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Home Remedies for White Tongue

Hemangi Harankhedkar
White tongue is a sign of bad oral hygiene, and though the condition is not a serious health issue, you should get rid of it soon enough. So to help you out with the problem, we have presented some home remedies for it.
White coating on the tongue is not a good sign and, if seen in majority of the population it signifies the deposition of bacteria, deal cells, etc., on the tongue surface, making it white. No need to mention that, white coating also means oral hygiene is not being followed by the person. Before we delve into the home remedies for white tongue, let's understand the causes for this tongue condition.
Generally, having a white tongue is a temporary phase, and it gets cured with time, or by following some simple home remedies. The common causes for a white tongue include - fungal deposition on the tongue due to use of medications like antibiotics and corticosteroids, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking and dehydration.
But, it is sometimes accompanied by painful and inflamed bumps (the condition is called inflamed papillae). These raised protrusions on the tongue can be painful, and the causes for this are conditions like geographic tongue, leukoplakia and oral thrush. If a result of a fever, it is a temporary condition, which goes away as the fever mitigates.
If white tongue is a result of the aforementioned medical conditions, it should be dealt with under the supervision of a doctor only. There is also a probability that if it is not getting cured for a long time, it is associated with some serious cause. We recommend you to consult a doctor if it stays for a long time. Because, only a doctor can diagnose the cause accurately, and suggest the appropriate treatment.

Home Remedies

Drink plenty of water

White tongue is an outcome of improper oral hygiene, that is excess deposition of fungal matter on the tongue. Sometimes, not drinking enough amount of water can cause the food particles to deposit in the cracks on the tongue. So, drink enough water. Drinking enough water keeps the tongue clean and prevents any food deposition on the tongue surface.

Mouth gargle

Gargle with lukewarm water periodically (thrice a day). This remedy works if the deposition on the tongue is in the initial stage. Alternatively, take a glass of lukewarm water and add half tbsp of salt into it. Stir it well till the salt gets dissolved and then gargle with this water. Use it twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.

Avoiding sugar sources

Sugary substances promote breeding of harmful bacteria and thus increase the white deposition on the tongue surface. Thus the consumption of sugar substances should be limited for some period for a healthy and clean tongue.

Tongue cleaning

While you brush teeth, clean the tongue also. You can use a tongue scraper, or use your toothbrush for cleaning the tongue. Sprinkling some salt on the tongue and then rubbing it with the soft bristles of brush also helps in removing the coating of bacteria deposited on the tongue.
There are many good tongue scrapers available in stores that you can use, but be gentle with the use of tongue scrapers as forceful rubbing of tongue with scraper can cause harm to the bumps on the tongue, and can lead to bleeding.

Coconut oil

Applying coconut oil on the cleaned tongue also helps a big deal in curing the sores that accompany the white tongue.


The growth of candida fungus should be prevented to cure the white tongue. Yogurt is a natural probiotic food and it hampers the growth of the candida fungus. Applying yogurt on a clean tongue at night would help in getting a clean and 'harmful bacteria' free tongue.


The best natural remedy is the use of turmeric. Drink a glass of water with ½ tsp of turmeric in it, for a healthy tongue. Applying honey on the red lesion area of the tongue also helps in treating it to some extent.

Glossary of Terms

  • Geographic tongue: Irregular colored patches on the tongue surface giving it a map like appearance is called a geographic tongue.
  • Leukoplakia: It is a form of lesion that appears on the tongue due to chronic inflammation.
  • Oral thrush: Thrush on the tongue appears as a white layer, but beneath this white coating is red bump formation that might bleed in severe cases.
The treatment for white tongue can be best recommended by a doctor, as he/she is the one who diagnoses the cause. For severe inflammation, we recommend an immediate visit to the doctor.
A white tongue is definitely not a good sight and maintaining good oral hygiene would help to treat the white and sore tongue. Eating good food rich in all the essential vitamins is also essential for good dental hygiene, especially for a pink and healthy tongue.