What does it mean when your tongue is white?

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and noticed your tongue looked white, you might initially be alarmed. Good news, though, there’s no need to panic! Many of the causes of white tongue are harmless and easily fixable.

So what exactly is it? The white that you’re seeing is swollen papillae. Papillae are fleshy raised portions of tissue that line your tongue. If these become swollen, tiny food particles or bacteria can become trapped and make your tongue look a different color. While brushing or rinsing might remove excess particles, it’s still best to address the underlying cause to prevent future issues.

What causes the papillae to become swollen? There are several reasons this could happen including dry mouth, oral thrush, and periodontal disease.

If you observe strange symptoms on your tongue and are not sure of the cause, schedule an appointment for us to evaluate and diagnose your condition. Also, don’t forget that proper oral hygiene is critical for healthy teeth, gums, and tongues, so if you haven’t been to the dentist in the last six months call today at 573-243-5200 to schedule an appointment!