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Plaque on the tongue: when to sound the alarm?

Thick plaque in the language is a common problem. It is known that the reasons for its appearance often lie in various somatic diseases. Normally, the surface of the organ should be pale pink with prominent dots.

But this does not mean that when you find the first signs of overburden, you need to run to the doctor: if you are faced with a translucent white coating, lying in a thin layer and not causing much discomfort, it is hardly a disease. However, in some cases, such a condition can really serve as an indicator of the presence of health problems.

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Why is the tongue coated: where does the white plaque come from?

The mucous membrane of the tongue serves as a comfortable habitat for numerous colonies of bacteria.

Plaque on the tongue: when to sound the alarm?

They are distributed unevenly: there are more bacteria on the root, since it comes into contact only with the soft palate, and less on the front (it is regularly cleaned due to constant movement in the oral cavity). Usually, plaque, which can often be seen on the surface of an organ, is the result of the active vital activity of bacteria and can even appear in a healthy person. As a rule, it is noticeable in the morning, but almost completely disappears by the evening.

A tongue constantly coated with a dense coating, combined with a pronounced bad breath, dry throat, cough, sores on the gums and other unpleasant symptoms, indicates the appearance of certain problems. Let's try to figure out why a white, gray, greenish or yellow plaque is deposited on the tongue, what is the reason for its appearance, and which doctor should be visited if alarming symptoms are found. To get to the bottom of the true causes of pathology, you need to pay attention not only to the color, but also to the thickness, density, texture and localization of plaque.

What diseases cause a white coating on the tongue?

Infectious causes should be looked for if the tongue is coated with a white coating. Scarlet fever, diphtheria, tonsillitis, dysentery - this is far from an exhaustive list of diseases, among the symptoms of which appears the appearance of a whitish plaque on the back and middle of the tongue. If soft plaque is removed, a dry or erosive surface is found. This symptom may also indicate fungal infections (mycoses), for example, candidiasis.

The tongue is often covered with a white coating after a long course of treatment with cytostatics, antibiotics or corticosteroids: in the oral cavity aMicroscopic yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida thrive. These are conditionally pathogenic inhabitants of the human body, which under normal circumstances do not cause any discomfort.

But with immunodeficiency and other conditions favorable for the active reproduction of the fungus, its number grows rapidly. One of the characteristic manifestations of candidiasis is the appearance on the mucous membrane, including on the gums, the walls of the pharynx and the inner surface of the cheeks, irregularly covered with white bloom and films.

Reflect on the state of the oral cavity and some common diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. For example, acute and chronic gastritis often results in a thick layer of plaque that is grayish or white. Additional symptoms are dryness and swelling of the tongue, persistent bitterness in the mouth .

With gastritis, the posterior third of the organ is most affected. Other diseases or conditions manifest themselves in a similar way, including stomach ulcer, prolonged constipation, enterocolitis.

Tongue overlaid with a yellow coating: normal or deviation?

Plaque on the tongue: when to sound the alarm?

A condition in which a yellow, brown or grayish-yellow plaque appears on the mucous membrane is not entirely normal. Perhaps you smoke a lot and drink strong coffee too often (that is, there is a banal coloration).

No? Then this is a reason to consult a doctor to find the reasons for this condition: if the tongue is constantly coated with a dense yellow coating, you need to exclude hepatitis, pancreatitis, cholecystitis and other diseases of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas and biliary tract.

As a rule, it is their seasonal exacerbations that cause intense coloration of the root and middle part of the tongue yellow or gray. Stagnation of bile stains the plaque yellow-green.

But with Crohn's disease, characterized by a decrease in the activity of the adrenal glands, a brown plaque may appear, the color of which is due to the excessive production of the pigment melanin.

In any case, if a serious illness is suspected, the doctor will prescribe additional laboratory tests:

  • general and biochemical blood test;
  • coprogram;
  • ultrasound of the abdominal organs;
  • FGDS (fibrogastroduodenoscopy);
  • bacteriological culture from the oral mucosa.
Plaque on the tongue: when to sound the alarm?

If the examination does not reveal any health problems, you can focus on the direct elimination of bacterial plaque. Strict adherence to basic rules of general oral hygiene helps to cope with the problem with affordable and effective home remedies. What activities does the treatment start with? As a rule, with daily cleaning with a special brush.


When you brush your teeth, take a few seconds to the surface of your tongue; mechanical cleaningadd antiseptic gargles in a forest-like manner.

For this, ready-made pharmaceutical products (rinses) or decoctions of medicinal herbs - oregano, plantain, yarrow, oak bark and chamomile are used. Saying goodbye to plaque, you will no longer experience discomfort when communicating.

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