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White substance getting deposited on tongue. What does it indicate?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1563 Questions
White Flour like substance deposits on my tongue daily... I'm clearing it daily by brushing, but again it depositing... I'm cleaning it daily... what the cause and how can I overcome this issue... Need your valuable support.

Posted Wed, 13 Nov 2013 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX

The white substance that is getting deposited on your tongue is made of food debris mixed with normal flora of the mouth. Normally it should not be there. But if it starts building up, it is usually hard to even decrease it. Mostly it happens due to overgrowth of normal flora (the normal germs coating the mucosa), increased turnover of the inner lining of the mouth (due to increased normal flora) and all this getting mixed up with the food particles.

Normal flora mostly constitutes bacteria and fungi. White colour is mostly suggestive of increased fungal growth. Antifungals are available and can be tried. But it usually recurs again after stopping the medicine.

Cause is mostly due to reduced immunity, for example after the use of antibiotics, short term stress, diabetes, etc. Basic blood tests can be done to rule out some common conditions that can result in reduced immunity.

It can be managed with lifestyle changes:

- Using tongue cleaner is a good way to remove it until it builds up again.

- Mouthwash can be used to take care of odour from the mouth.

- Take hygienic food and drink pure water. Since most germs that settle in the mouth may be ingested with food and water.

- Avoid unnecessary medicine use

- Eat fruits and vegetables upto 5 times a day with most meals/snacks

- Exercise atleast 20 min a day. It helps build immunity

It is a very common condition and can be safely ignored as it is not problematic.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr Vaishalee
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