7 doctors weighed in:

No matter how much I scrape my tongue, I can't get the layer of white stuff off.  is this normal?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: It is normal

The "white stuff" is keratin from the underlying tongue tissue.
Also the taste buds in the top part of the tongue are long and "finger-like." the anatomy of the taste buds and this keratin layer can sometimes make the tongue look "hairy." this is completely benign. Scrubbing your tongue is not needed and cause harm.

In brief: It is normal

The "white stuff" is keratin from the underlying tongue tissue.
Also the taste buds in the top part of the tongue are long and "finger-like." the anatomy of the taste buds and this keratin layer can sometimes make the tongue look "hairy." this is completely benign. Scrubbing your tongue is not needed and cause harm.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
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Dr. Christopher Guzik
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Hairy tongue

Causing factors for hairy tongue include poor oral hygiene, smoking, caffeine, alcohol use and the use of medications (especially broad-spectrum antibiotics), and therapeutic radiation of the head and the neck.
All cases of hairy tongue are characterized by a thickening and elongation of filiform papillae, with a lack of normal desquamation.

In brief: Hairy tongue

Causing factors for hairy tongue include poor oral hygiene, smoking, caffeine, alcohol use and the use of medications (especially broad-spectrum antibiotics), and therapeutic radiation of the head and the neck.
All cases of hairy tongue are characterized by a thickening and elongation of filiform papillae, with a lack of normal desquamation.
Dr. Christopher Guzik
Dr. Christopher Guzik
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Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

You don't need to scrape your tongue.
Usually the layer of white is just cellular debris.

In brief: Yes

You don't need to scrape your tongue.
Usually the layer of white is just cellular debris.
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
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Dr. Vasu Brown
Wound care

In brief: Poor digestion

Hairy tongue is caused by chronic poor digestion and in eastern medicine due to burden to kidney meridian.
To help this take betaine hcl with each meal if u want specific on how much to take post as a comment i will reply.

In brief: Poor digestion

Hairy tongue is caused by chronic poor digestion and in eastern medicine due to burden to kidney meridian.
To help this take betaine hcl with each meal if u want specific on how much to take post as a comment i will reply.
Dr. Vasu Brown
Dr. Vasu Brown
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Dr. Vasu Brown
Wound care

In brief: Poor digestion

If you are interested in functional medicine try taking betaine hydrochloride 1000mg if u are <150 pounds 2000mg if you are >150-250pounds (post comment if u are over 250 pounds for specifics) after each meal - if u have discomfort due to belching with betaine hcl take bromelain orally.
The coating will disappear within a week.

In brief: Poor digestion

If you are interested in functional medicine try taking betaine hydrochloride 1000mg if u are <150 pounds 2000mg if you are >150-250pounds (post comment if u are over 250 pounds for specifics) after each meal - if u have discomfort due to belching with betaine hcl take bromelain orally.
The coating will disappear within a week.
Dr. Vasu Brown
Dr. Vasu Brown
Thank
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