Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- Activated Charcoal
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Chinese Medicine Diagnosis of the Tongue
- Dietary Suggestions
- Eliminate Dairy
- Fermented Foods
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Hydrogen Peroxide, Sea Salt
- Lie Bumps
- Multiple Remedies
- Oil Pulling
- Peppermint Oil
- Reader Questionnaire
- Red Wine
- Remedies Needed
- Toothpaste Without Chemicals
Best Home Remedies to Cure a White Coating on the Tongue
A hairy white coating on your tongue can be disconcerting, can alter your sense of taste, and may cause you to have bad breath. More significantly, this white coating can be an indication of more significant holistic health issues.
Candida and White Coating on Tongue
There are several possibilities for what causes a white coating on the tongue, or THRUSH. The most common cause of a white coating is a candidal infection, which is caused by fungus. Thrush can also be caused by antibiotics or steroids that were inhaled for sinus or asthma issues. A white coating can also simply be the buildup of dead cells on the tongue. Finally, a white coating on the tongue may be caused by dehydration! If you aren't drinking enough water, it's possible that little pieces of food are sticking to your tongue! Simply drinking more water will remedy this condition so we suggest you try this first for a week or two and see if it makes a difference.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 05/15/2013: Claire from Boston, Ma: "Acidophilus helped me cure a white tongue. It took about a month of taking a high count of acidophilus first thing in the morning and last thing at night before I saw results. What makes it come back: Dairy! Hydrogen peroxide helps clear the tongue, but probiotics and diet changes necessary."
05/08/2013: Vboot from Mesquite, Texas: "Please help. I have had white tongue and bad breath for ever. I have visited severeal dentist, but no help. Some blog are talking about using acidophilus, please tell me which one to buy."Replies
05/09/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Coconut oil... Brush teeth with it plus a little baking soda added.... Eat it in diet or just put a blob in your mouth before bed... and spit in trash in morning.... whitens teeth/ sweetens breath/ kill bacteria/ and makes tongue healthy shade of red"
[YEA] 08/21/2009: Fred from San Diego, California: "Remedy: Probiotics
I had a white coating on my tongue for a long time. The salt remedy didn't work for me (it made the coating orange). After doing research on the web I tried this, and it worked in ONE DAY:
I took a large spoon and filled it half full of water. I opened one of my probiotics (commonly called "acidophilus") capsules, and poured a small amount of the powder into the water. I used very little, only about half the size of a pencil eraser. I rocked the spoon back and forth to get all of the powder wet. After brushing my teeth and right before going to bed, I swallowed the contents of the spoon. That's it!
The next day my tongue coating was better, and doing it a few more nights made an incredible difference. You don't have to wait weeks or months to see if this works for you. I didn't scrape my tongue or do anything else special, though I do think that limiting your sugar intake is beneficial.
My probiotics have two bacterial strains: L acidophilus and B. lactis (also known as B. infantis), and it is quite concentrated at 15 billion organisms per capsule. I'm guessing that any good probiotic would work, but have only tried mine."
[YEA] 04/01/2011: Noodles from Houston, Tx replies: "I figured out the cure. I had years of white tongue that reeked out bad breath within 10 or 15 min of me brushing my teeth. No kidding. Now I have a semi pink tongue with only two days of me brushing with "the cure" ..........."
[YEA] 05/10/2011: Drr from Fort Washington, Pa replies: "It worked amazingly well. After trying many things including Apple Cider Vinegar, I saw a huge improvement after one time with the acidophilus. I have not been on antibiotics in years, but it still worked. Well worth a try."
06/01/2011: Samson from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia replies: "Question: The original post from Fred said to swallow the acidophilus mix, however Noodles said he was "brushing with "the cure"".
Are we supposed to do the Fred or Noodles technique?"
