White tongue
October 11, 2007 11:31 AM   Subscribe

My tongue is white and has a thin white film and there is a bitter taste in my mouth. I use a scraper, floss and brush regularly and use mouthwash and h2O2. How do I get it to turn pink.
posted by Noodles to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could be thrush. See a doctor.
posted by desjardins at 11:37 AM on October 11, 2007

Dehydration may make it look that way. Do you drink enough water? Also, peroxide tends to have a sort of bleaching effect on skin.
posted by slow graffiti at 11:42 AM on October 11, 2007

Response by poster: I drink copious amounts of Di hydride Mono Oxide.
posted by Noodles at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2007

I typically get that whenever I have tonsillitis (which is fairly often).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2007

Do you have food allergies? They may be undiagnosed, even. My mom's tongue gets like that from tomatoes and walnuts, as well as a few other foods.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2007

You don't say how often you rinse, but Hydrogen Peroxide plus mouthwash seems like over-kill to me.

Indeed: is it possible this is dead tissue on your tongue from over rinsing? I've had that happen to the inside of my cheeks. I got paranoid before a cleaning and way overdid the mouthwash. The hygenist explained to me that too much rinsing with an antiseptic is actually detrimental to good oral hygene.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:08 PM on October 11, 2007

I agree you may be overdoing it. When people get their tongues pierced and are told to rinse with Listerine (21+% alcohol) throughly several times per day they end up with a white fuzzy-slimy tongue. (It has also been observed after a night of heavy drinking.) Use the mouthwash as directed and no more.
posted by Martin E. at 1:00 PM on October 11, 2007

Seconding (ninthing?) that the bioweapon hygiene treatment led to thrush, but see a doctor. Your mouth is supposed to have bacteria in it. Just drink lots of water, brush and floss, maybe mouthwash once a day, but any more than that and you might throw off the balance in your mouth.

Fortunately for you, the mouth heals remarkably fast. so do what the doctor says and you'll probably be all better in a week.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:32 PM on October 11, 2007

This sounds close enough to something shown in an episode of House MD that I would be off to the doctor vary rapidly...
posted by crickets at 2:02 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeast infection? (Yes, in your mouth)
posted by idiotfactory at 2:31 PM on October 11, 2007

Yes, this sound like a yeast/fungus. You may be immune compromised due to stress, infection, etc. Could be cancer. Could be weird dietary etiology. See a doctor!
posted by OlderThanTOS at 4:00 PM on October 11, 2007

I am not your doctor, but I am going to agree that the idea that by eliminating your commensal oral bacteria through continual bleaching you are creating niches for other, less attractive bacteria/fungi to take up residence. Your tongue has *evolved* to be an attractive environment for an entire beneficial ecology. Continual unwarranted chemical assaults on this ecology are probably sub-optimal. Repeating an earlier conversation about something similar:

Your saliva glands secrete nitrates, which are then reduced to nitrites on your tongue by an anaerobic bacterial biofilm. The nitrite is then washed down to your stomach and reduced to radical-happy NO, where it helps sterilise food and kills undesired microbes both on your teeth and in your gums. A lack of NO may also downregulate gastric mucosal secretions with less than optimal results.
posted by meehawl at 4:44 PM on October 11, 2007

Eating plain, live-culture acidophilus yoghurt and not brushing your teeth or cleaning out your mouth for a few hours might start revegetating the rainforest you've clearfelled in there. See a doctor.
posted by flabdablet at 5:52 PM on October 11, 2007

It could also be geographic tongue.
posted by underwater at 9:06 PM on October 11, 2007

Biotene moutwash -- contains no alcohol, won't kill everything in your mouth, stimulates salive production -- it's designed to treat dry mouth symptoms which are often implicated in/caused by thrush.

This of course *after* you see a doctor and rule out thrush and the various possible causes thereof.
posted by spitbull at 6:17 AM on October 12, 2007

**IF** you just have a crusty tongue, scrub it with (say a tablespoon of) Sodium Bicarbonate and your toothbrush. It's aftertaste is a bit crap and it lingers but mouthwash fixes that.

Man I love Bicarb. I even wash the cat with it!!
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 2:18 PM on October 12, 2007

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