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The White Tongue: the enigma of bad breath

You may not smell your own breath, but sometimes you know you can feel its taste. Most people believe that the cause of this problem is eating certain foods or not brushing their teeth on a regular basis. One way to corroborate this without suffering the humiliation of asking a close friend to smell your breath is to examine the color of the tongue. Usually, white tongue and bad breath go hand in hand. Before studying the connection between a white tongue and bad breath, we present some causes of halitosis.


Causes of bad breath


Some causes are obvious, but others not so much. Here are five reasons why you might need to improve your breath:


Poor oral hygiene: Not having good oral hygiene habits means that food particles remain in the teeth and between them. Bacteria develop in this type of environment and cause problems such as bad breath.


Tobacco: Another reason to quit smoking, as if the risk of lung cancer is still not enough.


Dry mouth: The lack of saliva prevents the mouth from removing excess food particles. Bad breath can be caused by those particles that remain.


Food: The most common cause comes from the usual suspects, such as onion and garlic.


Diseases: Certain conditions, such as sinusitis or a runny nose can leave a layer on the tongue that causes bad breath.


White tongue causes


According to specialists from the Mayo Clinic, the white tongue appears as a result of the presence of very large and swollen papillae on the surface of the tongue. Bacteria and dead cells that settle between the papillae form the white layer. The white tongue originates from numerous causes. Some are: alcohol and tobacco consumption, fever, dry mouth, mouth breathing, dehydration and poor oral hygiene. Many causes overlap with those of bad breath, such as bacteria in the mouth, so it is easy to notice how diseases are connected.


White Tongue Treatment


When you perceive that you have the white tongue, schedule a control visit with the dentist to correctly assess the state of your oral health and to give you specific advice based on your dental health history. Certain treatments directly address some of the most common causes, such as the elimination of alcohol and tobacco consumption, and the advice of drinking plenty of water to achieve greater hydration. Also, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste.


The prevention of bad breath caused by the white tongue begins by having good oral hygiene habits. Be sure to follow the dentist's recommendations to treat white tongue and eliminate bad breath or both, and have good oral hygiene habits to prevent it from coming back in the future.

Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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