12/06/2011: Cherryxtc from Queens, Ny replies: "I've had a white tongue coating for a few years now. I started taking acidophilus capsules, twice daily which improved my tongue immensely. Then I added Dr Whitakers Ear, Nose and Throat Defense which is a probiotic lozenge and my tongue coating was in check all day. It bothered me that my tongue would return to white again so I started taking a tbsp. of coconut oil a day. The coconut oil kills the fungus in your body. Since starting the coconut oil my tongue is almost ALWAYS pink. And I no longer have to brush and scrape my tongue all day. I hope you find something that works for you."
12/13/2011: Duc from La, Ca, Usa replies: "Can we get these capsules over the counter at a drug store?"
01/13/2012: Sonicboom from Irving, Tx replies: "Have you ever noticed that when you speak to someone having bad breath, you will start having the same breath. It may sound strange but I found it in so many cases to be true. Then some research I could only found that people tend to close their mouth and reduce the air intake via mouth and generates less or no saliva. Saliva has the duty of keeping your mouth and tongue clean and so less saliva will aid dead/live bacteria and food particle buildup on the rear tongue. This all happens so fast (5 to 10 mins) that the person with the halitosis can suddenly notice the bad breath when the other person speaks. This is just that I noticed in few week's time. Try out keep breathing through mouth and keep mouth, lips and tongue wet with saliva. Try and tell us if it works ..."
02/07/2012: Hopel3ss` from Toronto, Ontario, Canada replies: "Acidophilus worked for one day. Glycerin worked for one hour. I am getting fed up of this someone please help!"
[YEA] 04/09/2012: anon from Bronx, Ny replies: "This did it for me! I have had a white tongue basically my whole life. Nothing helped. After reading this, I went to a natural foods store and bought the most probiotic-filled probiotic I could find. I checked every label and got one with the most variety of probiotics (I can post the exact label and content if someone needs). It was in the refridgerated section, and came as a powder. I'm not going to lie, it was a lot more money than I felt like spending! You can just take the powder straight, or mix with water or juice. It tastes kind of like graham crackers. After the first day, I didn't see a difference, and was a little discouraged. But after maybe 4 days, while brushing, I realized that my tongue was a beautiful, healthy red-pink! It's been like that ever since. It's so frustrating having a white tongue when you know you're healthy and hygenic. I think it's just caused by a natural imbalance of oral flora, and the probiotic stabilizes the environment. I highly recommend this solution! And thank you to the OP!"
[YEA] 04/28/2012: Oleo from Orlando, Florida replies: "After using so many over the counter products and prescribed Rx's, finally I am feeling content.. After using acidophilus for two days I have noticed a great improvement in my tongue. It is worth to mention that I also feel a better taste in my mouth. Am considering taking a daily dose for at least a month and then see if I have a recurrent episode."
05/24/2012: Jane from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "Yes - the acidophilus is working well for me, too.
One important caveat, however:
The key (for me, at least) is to use the "deep down" version of acidophilus, known as "pearls, " which are coated, so that they are not destroyed during the digestion process (by stomach acids, etc. ). This way, they can really do the work they need to do much deeper down in the "gut" area of your system.
Please note: There are a few different brands of probiotics that have this kind of special protective coating, not just the ones known commercially as "pearls, " though these happen to be the ones I have been using, mainly because they were the ones available at my local store (and also because they do not require refrigeration, so you can travel easily with them). I will probably keep exploring all different brand options among these coated varieties of probiotics to see which ones I ultimately like best."
07/20/2012: Healther from Ny replies: "Can you please tell me what is the cure? I have white tongue and need help in getting rid of it. Thank you."
07/27/2012: Maz from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia replies: "To get rid of candida which is the common cause of bad breath and acne, it is recommended to take oregano oil for two to three weeks. Take a break for two weeks and then take olive leaf extract for two week. Take a break for two weeks and so on. Do that for a period of no longer than eight weeks in total. Olive leaf and oil of oregano which is available on Amazon.com. Candigest is a powerful supplement which digests the cellulose (of which candida is largely composed) and kills the yeast. You are also suggested to take Candigest for a period of 30-60 days."
