White Tongue in Children: Treatment and Home Remedies

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It is very well known that the tongue is a muscular organ which is covered with pink tissue known as mucosa. Small bumps are there on the surface of the tongue called papillae which are distributed all over the tongue and the taste buds which we have are in these papillae. These taste buds are nothing other than the nerve like cells which carries the signals of various taste sensations to the brain.

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oral thrush in babies

The four common tastes which we all sense are sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The sensation of these four tastes is carried to our brain by the nerve fibers or nerve like cells in taste buds. We all know that the role of tongue is precious in our life like it helps in chewing , tasting and swallowing the food. Apart from all these functions a very important function we can say that the tongue performs is that it helps us in speech.

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The tongue is to be considered healthy if it is pink, moist and is covered with shiny coating, but there can also be the variations in its surface  texture which may be normal and sometimes may not. There are many common problems associated with tongue like discoloration , increased size, growth pain, taste problems , difficulty in movement etc.

In this article:

Cause of White Tongue
States Linked to White Tongue
Treatment for White Tongue in Children
Home Remedies for White Tongue in Children

All You Need to Know About White Tongue in Chidren

Often we imagine and even seen tongue as pink colored organ but it’s not always the same. Color changes have been observed ranging from small minute changes to medical attention seeker  tongue.

Cause of White Tongue

This is often related to oral hygiene. Tongue turns white due to swell up of papillae. Usually in children proper oral hygiene cannot be maintained by themselves. Parents need to help them in maintaining an oral hygiene. Bacteria , fungi,dirt , dead cells could easily get trapped inside the inflamed papillae. This causes the tongue turn white.

Below given all circumstances could cause white tongue :

  • Dry mouth
  • Poor Brushing and Flossing
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Irritation from sharp edges
  • Feeding the baby with plenty of soft food

States Linked to White Tongue

Leukoplakia

Whites patches are to be seen inside the mouth over the cheek area along with gums , and even on the tongue. Many-a-times these patches are non dangerous but rarely could transform into cancer.

Oral Thrush

This type of infection is caused by fungi called Candida Yeast. Vitamin B deficiency or even iron deficiency are responsible for oral thrush to occur.

Oral Lichen Planus

Immune system damage causes formation of white patches in mouth along with tongue. Even gums are too be affected

Treatment for White Tongue in Children

The symptoms of white tongue clears up on its own and there is no frequent need of the treatment.

Brushing with a soft toothbrush can gently clears the white coating of the tongue, so the doctor should advise the child to do brush daily or twice a day. Or the other way of removing the coating is scraping the tongue with tongue scraper. And  as this is known that white coating id due to bacterial debris , so consumption of lot of water can help to flush the bacterial debris.

Some parents worry about their children and they panic and ask doctor for treatment for the white tongue problem then the treatment depends upon the conditions which are actually causing it.

Oral thrush is a fungal condition so to treat white tongue due to oral thrush treatment is antifungal medicines which are available in the form of gel, a lozenges, a pill or liquid which is applied to the mouth.

White tongue due to leukoplakia is not seen in children as it is due to smoking , alcohol intake etc. and there is no need to treat this the way through which a person can get rid of this is to stop smoking and intake of alcohol.

There is also no need for the treatment of oral lichen planus also as it goes away after sometime but if the condition is severe then doctor advice steroid spray or advice to rinse the mouth with steroid pills dissolved in water.

Home Remedies for White Tongue in Children

Probiotics

According to various studies it is estimated that probiotics can be beneficial in the case of oral health conditions because they inhibits the attachment of the unwanted microbes on the surface or oral cavity. Probiotic bacteria prevent inflammation and growth of bacteria on the tongue by affecting both oral microbiota and immune response.

Baking Soda

Baking soda neutralizes the acids and maintains good pH level in the mouth and removes the debris causing white tongue.

Research shows that baking soda inhibits the bacteria such as streptococcus in saliva. So when baking soda is exposed to tongue it decreases the number of bacteria which are present in mouth. Therefore baking soda  now a day is used to make a paste which is then applied to mouth and tongue with the help of toothbrush , and this paste includes a teaspoon of baking soda with lemon juice.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil is considered as an oral detoxification agent in Ayurvedic  medicine .

The tongue is connected to various other organs so by coconut oil pulling the hygiene of the organs linked to tongue is also maintained because this oil pulls all the debris and toxins and creates a clean environment.

Many other oils like olive, sesame oil etc. can be used for oil pulling procedures but the coconut oil is preferred because it is absorbable and is able to kill candida which causes white tongue.

The child is advised to fill mouth by a tablespoon of coconut oil for 10-20 minutes and then spit out the water and rinse mouth with warm water and do brush as the child normally does.

Sea Salt

Sea salt also have the property of inhibiting the bacterial growth so, mouthwash is done by combining sea salt with water or brush is done by sea salt. It also acts as an exfoliant  so removes white coating of the tongue.

Aloe Vera Juice

It has anti inflammatory and anti fungal property so used in treatment of white coating of tongue . One tablespoon of aloe vera juice is taken up to 3 times in a day until and unless the white coating disappeared.

Conclusion

White tongue in children is harmless and temporary so there is no need to worry and it is due to poor oral hygiene, there is no need of treatment until and unless the condition is severe there are many home remedies try to remove white coating by using these remedies and maintain proper oral hygiene. 

References

https://draxe.com/white-tongue/

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/white-tongue

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!

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