The sight of a white tongue void of any red pigmentation, can truly be frightening. Although all the blogs you looked up suggest that the situation is rather harmless, deep down you are convinced that something is amiss and that you need to find a solution as soon as possible.
So, what causes a white tongue? Should one be alarmed over a white tongue? Should you report a white tongue to the nearest emergency room and ride out the symptoms? We talked to a senior physician here at Frontline Emergency Room about white tongues and here is what he had to say about the condition:
White tongue is a condition in which your whole tongue might turn white or when there are too many white patches all over the tongue hence changing the color of the tongue. Although this condition is pretty harmless, it sometimes is indicative of a serious underlying condition which needs immediate medical attention.
If your white tongue or related symptoms don’t go away in a couple of days therefore, you should report the same to the nearest emergency room and get the situation checked out properly. Read more below to find out why white tongues happen and how he condition is treated.
Causes of white tongue
Poor oral hygiene
There is quite a number of reasons why white tongues develop. The most common cause is however due to poor oral hygiene. The tongue is full of tiny bumps which are referred to as papillae. These bumps need to be brushed and cleaned on a regular basis lest they will be full of debris.
When bacteria, food, fungi, dead cells and dirt accumulate between the bumps, they turn the surface of the tongue from its natural shade to a whitish color. If you don’t brush your teeth thoroughly therefore, your tongue will sooner or later turn whitish.
The other cause of a white tongue, is a condition referred to as leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a condition that results into the formation of white patches on the inside of cheeks, along gums and even on the tongue.
Leukoplakia is caused by excessive smoking, drinking of alcohol and chewing of khat. Although leukoplakia is a relatively harmless condition, it sometimes portends oral cancer. It is therefore important for people with these symptoms to report them to the nearest emergency room and get immediate medical checkup.
Oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus results from a weakened immunity which causes white patches to form in and around your mouth. Sometimes the patches might be on the tongue and line along your cheeks. If you are suffering from this condition, you will need to report the same to the nearest emergency room and get medication for your weakened immunity.
People with diabetes, HIV and AIDS are most likely to suffer from an oral thrush. The thrush could be on their mouths or even on the tongue. The thrush is as a result of weakened immunity. Some oral thrushes are as a result of lack of vital vitamins such as Vitamin B and Iron. The surest way of finding out, is by getting proper diagnosis in a medical facility and then getting the appropriate medication.
This sexually transmitted disease can result in sores in your mouth. If the syphilis is not treated on time, it gets chronic and develops into white patches in the mouth called syphilitic leukoplakia which line the mouth or on your tongue. Syphilis that has gotten to this level is serious and can easily yield in death.
There are other causes which are not as serious. Things like antibiotic medicines can cause yeast infections in the mouth. Some people also don’t have enough papillae on their tongues and therefore the shade of their tongue is whitish.
Treatment options for white tongues
Depending on the cause of the white tongue, treatment might or might not be necessary. If the white coating is as a result of poor oral hygiene, simple brushing of teeth on a regular basis will be able to do the trick. Drinking enough water will also help rinse down the dirt and flush down the debris down and clear the surface of the tongue.
Oral thrushes on the other hand can be treated with antifungal medicine. People with syphilis can also be put on penicillin and the antibiotic will kill the bacteria responsible for the formation of syphilis.
Give Frontline Emergency Room a Call
Suffering from an unexplained white tongue in Richmond and Dallas Texas? Give us a call here at Frontline Emergency Room and we will medically examine your white tongue and offer the best possible treatment for the white tongue.
Frontline Emergency Room is a no wait emergency care facility offering the best emergency services to the locals of Richmond, TX and Dallas, TX at very affordable rates.
Frontline Emergency Rooms accept most of the medical insurances on offer in Texas and you should therefore not be too worried about your insurance. We also offer a flexible payment plan and are always willing to listen to you. Give us a call here at Frontline emergency room today and we will gladly be of help.