08/12/2012: Gabesgrammie from Veneta, Or USA replies: "To: Maz from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Can you be more specific regarding the amounts to take for your remedy? I have the oregano and olive leaf, but I need to know how much and when (once a day, twice, etc) I am interested to know if this will help. I don't plan to take the candigest, but feel that using nature's own I night be just as successful. miraclecows1(AT)msn.com"
09/15/2012: Hopefully from Memphis, Tn replies: "@anon from Bronx, Ny- Can you please share the exact name of the product you purchased and used? Many thanks in advance for your response."
[YEA] 10/09/2012: David from Boston, Ma replies: "Fantastic overnight results by using a small amount of probiotic dissolved in a spoonful of water and flooded over the tongue. I've been taking probiotics regularly with no effect, but this method introduces the probiotic strains in mouth, tongue and throat, instead of down in the gut.
The Cure: Brush teeth. Open a high-potency probiotic capsule. Dump a small amount (about 1/4 the contents) into a tablespoon of water and stir to dissolve. Reseal the capsule and swallow it as normal. Now take the tblspoon of dissolved probiotic and let it flood over your tongue and down your throat. Swallow. Go to bed. Observe pink tongue in morning.
I have no idea as yet whether this will have a lasting effect -- but I'll gladly do this daily if needed. This is the first time in a very long while that I have not had a white tongue without vigorous brushing, scraping and gagging... and THAT method was never more than partially successful.
High potency Probiotics are usually found in a refrigerator case in pharmacy or healthfood store (e. g. Wholefoods)."
[YEA] 11/04/2012: Michelle from Washington, Dc replies: "Acidophlus (probiotics) works but it has to be the right kind. I tried salt and glycerin which worked only temporarily. I'm also taking oil of oregano, so it might be helping probiotics to remove the white coating..."
[YEA] 12/22/2012: Jon Jon from New York, Ny replies: "Wow!!! This worked instantly. I feel better too. I had a nasty white film on my tongue for weeks. I tried the peroxide for 2 weeks to no avail. I bought some acidophilus for 10 bucks at the drug store and followed the instructions. BOOM Gone! Thanks!"
[YEA] 04/30/2013: Sonya from Pittsburgh, Pa replies: "I followed the advice of David from Boston and it is truly working alongside with I began oil pulling twice a day as well as brushing my teeth with baking soda, sea salt and peroxide. The change happened over nite once I used the probiotic exactly how he explains it. THANKS A MILLION, DAVID!!!!!!"
05/10/2013: China from Toledo replies: "Thanks to all the responses, I have battled this problem seven years which caused me to isolate myself from people because of the bad smell of the white coating. I am convinced that probiotic tx will work and on my way to buy it now. Will let you know how I'm doing. Maybe my confidence will come back to talk face to face again!!!"
[YEA] 05/09/2006: DS from NYC: "A great remedy I just discovered by accident to take away the white coating on your tongue is powdered charcoal. I was taking this at night to cleanse my digestive system and discovered the next morning that my tongue had no coating on it! Amazing!"Replies
05/22/2009: Jack from NYC, New York replies: "How do you do with charcoal. Can you please tell more detail or procedure how to use."
Apple Cider Vinegar
03/18/2012: Removing Ama From The System from Toronto, Canada: "I am currently going to an ayurvedic practioner. You might wish to check out "removing Ama" from the system. This is the white stuff on your tongue that is caused by indigestion and the toxin forms.
I think the ACV will help with the clearing of this toxin and help digestion too. I took 2 tbs today and so far no itching and that is good news!
good luck to everyone!"
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 08/18/2008: Liza from Manila, Philippines: "I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar plus Baking Soda for 2 weeks now for my LPR [Laryngopharyngeal Reflux]. I noticed that the 'mucus' on my throat is gone but i have white tongue. How will I get rid of this? And I still have halitosis. I need some help. Thanks."
