Tongue Peeling Causes like STDs, Pregnancy, Medications, Treatments and Remedies

Why is my tongue peeling? Tongue peeling is very common and can affect anyone at any age that may be common after eating very salty foods, vinegar chips or even be experienced during pregnancy. Get more insight on the causes, remedies and treatment which includes geographic tongue, STDs and so on.

There are many problems that may affect the normal tongue color and texture. One of them is peeling off of the tongue. When your tongue starts to peel, it may be a sign of a problem with your overall health or oral health. Usually, most people describe the peeling of the tongue when they actually mean the tongue has a white coating that is peeling off. We will look at both the phenomenon. Let us being with causes of tongue peeling.

Peeling tongue causes

Why does my tongue peel off? Definitely there are reasons why your tongue may peel. Following is a discussion on the causes of tongue peeling.

Hot foods or liquids

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One of the common causes of tongue peeling is taking foods that are very hot. Very hot or extremely hot foods can form blisters either on mouth lining or on the tongue. Before these blisters can heal, they often break and hence one may have peeling the skin from the tongue and mouth.

These blisters usually last for a few days but can also go for many days. The same blisters can make eating and swallowing to be difficult.

Can acidic or spicy foods cause tongue peeling?

The second reason as to why your tongue will peel off is the consumption of foods that are very acidic or spicy. These foods comprise fruits and foods such as tomato sauce and carbonated soft drinks, chili and salsa. If you continue to use these foods frequently the extent of peeling from the tongue may increase.

Geographic tongue

Geographic tongue is yet another probable cause peeling of the tongue. This is a condition which is characterized by smooth, red or irregular patches on top or side of the tongue.

The main cause of the problem is not yet well established but may be linked with family heredity or history. People who have fissured tongues have a higher risk of geographic tongue.

Besides the symptoms i.e. smooth, red or irregular patches, a geographic tongue is also characteristic of the formation of lesions. These lesions may form on any side of the tongue e.g. the sides, on top or even at the back and give it the map-like appearance.

Furthermore, individuals with geographic tongue and they like taking hot or spicy foods and drinks are likely to suffer more on the consequences such as peeling. This is because these kinds of foods increase the tongue’s sensitivity.

A confirmation to this is when tongue papillae are missing. According to, the normal white tongue coating surface of the tongue are seen without the papillae.

Tongue peeling due to STDs

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STDs are types of diseases that can be transmitted from one individual to the other through sex. Again it is very important to note that these kinds of infections and diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through anal, vaginal and oral sex. The consequences of the STDs can be very small as just seeing a doctor or as big as leading to death or infertility.

Some medications used to treat STIs can cause tongue peeling. Furthermore, some STDs might cause this pealing as one of their symptoms.

Some medications can cause tongue peeling too

The use of some medication can cause tongue peeling depending on the type of medication and duration you have taken them. Thus, below are some types of medication and how they are likely to lead to tongue peeling.

Anti-inflammatory drugs – First in the list, we’ve got the Anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs can cause the tongue to have red points and makes the body of the tongue to become thinner. So when these types of drugs are taken for several years, the have a very high potential of causing tongue peeling in both adults and children.

  • Antibiotics – Another type of drug is Antibiotics. These drugs can make the tongue to peel within two to three days and this peeling is not replaced until two to three weeks after the antibiotics are stopped.
  • Diuretics – We also have got the diuretics that cause the coating of the tongue to disappear. When Diuretics are taken over years they may lead to tongue peeling too.
  • Cancer medications – Another group of drugs is the anticancer drugs. These types of drugs cause the tongue to develop a thick brown to black dry coating which may peel off after some time.
  • Steroids – The other group of drugs are Steroids and asthma medications. These groups of drugs cause the tongue to become red making the outer skin of the tongue to peel.
  • Asthma medications – Asthma medications (bronchodilators) causes the tip of the tongue to redden with some chances of it peeling off.

White peeling tongue

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“White coating on the tongue is generally because of colonizing bacteria, fungi (candida) with the entrapment of dead cells”. This coating may get aggravated in mouth breathers, dry mouth patients, patients with poor oral hygiene, nutritional deficiency, and gastric upset, systemic diseases like diabetes, fever, etc. This whiteness could also be because of some physical/chemical injury but this is generally painful.

Generally, this coating can be easily scrapped off with brushing or gentle tongue cleaning. Scrapable white coating could also be because of yeast/candida infection and it is generally associated with burning, redness and white patches.

What causes a white tongue

Did you know what causes a white tongue are? Below is a list of some causes of the white tongue.

  • Poor oral hygiene,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Congenital heart disease in adults,
  • Smoking or other oral tobacco use,
  • Alcohol use
  • Mechanical irritation from sharp tooth edges or dental appliances and many others.

Some of the conditions associated with white patches or other discolorations of your tongue include use of certain medications, such as prolonged use of antibiotics, oral thrush, geographic tongue, leukoplakia, oral lichen planus, mouth cancer, tongue cancer and STDs such as HIV and syphilis.

The above causes of white tongue can affect anyone including young children and adults. A white tongue problem may come with various symptoms such as bad breath, sores, patches or thick white coating on tongue among others.

Tongue peeling and pregnancy

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You are pregnant and your tongue is peeling. What could be the problem? Find out below how this problem is possible while pregnant.

During pregnancy, some women sometimes develop a blue tongue which after some time may intensify and starts to peel off. Such a condition may be due to nutritional deficiency. In such a case, the victims should get quick and direct examinations by the dentist. Again the problem of the blue tongue may be due to bloating and loss of sleep likely due to anxiety and dietary habits.

