Gentle Dental of West Chester
125 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380

What Could Be Causing a White Tongue?

dca-blog_tongue-scraping-brushing

Do you suddenly have a strange coating on your tongue or completely white tongue? This could just be a buildup of debris that can be quickly wiped away, or it may be a sign of a medical issue. Only your dentist can diagnose your case, but learn more about the medical problems that may be causing your white tongue.

Oral Thrush

The Reason: Oral thrush is also called candidiasis and it results from an excess of yeast in the mouth, which creates the appearance of a coated tongue. It often occurs after you’ve taken antibiotics, if you’re under stress, or facing an illness because these conditions disturb the balance of bacteria in your system.

The Remedy: You can wipe away the white sections of yeast. You always should brush your tongue when brushing your teeth, especially if you’ve been sick or on medication. Why should you brush your tongue? Since oral thrush can develop at any time, brushing your tongue on a regular basis could help to prevent any possible problems. But to completely correct the white tongue, it should be treated with an antifungal medication, tablets, or lozenges that get your system back in balance.

Oral Lichen Planus

The Reason: Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune response. It can result in a coated tongue, yet the coating appears as a lace-like white pattern.

The Remedy: There is really no treatment since it is related to an autoimmune response, but it should be continually monitored by a doctor since any changes could indicate oral cancer.

Linea Alba

The Reason: Instead of causing a completely coated tongue, linea alba results in a thin white line along the edges of the tongue. It is simply caused by an irritation or trauma from aggressive chewing.

The Remedy: Since biting your tongue usually causes it, no treatment is needed.

Leukoplakia

The Reason: The white coating cannot be removed with a quick cleansing with this type of coated tongue. The cause of this condition is sometimes uncertain, but it may be associated with tobacco use or a recurrent irritation in the mouth.

The Remedy: The remedy could be as simple as stopping a smoking habit, but since it results from smoking, it may be an early indication of oral cancer. It’s wise to have your doctor do a biopsy and continually monitor the area for any changes.

Hairy Leukoplakia

The Reason: This condition is seen as a hairy, irregular white patch along the sides of the tongue. It’s caused by the autoimmune condition called Epstein-Barr.

The Remedy: This type of coated tongue can be a recurrent problem, so people with an immune-compromising condition are usually treated with antiviral medications. If you are not suffering from a weakened immune system, then an HIV test may be given to see if there is any correlation.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. 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 West Chester, 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 West Chester.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Laura was awesome. She is truly empathetic and talented. I appreciate the care she demonstrated
Richard S.
Everyone was very professional, informative and friendly.
Nereida B.
Very professionally run office,my appointment was on time and the staff extremely helpful. I met Denise as I entered, she was so pleasant and courteous and a joy to talk with. Any fears of being in a […]
Neal M.
friendly and quality of care
Kendall W.
Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The price was really good too.
Julia W.
The service is wonderful and the doctors are skilled.
Erik S.
They’re very kind and treat you as a friend as well as a patient.
Stephanie M.
Nice People
Bruce N.
Dr. Valentine &&+ staff are great. They work with you and accomadate your needs. I have been a patient for over 5 years have never had a bad experience. Would definately reccomend Gentle […]
E O.
Appointment was on time. Dental work was done efficiently and pleasantly.
Robert G.
friendly
Mahima C.
The dentist, hygienist, and staff were very helpful and competent.
Nancy J.
A great hygiene appointment as usual.
Gary S.
As someone who is an oral cancer survivor, I appreciate the Excellent service, scheduling, friendly rapore, knowledgeable professionals who give the best up to date oral care. I feel my needs are […]
Lillie B.
Wonderful practice with Caring and skilled staff. Dr. Valentine is terrific. Highly recommend.
Charlene R.
Completely satisfied
Charles L.
Dr Valentine is a great dentist. She cares about each of her clients. I feel that I get the proper dental care that I need and am not upsold or lied to in order to bill my insurance.
Charles W.
Quick and friendly service.
Keith J.
Great dentist, very accommodating and service oriented
Sharon N.
They did a really nice job and everyone was very friendly!
Jennifer T.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (484) 643-4417
Our Location