EC: Please check for remedies on the following page:
09/08/2010: Canuckboy from Calgary, Alberta replies: "My recipe for a nice pink tongue is as follows:
* Apple Cider Vinegar: Drink 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water, preferably 3 times a day. *Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS): 3 drops of MMS plus 15 drops of ACV wait 3 mins add a bit of water and gargle, squish around for 30 to 60 secs and spit out. * Iodine: use Kelp in cooking as a spice - makes my mouth moist and clean. Or, drink a drop of Lugol's solution in a glass of water. * Tongue scraper"
Chinese Medicine Diagnosis of the Tongue
12/12/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa: "Hi Everyone, I just wanted to post another interesting interview with Dr. Victor Zeines who is a dentist who actually left the profession dismayed by the standard methods of dental practice. During that interim he left, became a psychotherapist and was led on a path to learn all sorts of information on alternative tooth care. Re- invigorated with this knowledge, he returned to dentistry to serve his patients with herbs, nutrition, vitamins, etc. And their teeth thrived. He also speaks on the coating of the tongue, the various colors, the thickness, the state of the tongue which is all information he learned from studying Chinese medicine. The tongue is extremely important in diagnosing one's health in Chinese medicine and can help indicate where problems may lie within your body. I do hope you take the opportunity to hear what he has to say:
Best of health and holidays to everyone! Lisa"Replies
03/17/2013: Andrea from Glendale, Ca replies: "Thank you SO much for this! And, kudos to the Doctor!! I wish more MDs would follow suit!"
07/22/2009: Kevin from Vancouver, BC: "I am an acupunturist. Usually a white tongue or coating mean cold is inside.
Yellow means heat is inside. I know these terms seem a bit out there but using the idea of yin and yang is or cold and hot is more sophisticated than trying to figure out a single cause when the body is an orchestra or functions.
So for a white toungue one would suggest Hot or warming food. For example ginger or cinnamon or cayenne. I would also suggests other tonic herbs like ginseng but only if there is not thick coating. A thick coating means excess or too much and so to build that would make it worse. You need to decrease the thickness. This is done by taking herbs that help to clear dampness usually bitter ones or astringent like orange peel for example.
There is a whole study of toungue coating and colour out there that is foundational to chinese diagnosis. Your toungue is a great indicator of health.
So to recap white toungue means cold so get warm and the toungue will change. Literally and with warming food. DO not eat ice cream or drink cold drinks with a cold tongue."
03/22/2010: Laurie from Belleville, Ont, Canada replies: "Hello Kevin, You stated that "Yellow means heat is inside "but didn't say how to treat this. I've only recently come up with a yellowish tongue and would like to get rid of it... any ideas?"
11/30/2010: Jojo from Brookyn, Ny replies: "With the orange peel are you suppose to chew it or drink it as hot tea?"
11/30/2010: Diane from Berkeley, Ca replies: "It is dried, and used in soups or teas."
03/02/2011: David from Adealide, Australia replies: "From my research white or yellow or dirty tongue indicates a heavy bacterial issue. Those with this issue usually have it persitently along with bad breath. I have suffered from this all my life. I have just had a deviated septum repair. I was hoping it may relieve my symptoms. But I now have the flu which make the tongue condition worse. Many old remedies dont kill the bacteria. Normal toothpaste also. My conclusion?The sinus's and or nasal cavity in these people are slightly defective. Advances in knowledge may find the problems in the future. I know people who dont practice oral hygiene at all and never have bad breath and always have a nice healthy tongue colour. Im going to try Thera Breath toothpaste and oxyd-8 to complete my research. they show good reviews but I am always sceptical.Cheers"
[YEA] 12/28/2008: Suzanne from Abbotsford, BC, Canada: "I had a white coating on my tongue for many years and would just brush it when I brushed my teeth. Didn't seem all that bad. However, when I went on an anti-Candida diet (i.e. no sugar), I noticed one day that my tongue wasn't white anymore. Honey and fruit seems to be ok, though, because I have had those regularly after the appropriate time on the diet. I'm guessing that it is related to systemic yeast infection, which I have had for some time."
[YEA] 01/21/2013: Keith from Boulder, Co: "For years I stuggled with white tongue. I tried so many different therapies from this site and others with marginal effect. It appears I found the problem for me... An allergy to dairy. After about a month avoiding dairy I have a healthy pink tongue, no more phlegm in my throat, and a happy outlook. I don't know if this will help anyone, but hopefully it will... there may be nothing that you can put in your body to cure your white tongue, but maybe there's something you can stop putting in your body that will help."
