Furry tongue is a common name given to the condition when your tongue has a white, coated layer on it. Normally, our tongue is covered with filiform papillae (FP), which gives it the pink colour, but there are various reasons that contribute to the discolouring of our FP.

Dr Praveen Kumar, director, Department of Dental, Jaypee Hospital, Noida lists some of the most common causes and a few home remedies to get rid of a furry tongue.


There are a lot of factors that may increase the risk of developing such a condition, says Dr Kumar. It could be because of white measles or not cleaning the tongue regularly. “When we brush our teeth, we usually don’t take care of our tongue. It is mandatory to clean your tongue along with cleaning your teeth. Otherwise it results in poor oral hygiene.” He further adds that after having the food, one usually doesn’t clean their tongue, which also results in a lot of white patches.

Other factors include dehydration, yeast infection and use of certain medications, which may not suit your body. Excessive consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee and diseases such as diabetes and jaundice can also lead to hairy tongue.

Home Remedies

* Other than properly brushing, flossing and cleaning your mouth, you need to drink a lot of water as it helps wash away excess food particles. This in turn prevents oral bacteria to feed on the food particles thus, decreasing the risk of oral-related problems caused due to improper brushing.

* Since it depends on the food one eats, you need to include a lot of vegetables in your everyday diet, especially carrots as they have natural cleaning properties. You can also add garlic and clove as they contain anti-microbial properties, which is very helpful in eliminating coated tongue.

* Turmeric has natural anti-microbial properties, which is very helpful in removing oral bacteria. You can apply turmeric paste on your tongue and scrub the white patches. After that, rinse off with water.

* Neem contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that helps get rid of furry tongue. Take a cup of water and boil it. Add a few neem leaves in it and let it cool for sometime. Remove the neem leaves, and use the water to gargle. Repeat the process twice daily.

* Like turmeric, aloe vera too has anti-microbial characteristics. You just need to swish a tablespoon of aloe vera juice in your mouth for a minute or two. Repeat this twice daily for faster results.

Dr Kumar adds, “If their is any kind of ulcer, then you must consult a dentist as soon as possible because home remedies cannot help when there is ulceration.”

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