Nobody wants a white coated tongue. A white coated tongue does not look normal or healthy and can be a strong indicator of bad breath. The microbes that live on your tongue are often referred to as “bad breath factories.” The anaerobic bacteria that are responsible for producing bad breath odors can be present in vast numbers on the tongue and can release large quantities of waste compounds that form what is known as a bio-film on the surface of the tongue. This bio-film is actually an accumulation of bacteria, bacterial waste products, and mucus. There is a clear and direct link between the biofilm on the tongue and bad breath so removing this biofilm and preventing the accumulation of bacteria on the tongue is paramount to having fresh breath.
People who have the condition known as geographic tongue are definitely more likely to experience a white or splotchy looking tongue. Geographic tongue is simply a tongue that has lots of grooves and fissures and white patches on it. These grooves and fissures make for an excellent breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria to thrive, and these bacteria have the ability to produce bad breath odors and a white tongue. People who have geographic tongues often have patchy areas of the tongue that have proliferating taste buds that tend to trap anaerobic bacteria. A recent study published by the American Dental Association confirmed that people whose tongues contain large colonies of anaerobic bacteria more often have stronger smelling breath than those whose tongues are clean.
HOW DO YOU TREAT THE BIOFILM THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CAUSING HALITOSIS?
If left alone the anaerobic bacteria will thrive and replicate in an oral environment that has a low pH (acidic). The more acidic your mouth is, the more likely the bacteria will reproduce and develop in greater numbers. A low pH environment will often occur when you have low salivary flow, and this is one of the most common causes of bad breath. An excellent product called Basic Bites has proven very helpful in neutralizing the oral pH levels. There are also some excellent saliva stimulating products available to assist in improving salivary flow.
When treating bad breath it is important to address all the different causes that are altering your oral environment. There are many potential causes and people suffering from halitosis usually have 3-5 different factors that are responsible their bacterial levels being elevated. It is important to find the right professional that understands the microbiology behind halitosis and have them successfully diagnose and treat your condition. At the Center for Breath Treatment Dr Dailley has been doing just that for the last 19 years, and focuses on first determining what the causes of the condition are before treating it.
About the author: Dr. Anthony Dailley is a practicing general dentist in Berkeley California. He has been practicing since 1981 and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology, and obtained his dental degree from the Pacific School of Dentistry. Dr. Dailley also holds a fellowship position with the International Congress of Oral Implantologist (ICOI). Dr. Dailley has also been a founder in a biotech company called NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and was a member of their board of directors from 1997 -2014.