[YEA] 04/10/2013: Michael from Chicago, Illinois: "Eating saurkraut (and kimchee) regularly has cleared up my thrush and dry mouth. Start out taking just a little bit and go up to a few tablespoons with each meal. You will see the white coating leaving your mouth right away!"
[YEA] 04/02/2012: Angie from Atlanta, Ga: "Thanks all for the Glycerin tip. I'm a few minutes from applying glycerin to my tongue and it worked instantly! I applied a few drops on my soft bristle toothpaste and watched the whiteness go away. I will keep you posted in a day or two to update my status. My breathe smells a lot fresher now that the white coloring is gone:-)
I strongly recommend this as option 1."Replies
[YEA] 05/04/2012: Charlie from New York replies: "Yea Thank G-D for this site!!! I have now put some Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin) on my toothbrush & the white coating went away instantly! The dry mouth sensation is lessening also - AMAZING!!!"
09/02/2012: Carly from Toronto, Ontario Canada replies: "So to be clear, you brush your tongue with glycerin? Also, do you rise your mouth afterwards or no?"
09/02/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Carly, I personally would not use glycerin in my mouth. I suppose if you want to use it for your tongue, keep it isolated to that only and then rinse. When I was doing research on natural care for the teeth and re-mineralizing tooth enamel, it was emphasized not to use glycerin which is in almost all toothpaste. What it does is coat the teeth and the saliva cannot reach them to re-mineralize and heal the teeth. Anyway, just a thought, Lisa"
[YEA] 12/05/2011: Ann from Basalt, Colorado: "Got my USP Glycerin today, used it on my tongue 3 times before 10 PM, and no more white tongue. Now we'll see how long it lasts. Glycerin tastes good, and I swallow it. Tried the hydrogen peroxide and it did not work - also made my tongue sore."Replies
[YEA] 12/11/2011: Mark from Denver, Colorado replies: "I used vegatable glycerin for 3 days and my tongue is completely healed. It was a mess with a heavy white coating. I saw immediate improvement using the glycerin. Just put a few drops on your tooth brush and softly brush your tongue. It tastes great."
03/03/2012: D.sardone from Nyc , Ny replies: "I found USP glycerin at CVS in the make up aisle. Is that safe to use internally or should use vegetable glycerin?"
[YEA] 03/27/2012: Alva from Nashua, Nh Usa replies: "Wow I just tried glycerin after I saw this thread & it works instantly. I will post back in another couple days see if it comes back. Thank you so much everyone!"
[YEA] 10/13/2009: Chris from Floral Park, Ny: "I found a bottle of vegetable glycerin in a health food store for about $5. I put a few drops on my toothbrush and bushed my tongue. It has been white for years even after hydrogen peroxide, salt, different toothpastes. After using glycerin for a day my tongue is almost totally pink. My mouth also tastes sweet but not overly so."Replies
11/26/2010: Adrian from Rockton, Pennsylvania replies: "After trying H202 and several other remedies in vain I must say that I am extremely pleased with Glycerin for my coated tongue. I just bought some at my local drug store (not vegetable glycerin either), and upon first brush I could see it cleaning it up better than anything else did, and almost immediately! Granted I am only 10 minutes into this particular experiment but I am certainly optimistic! Thank you Earth Clinic."
[YEA] 06/16/2011: Chris from Phoenix, Arizona replies: "CRAZY! Tried the USP Glycerin, not vegetable. Almost GONE after the first try. Three drops on my toothbrush. Insane! Got it over the counter at the pharmacy at Target."
[YEA] 07/25/2011: Alzaz from Mongomery Village, Md Usa replies: "WOW! Never thought it could be this simple!!!! Just read this thread went to brush my tongue ( luckily I had glycerin @ home) and it's completely gone! Also the sensation of dry mouth and thirst disappeared!!! Thanks sooooo much for the tip!"
