What is the difference between a white tongue and having oral thrush?

Thank you for checking out this video today. I’ve got a question from a person in America. What is the difference between a white tongue and having oral thrush? Are they the same? Is there any difference between them both?

Yes. There are some similarities there, but let me first explain what having oral thrush is. Oral thrush really is a yeast infection of the oral cavity. It’s generally Candida Albicans. What are some of the causes of oral thrush?

Babies are more prone to having oral thrush. People who wear dentures, especially if they’re not fitting that well or if a person sleeps with dentures overnight. They could be rubbing on different parts inside the mouth causing a bit of discomfort. Those are things that can make the mucosal wall in the mouth around the gums more susceptible to a yeast infection. Taking antibiotics, especially recurring antibiotics. Sometimes dry mouth syndrome. There are some diseases, for example, Shogun’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease where a person can have lack of saliva production that can predispose you toward a yeast infection.

Certain chemotherapy drugs or certain medications like anti-psychotic medications can dry out the mouth, or antidepressants. These can make you more prone to having oral thrush. Being a diabetic. There are many reasons. Even lack of sufficient vitamin B12 or folic acid or iron can predispose you to oral thrush. It’s not that uncommon and many of us from time to time may have had a little bit of thrush here or there in the mouth, sort of white spots. If you go to Google and type in “oral thrush image search,” you’ll see pictures of oral thrush.

A white tongue is a bit different, however. A white tongue may involve Candida, but often it will involve dysbiosis or a problem with a person’s digestive system further down. Let’s analyze this. What white tongue means and look at some of the causes of this and how we can remedy this.

The way to remedy oral thrush, obviously, is to understand the causes and make sure that we nip these in the bud. If we prevent the causes, we know we prevent the event. White tongue, however, if you’re a smoker, you could be more prone to a white or yellow tongue. Again, certain medications can color the tongue. Certain foods can create problems, but there is common white tongue on a person as if they’ve got poor bacterial levels in their gut.

I often see it with low stomach acid. One of the causes. One of the primary causes would be a problem with stomach acidity, especially the upper stomach or the upper digestive system and the stomach, I should say. Pancreatic insufficiency, so a problem with the pancreas. You will find that if you improve the person’s digestion with enzymes, often that will help the tongue significantly. Improper diet. Eating the wrong kind of foods. A lot of starchy and floury foods can predispose you toward that. Sugary foods. These also encourage bacterial levels, which are not really desired. So bad bacteria in combination with some Candida in the gut will invariably cause that.

I’ve previously done a video showing you different parts of the tongue and different areas of the digestive system that are affected, but I’ll go over that once again for your understanding. The tip of the tongue represents the stomach. The middle part of the tongue represents the small intestine. The rear part of the tongue represents the colon. If you poke out your tongue and have a look, if you’ve got discoloration at the back of the tongue, it’s going to represent more problems further down the GI tract.

If you’ve got cracked tongue, it represents heat or too much strength in the digestive system. I see this often with people who eat spicy foods or drink too much alcohol. In Chinese medicine, we call it “too much heat” or “too much fire” in the digestive system, so you need to eat more cooling foods and reduce alcohol.

Problems with the edges of the tongue will often mean liver problems. Thick flabby tongue will often mean liver. Yellow-coated tongue often liver or gall bladder dysfunction. White colored tongue, dysbiosis. Think about small intestinal bowel overgrowth.

I hope that answers your question. Thank you.

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