Are you Confessing to a Coated Tongue?

There is a wealth of research showing a strong link between your coated tongue -yep, I mean that furry stuff growing on it - and bad breath (or oral malodour as the boffins like to call it).

And probiotics have an answer for it!

A 2007 study concluded that people with bad breath have different bacteria on their tongue than people that don't. This indicates that a coated tongue and the halitosis that goes with it are caused by bacteria.¹

probiotic bad breath There are a number of different bacteria that produce the unpleasant smell of bad breath but it is the hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria that are the main culprits. You'll find that Blis K12 and M18 probiotics can effectively fight this type of bad breath that is caused through a coated tongue.

Everyone has these hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria in their mouth, but it is when they invite too many of their relatives along that trouble starts. It is the INCREASE in the number of H2S-producing bacteria in the biofilm that coats the tongue that is responsible rather than the fact that they are there.²

That biofilm is your furry tongue!

Interestingly, at a 2007 Dental Conference there was a paper presented (called "Cognition of own tongue coating by patients complaining of oral malodor") showing that more than half the people in the group studied had no awareness of their own tongue coating. The rest of us, of course, worry endlessly!

this is not a coated tongue
Shame we can't all have tongues as beautiful as this


Back of tongue is where it's all happening

The dorsal area is simply the back part of the tongue and unfortunately it is prime real estate for bacteria. It's drier than many parts of the mouth and doesn't get cleaned so often or so thoroughly, in short just the sort of place that bacteria enjoy.

So, a few of the wrong sort of bug set up home, feed on the remnants of food, dead skin cells and postnasal drip that they find, breed profusely and you end up with a coated tongue and breath that could stop a charging rhino. How fair is that!

Multi-Symptom ProBiotic Breath Treatment Kit Seen under the microscope, the tongue's surface is one of hills and valleys and within that convoluted terrain the anaerobic bacteria flourish, breaking down the protein "bits" they find into foul smelling gases. Your volatile sulfur compounds, no less.

The Multi-Symptom ProBiotic Breath Treatment Kit complete with tongue scraper deals to both the coated tongue and the bad breath at the same time. This has to be the most effective probiotic kit around.


The fumes arising from that coated tongue

The volatile sulphur compounds produced by the bacteria are "significantly increased in patients with periodontal disease."³ It seems fairly straight forward to me, that if you have infections in your mouth, or holes around the gum line where bacteria can get in and party, you're going to have bad breath. So first port of call would be your dentist and get the teeth seen to.


How to cure that coated tongue

  • Go to the dentist. Get any gum disease sorted. It is in the nooks and crannies round the gum line that the hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria hide.

  • If you smoke - stop. Smoking dries the mouth. Lots of saliva does at least wash away the bugs that cause a coated tongue and bad breath.

  • Stop drinking alcohol. Same reason.

  • Tongue scrapers do work short term but no where near as well as probiotics.
  • Zap the bad bugs and introduce good ones with a mouthwash or lozenge that contains the K12 strain of Streptococcus salivarius.

    You'll find this special strain of probiotic in Now Foods Oralbiotic Blis K12 and Oral Probiotic Formula Strawberry Flavor 30 Chwbls They both contain the same probiotic, both excellent and both work.

    And if you're in the UK your local Amazon sell them Oralbiotic Blis K12, 60-Count.

  • Finally, look after the good bugs by not smoking and drinking too much!

If you don't recolonize the mouth, then whatever it is that caused the bad breath bugs to create that coating on the tongue in the first place, will allow them to rapidly increase their population again.

When you recolonize the mouth with good bacteria, then the baddies have to fight for elbow room.

After recolonizing, the good bacteria might hold their own, or according to this 2007 report4 you might need to repeat the recolonizing process every now and then. I use the K12 strain twice a year - spring and autumn.

Either way, your coated tongue is gone. It's a sweet deal for sweet breath.



1. Haraszthy VI, Zambon JJ, Sreenivasan PK, Zambon MM, Gerber D,Rego R, Parker C. Identification of oral bacterial species associated with halitosis. Journal of the American Dental Association 2007 138(8) 1113-1120.

2. Washio J, Sato T, Koseki T Takahashi N. Hydrogen sulfide-producing bacteria in tongue biofilm and their relationship with oral malodour. Journal of Medical Microbiology 54 (2005) 889-895

3. Yaegaki K, Sanada K. Volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air from clinically healthy subjects and patients with periodontal disease. J Periodontal Res. 1992 233-238

4. Horz HP, Meinelt A, Houben B, Conrads G. Distribution and persistence of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 in the human oral cavity as determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Oral Microbiology and Immunology Vol 22 Issue 2 Pp 126-130 April 2007