Furthermore, the tongue peeling problems during pregnancy may sometimes be due to an imbalance in thyroid hormone levels. If the imbalance of thyroid hormone is the case then seeking the service of endocrinologists will be of great help to a victim.

It is also important to note that some general causes of tongue peeling that have been discussed above also can as well lead to tongue peeling during pregnancy.

Dealing with a tongue that peels

I know you might now be wondering on what you should do to deal with the tongue peeling problems. Okay, is not a big deal, we have what you should do immediately you notice the symptoms of tongue peeling

When you suspect some of the tongue peeling symptoms, please just seek the attention of your doctor to offer you a proper medication before the symptoms develop to their severity levels. Some of the prescription that your doctor or dentist may recommend to you include:

  1. Anti-inflammatories
  2. Zinc supplements
  3. Mouth rinses with anesthetic
  4. Corticosteroids applied directly on the tongue
  5. Over-the-counter pain relievers

For one to reduce and hasten the relief of the tongue peeling symptoms, then one should avoid or limit the use of the following substances:

  • The use of tobacco and related drugs may lead to tongue peeling,
  • The consumption of hot, spicy, or acidic foods or dried, salty nuts and
  • The use of toothpaste with additives, whitening agents, or heavy flavoring.

Home remedies for tongue peeling

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Apart from visiting specialists for medications, there some home remedies here that can be employed to address the problems of tongue peeling. So please take your time to see the home remedies for general tongue problems.


Salt can be the best remedy in the case of a white-coated tongue. Its coarse nature will work as a natural tongue scraper to remove debris and dead cells on your tongue. Another good thing about salt is the fact that its antiseptic property that will help kill bacteria that may cause bad breath.

The following are the steps taken when using the tongue to treat a white-coated tongue:

First, you will have to sprinkle some salt on your white-coated tongue and scrub gently with a toothbrush for some minutes. You will then rinse thoroughly with warm water. This process needs to be repeated thrice a day for good results to be achieved.
Another step that can be helpful is to mix one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. You will then gargle this saltwater thoroughly and then spit it out. The process should be repeated several times a day until symptoms improve.


The use of probiotics is another good remedy for a white-coated tongue especially caused by the growth of candida fungus. The ingredients of probiotics like acidophilus and B. lactic cultures will really help in the control of the bacteria and fungi growth in your mouth.

How are probiotics applied?

The powder of one capsule of probiotics is mixed with little water, then after one has brushed his/her teeth he/she should then use the probiotic solution as a mouth wash. This should be done at least once a day for one week. Alternatively, one can include yogurt with live cultures in their diet.

Application of Vegetable glycerin

Another very important home remedy for tongue peeling is the use of the Vegetable Glycerin. This is especially applied in cases where tongue peeling is due to a white-coated tongue. Its application is more effective when the tongue problem is due to dry mouth.

To use this remedy, you need to put little vegetable glycerin in your mouth and lightly brush with a toothbrush. Upon completion, rinse your mouth with warm water. The process should be repeated severally until your tongue attain its original color that is its natural pink color.

Other home remedies

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Other home remedies that can help address the problem of tongue peeling is the use of the following:

How the color of your tongue reveals your health

Have you taken your time to stick out your tongue and check out its status? Now were are going to look at how the state of your tongue can reveal the picture of your health. We are going to examine the color, texture, and coating of your tongue in relation to your general health.

Tongue Color

Did you know the normal color of your tongue when are healthy? Now if you were not aware read below to get conversant with the color changes in your tongue and what they may reveal about your health status.

Pale – if the color of your tongue or the mucous membranes happen to appear pale in color, this could be an indication that your blood is lacking hemoglobin. In this case, one may suffer tiredness. Make sure that their diet contains food rich in iron minerals.

Bright red – when the color of your tongue is in this color then that is a clear indication that you lack iron and vitamin B. Again in this case one should properly select their diet to make sure that his/her diet is rich in this nutrients.

Purple – the purple color of your tongue could indicate that you are suffering from high cholesterol levels. This problem if not taken care of as immediately as possible then it can result in serious heart problems. The purple color of your tongue could also indicate that one may be suffering from the problem of chronic bronchitis which results in problems of breathing in oxygen.

Tongue Texture

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Dry tongue – when your salivary glands swell, they can result in tongue dryness due to lack of enough lubrication i.e. saliva. This condition is often caused by stress. So the remedy for this is to find enough time to relax. Again one should visit his/her doctor to receive medication that will stimulate the production of saliva.

Raised red spots – when your tongue tip becomes red and also accompanied by bleeding then this could be an indication of lack of vitamin C that contains a compound that helps in the strengthening of the tiny blood capillaries in the skin of the tongue.

Tongue Coating

White coating – Whenever your tongue has a light or a thin white coating, then this condition should just be taken normal but when it advances to a heavy white plague then this can indicate candidiasis or oral thrush. This could be due to the use of specific medication for a long time. This problem could be addressed by the adoption of home remedies for tongue problems for instance one may use vegetation glycerin to hasten the relief.

As seen, your tongue may offer very important information about the health status of an individual. So good precautionary measures should be taken at the early stages of the symptoms of various tongue problems to prevent worsening.

It is also important to note that after employing home remedies to try to treat certain tongue problem and it persists, then please immediately seek the service of the trusted specialist or proven medication offered by health institutions.