongue cancer
  • HIV/AIDS

What Are the Treatments for a White Tongue?

Typically, a coated tongue isn’t serious. Often, the best treatment is simply brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth. But why should you brush your tongue? Well, white tongue is often just a buildup of bacteria in the mouth, so by brushing your tongue regularly, you can remove debris and get your tongue back in the pink. Now that you know why should you brush your tongue, you should also know that sometimes a coated tongue requires medical care.

If you notice any changes or pain in your tongue, or your white tongue lasts for more than a month, call your dentist or doctor to have it looked at.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Springfield, call Gentle Dental of Springfield today at (484) 810-1247 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Springfield. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Springfield, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Springfield.

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Everyone there in the Springfield, PA practice takes the time to explain every procedure, every step, and all are very pleasant and make you feel […]
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Very pleasant atmosphere and people are very attentive. They make you feel very comfortable.
Nancy H.
I Thank you for the work that was done on Tuesday everything was well.I was a little nervous but you made me feel comfortable Thank you.
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I had a great visit. Everyone is so professional and my cleaning was great. I can't wait until my next visit!
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Staff is excellent, professional, but also puts you at ease. They don't make you feel badly or scold you for not taking good care of your teeth.
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It was my first time there. Everyone was very courteous and helpful. Evaluated my needs and charted a long term program of care. Helped me with a […]
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I have gone to Gentle Dental for my dental care for over 10 years and I already have been recommending their wonderful dental care to family members […]
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nice and gentle
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Everyone there is kind. Felt no pain.
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Natalie at springfield office is great! thorough, gentle and caring.
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Everyone from the moment I first walked in was extremely friendly! As someone who gets a little nervous about going to the dentist, they put me at […]
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Quick and efficient.
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Great service and excellent workmanship. Courteous and friendly staff, all very professional and knowledgeable. Nice and clean waiting room and […]
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Great service. Very welcoming and warm people. I was scared to death. I hate the dentist and they made it not so scary.
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The wait was minimal, the staff was friendly and they were able to do my cleaning and fill my cavities in one visit. Highly recommended!
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It was awesome the best Dentist I been to yet everyone was helpful and I loved the Dentist that I had I really think I finally found one that I liked […]
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I have a fear of dentist but the staff was knowledgeable, friendly, patient, and best of all created a minimum of pain.
Michele R.
Great experience. Doctor listened to my concerns and was very thorough.
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Really appreciated the office call the day after my appointment, just to check on me.
Susan L.
Natalie did a great job as usual with no pain.
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The dentist & staff are extremely personable & genuine.
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I didn't have any work done yet but my new patient appointment was excellent. The receptionist was friendly and efficient and the doctor and his […]
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The Office staff, Rudy, and Dr Hinrichsen make going to the dentist not so bad at all. Great team here that makes you feel comfortable. Thank you for […]
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Very friendly, would definitely return.
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The staff is very helpful and respectful. They are very good with accomodating and I am glad to use this facility as my provider.
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My tooth flared up at 2 am, I hoped the pain would pass. Swelling took place and the pain increased. On a sat. morning @ 11 am I called for an appt. […]
Kevin C.
I had a toothache and they took me right away! The staff and dentist were excellent.
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My experience was great. Staff was great, no issue or problems. I actually look forward to my dental appointments.
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The staff at Gentle Dental in Springfield is very professional, pleasant and caring to their patients.
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Anonymous
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Excellent care, especially for an emergency visit.
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Excellent dentistry, very nice people.
Anonymous
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Quick, efficient, quality care.
Anonymous
Friendly staff...always a pleasant experience.
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Natalie is a great hygienist!!!
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They were great. Kind and pleasant. And did a great job on my teeth.
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  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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