10/27/2011: Sam from Dallas, Texas, Us replies: "Hello, it is now Oct 2011. Does this glycerin remedy have lasting effect? I have tried so many different things but seem like the bacterias that cause halitosis just outrun/adapt to the remedy everytime. Fighting a losing battle here."
10/27/2011: Louwrence from Rustenburg, North West. South Africa replies: "Hi Sam, If the problem persists, find out if you have tonsil stones & have them removed, they are not called devils breath for nothing. Good luck. Go to youtube & type in tonsil stones."
[YEA] 11/11/2011: Paul from Ottawa, On, Canada replies: "I try to live as healthy as possible, but I do smoke and drink coffee. For as long as I remember, my tongue has had a grayish white coating on it, extending almost from the tip all the way to the back. Today I bought a bottle of USP Glycerin from the local drug store after reading this thread and the results have been super amazing. Not only does my tongue look much much better and pinker, it also feels nicer and cleaner in my mouth. I feel kissable again! <3"
[YEA] 11/18/2011: Tee from Over Here, Md replies: "Hi All! I've had BB for about 7 years(brush and it's smells bad again in 15 minutes) so thinking it was tonsil stones (had lots of throat infections & strep) I got my tonsils removed in early Oct. This didn't help the BB issue at all or stop the dry mouth and white tongue.
After looking at EC ... This morning I brushed my teeth and tongue with gylcerin and then with baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide. It took the white away immediately and my mouth has had a fresh feeling since.. Even after eating. I'll continue this and let you guys know how it turns out. I'm excited to possibly be able to talk to ppl with out adverse reactions."
01/04/2012: Michael from Whitehouse Sta, Nj Usa replies: "You mean pour glycerin plus toothpaste or without toothpaste on my toothbrush?"
[YEA] 01/17/2012: Mistu from Dallas, Tx replies: "That glycerin really works. I have not seen my red tongue for a long time. I put 3 drops on my toothbrush and brush my tongue slightly. Then use a tongue scraper to copmlete the job. My tongue stays pink until I eat again. I carry a small bottle of glycerin and a travel toothbrush to use after eating. Thank you for sharing this amazing tip."
06/11/2012: Samantha from Los Angeles, Ca replies: "I tried this remedy to brush my tongue with, but then I got scared bc I read that glycerin is a GMO food (genetically modified). So be careful!"
06/13/2012: Iya from Portland, Oregon replies: "Do u still use toothpaste or just the glycerin when brushing your teeth?"
07/27/2012: Ray from London, Uk replies: "I just brought thymol mouthwash does it work?"
[QUESTION] 01/17/2009: Anon from Buffalo, NY: "Hi. Where can I find glycerin? I looked in the toothpaste aisle and in the organic aisle at the supermarket. Is it something you can only find online? Thank you."
EC: No, check the wound care section in your local pharmacy or grocery store. We usually see it on either the very top or the very bottom shelf. At Whole Foods, we once found a great brand of vegetable glycerin in the castor oil/massage oil section. Singers use veggie-based glycerin to coat sore throats as it's safe for internal use.
Here's one advertised at iherb.com: http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=7962&at=0
02/15/2011: Mari from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "I didn't know glycerin could be used like this! The only thing I've ever used it for is making fondant for cakes and restoring the consistency of icing when it dries out.
Wilton sells it in 59ml (2 fl oz. ) bottles in craft stores or cake decorating stores too. Usually about $5 (CAN), but if you go to a Michael's Craft Store with one of their 40% off coupons, it brings it down to $3.
I've had the white tongue problem for a while too, so I'm going to give this a try."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 06/20/2011: King Of Bb from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "I bought some Vegetable Glycerin from my favorite place, luckyvitamin.com. I got Natures Answer Extrac 4oz. After the first use I saw a change from a white tongue to a light pink one. I used my tongue brush. I would imagine after a few days of use my white tongue will be completely gone. I wish I read this a long time ago. I currently use Dr. Katz toothpaste and Motuhwash. It works but doesnt last as long as it states. Maybe the Dr. Katz and Vegetable Glycerin combo will eliminate the bad breath."