What Causes Your Tongue To Get Ugly Stains?

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What causes the tongue to get white, black, discolored in the first place?
What was the causes that let up to this problem I had. How did this ugly discoloration and “hairy” growth even occur? Well, in a nutshell: I found out that the tongue has a bunch of tiny projections (papillae) on its surface and this is where the taste buds are. Now normally any dead and old papillae cells would slough off completely, usually thru the fiber that’s contained in your diet. The Fiber acts like a gentle brush that brushes off those dead papillae cells. But if you don’t get enough fiber in your diet (of which I’m guilty of), and it combines with the massive build-up of yeast (usually candida) and bacteria, this makes the projections (papillae) grow long and hence the ‘hairy’ appearance. And these hairy projections that’s composed of dead cells + bacteria + yeast will easily get stained by foods & drinks that contain tannins such as coffee, tea, soda pop, just to name a few. Also tobacco, antibiotics, bismuth-containing OTC medications such as Pepto-Bismol, and even peroxides contained in those teeth-whitening products (mouthwashes, etc) will contribute to the problem. And what’s interesting is the variations in the color of the stains. Some people see darker black or green stains. Others experience lighter yellowish stains. While others see white tongue stains.

Here are the main culprits that contribute to a discolored & hairy tongue:

#1. Tannin-containing Foods & Drinks: As mentioned earlier, foods & drinks that contain tannins such as coffee, tea, food-coloring found in soda pop, etc can stain the tongue. There’s tannins in almost any food or liquids that you consume. Pomegranate, strawberries, other berries, nuts, herbs and spices, legumes (beans), chocolate, wine, beer. It’s almost impossible to avoid. (see: Foods that contain tannins)

#2. Tobacco: The tar in tobacco is a strong contributor for developing a discolored tongue. And this is especially true if you’re using chewing tobacco. But numerous other things can contribute to staining/coating the tongue:

#3. Pepto-Bismol: Yup, even popular Over-The-Counter medications such as Pepto-Bismol can contribute to the problem. The bismuth contained in it causes the problem.

#4. Antibiotics: Antibiotics can cause this by having an undesirable effect on the type of yeast and bacteria colonies that exist in your mouth. The ‘good’ (probiotic) colonies that have beneficial qualities would diminish while the ‘bad’ ones that helps cause this problem would proliferate.

#5. Teeth Whitening Mouthwashes: Here’s another whopper. Most of those teeth whitening mouthwashes you find sold at your local store can also encourage the growth of that black ugly coating. The peroxides that helps produce that beautiful teeth-whitening effect will ironically have an undesirable affect on the yeast and bacteria colonies that exist in your mouth. Just to add, even mouthwashes which contain menthol or witch hazel can also play a role in producing a discolored hairy tongue.

#6. Not enough fiber in my diet: Finally, my diet habits. Not enough fiber in my diet. (Yup, guilty as charged.). Apparently the fiber acts like a ‘gentle sweeper’ that helps brush off some of that dead cell build-up we discussed earlier.

#7. Too much sugar in my diet: Guilty here as well. All that sugar (soda pop, twinkies, candy bar, cakes, even the sugar I add to my coffee) apparently feeds the wrong kinds of bacteria and yeast.

Anyhoo, visit our homepage while you’re at it. Afterall, this site is about giving you an alternative solution for cleaning your tongue effectively. If tongue scraping just isn’t cutting it, then you’ve come to the right place. Learn what can you use instead of a tongue scraper to clean your tongue more effectively. Whether it’s for a white tongue, black hairy tongue, yellow tongue, green tongue, it doesn’t matter.

Clean your tongue with a sonic toothbrush