Causes Of White Coated Tongue In Babies: How To Get Rid Of It?

The tongue can provide information about many ongoing health problems in human body. When tongue becomes discolored, sore or swollen it is trying to tell something uncommon. White coating on tongue is one of the common issues that frequently occur in babies. Parents often become anxious and wonder what may have caused the change of color of their baby’s tongue.

One of the reasons for white tongue among baby is as simple as thin layer of residual milk after feeding. However, it can be also caused due to oral thrush, a type of yeast infection.

In some babies oral thrush can cause irritation on tongue which may prevent the baby from proper feeds.

What Are The Causes Of White Tongue In Babies?

There are several causes of white coating on a baby’s tongue.

  • White coating on a baby’s tongue can be just a thin layer of milk residue that is left after feeding. Watch for few days and check its frequency. If the coating comes and goes frequently, and is more noticeable after milk feeding it can be simply a residual layer of milk on the surface of tongue.
  • The other common cause for white coated tongue is oral thrush. It is a yeast infection caused by Candida Albicans. The fungus lives in mouth and gastrointestinal system. There are several microorganisms that habitat in human body. They live in harmony with each other without causing any medical problem until there is overgrowth of any of these organisms. Oral thrush caused due to Candida is often observed in babies, especially in babies under 2 months of age. One of the reasons is contact with the infection while passing through the birth canal of the mother. Use of antibiotics during infancy can increase the growth of yeast in oral cavity. The infection can be passed from breast feeding mothers through the infected nipples. On the other hand it can also pass from babies mouth to mother’s nipple. Thrush on a baby’s tongue appears similar to cottage cheese or curdled milk. This type of white coating is difficult to remove. When it is removed by applying force, it may leave behind raw, red and bleeding spot on the tongue. Unlike milk residue, babies with thrush on their tongue and oral cavity find it difficult to feed due to irritation on their tongue.

How To Get Rid Of White Tongue In Babies?

White coating on baby’s tongue can be worrying for the parents. However, if it is caused due to residual milk the baby does not need any treatment. Many babies suffering from thrush, a type of yeast infection may experience discomfort when they feed. Such babies need to be treated to reduce the discomfort. Treatment is also required to prevent frequent recurrence.

Doctors usually prescribe anti-fungal drops to be applied on the tongue and oral cavity of the child. At the same time, mother’s nipple if infected should be treated. Keeping the nipple area dry after feeding is effective way of preventing further problem. If the child is bottle fed, it is essential to sterilize pacifier or a synthetic nipple in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.

In addition to the conventional anti-fungal remedies for treating thrush, certain home measures are also useful. Baking soda is time tested home remedy for treating thrush that causes white coating on tongue. Boil one cup of drinking water. Allow it to cool. Add a pinch of baking soda and mix it for some time. Dip a piece of clean cloth in the solution. Wipe the baby’s mouth from inside gently with this cloth. Ensure that the baby is in upright or sitting posture to prevent swallowing of fluid.