White Spots On Tongue

White spots on tongue, whether in children or adults can be caused by a number of reasons ranging from simple infection and tongue injury to serious oral cancer. Let’s begin with some of the most common causes.

Yeast infection in the form of Oral Thrush (or Candidiasis) is the most common cause of developing white spots all over mouth or white coated tongue. White spots on tongue in children, particularly newborn babies are mostly caused by deposits of milk particles leading to his type of such infection.

Strep throat due to bacterial infection by Streptococcus Pyogenes can also be associated with the problem of tiny white spots on tongue. There can either be small white dots on red tongue or red dots on white tongue.

When left untreated for long, the condition can also lead to Scarlet Fever characterized by strawberry tongue, rashes on the neck, upper chest spreading to other parts of the body, enlarged lymph nodes and various other symptoms.

Smoking, alcoholism, debauch and prolonged use of certain medicines like antibiotics, immunosuppressing medicines, steroid inhalers etc may also lead to white spots on tounge due to papillae inflammation. Dry mouth and mild dehydration may also give rise to the problem of tongue with white spots or white marks on tongue.

Issues like vitamin deficiencies and anemia may also cause changes in the appearance of tongue mostly making it appear pale and smooth. Endocrine disorders, stress and certain foods like jalapeño, habenaro and certain other spicy and acidic foods tend to worsen any existing white spot on tounge.

Serious Conditions Causing White Spots on Tongue and Mouth

Besides, development of white patches on tongue can be a sign of Geographical Tongue. The condition is usually considered harmless but may cause increased sensitivity to some substance.

Another benign condition called, Leukoplakia can also lead to the development of thick white dots on tongue that are usually difficult to wipe off. At times, the condition is considered to be a precursor to cancer when accompanied by raised red lesions.


Lichen Planus can also cause a similar problem characterized by a network of white lines on the tongue. In most of the cases, the condition heals by itself after some time. When dealing with this chronic condition it is essential to take relevant precautionary measures like avoiding alcohol, spicy foods and acidic foods to avoid aggravation.

However, the presence of any unexplained small white spot on tongue though painless in the beginning can also be indicative of Oral Cancer. In such cases, the problems remains persistent even after following numerous remedies.

It is often accompanied by a numbing sensation. As the cancer progresses, the condition becomes progressively painful. White spots on tongue, certain types of skin rashes, flu-like symptoms etc are also considered as some of the early signs of HIV infection.

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Tongue?

Looking for tips on how to treat white spots on the tongue? Here are a few steps to get rid of any tiny white spot on tongue. Gargling with a solution of few drops of tea tree oil mixed in a glass of water is one of the most effective natural remedies for curing this problem. The antimicrobial properties of this oil are highly beneficial in getting rid of white spots under tongue as well.

Glycerin can also be used on any burning white spot on tongue to ease the pain and facilitate the process of healing. The burning sensation can also be relieved simply by sucking an ice cube. Besides, rinsing with lukewarm saline solution is a popular way of reducing a variety of mouth and tongue problems.

Treatment of white patches on tongue in children due to Oral Thrush can be done through antifungal medicines suggested by doctors. Besides, regular consumption of yogurt helps to cure yeast infection by restoring the natural flora and fauna of good micro organisms in the body that help fight infections.

In case you are wondering how to clean white patch off of the tongue then you can simply use brush the tongue when brushing the teeth or use a tongue scraper. Be careful as to not to do this vigorously.

Keeping the tongue clean is highly beneficial in avoid bad breath to a great extent. However, in certain cases, white patches on tongue are difficult to wipe off, especially when caused by conditions like Oral Thrush.

Taking a balanced diet including papaya, apples and other nutritious foods, maintaining adequate oral hygiene, having sufficient water at regular intervals and restricting alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking etc can help a great deal in dealing with white spots on tongue.


  1. I have burning sensation in my body mainly on the face and leg for the past 2 years. Recently, I noticed bad smell while urinating. Very recently, I noticed white deposits on my tongue. I don’t have sugar problems. What could be the root cause?

  2. Selvam: you absolutely need to go see a doctor, each of the symptoms you describe should be a cause for concern.

  3. im a girl and It started on May7 with a small sore throat that i could ignore but then it was uncomfortable sleeping so i woke up in the middle of the night a few times. I had a headache and stomach ache the next day but i figured it was from staying in front of the tv for so long. i had an awful sore throat that night where i woke up to a burning and itchy sensation on the right corner of my lips along with inside my throat. That morning i checked in the mirror but only found a tiny bump or something at the back of my tongue and a weird white line at the right side. Dry throats were usual since then but ive been drinking tea which helps it a lil.

    May12 i could barely speak in the morning though, but sooner or later i was fine. After that day, my left side of my tongue got the same white line across it like my right side and theres more of the tiny white things on my tongue, especially UNDER it. I dont feel any pain and it sounds like this will eventually go away if i take care of myself, but im worried if this can be something more since it’s been awhile now. what should i do?

  4. I quit smoking four years ago, but this past January I started up again. Since January I have noticed this very small white dot on my tougue. It is now the end of June and it seems that it has gotten bigger, not by much though. I have no health insurance so I have been putting off seeing a doctor and I keep hoping it will just go away. Could this just be from starting smoking again, or is this serious??

  5. I’m 11 and I bit my tounge 2-4 days ago. Now I have a white spot where I bit it. I’m thinking it’s infected because it hurts like ****. I do plan on seeing the school nurse today, but if you have answers please try not to make them scary, like saying ” you need to see a doctor ASAP!” thank you and bye.

  6. Hi,i ve just woke up and found a white dot along my tongue tip,iam terrified, what could be the possible cause of this,will appriciate the good response.

  7. Michael J. Basso says

    Im 15 male, and for the last 3 years I’ve been getting one or two little white bumps that look like pimples but they are slitly painful (3/10) unless I try to “Pop” them. Is this something I need to tell my mom about or is it something that just “happens”?

  8. 21 y.o. male, Ive got a few swollen white spots in my mouth, sore as if burnt, also I remember earlier today when another portion of my mouth felt burnt. Oh and the spots are located, 2 on my tongue and one on the inside of my cheek towards my lip, Ive read these can be caused by strees, simply cuts, clogged taste buds I just really wanted to be sure this wasnt a symptom of somthing serious. Hope to hear some good replys, thanks

  9. Hello Dr. William Clark, I wish to refer to your above reply dated April 24th which was given to Selvam in response to his query dated April 2nd, 2011.

    Please advise me what are STD tests particularly in the light of the symptoms narrated by Selvam….white patches on tongue.

    Do u mean tests against HIV,LGV, HSV, Gonorrhea etc.
    Look forward to have your professional opinion soon.

  10. i already suffere from tongue ulcer since when i was in grades school until now . i already taken vitamins and medicine but still it is not curing , i want to get rid of this

  11. i already suffere from tongue ulcer since when i was in grades school until now . i already taken vitamins and medicine but still it is not curing , i want to get rid of this

  12. SONGA David says

    For the last three years I’ve had white patches on my tongue, there not painful, except of late they started to affect my taste. please what medicine can take tom remove them?.

  13. Arielle k. says

    I have about three white sores on my tongue and I now understand why it is there.i should wait a couple more days and drink tea and gargle with listerine so it could go away.

  14. I had a geographic tongue forever and recently started taking vitamin b complex and now my tongue looks normal after 40 yrs

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  16. 1 year ago i found a white spot on my tounge right side this spot burn hot and spicy food and pain full after 3-4 month treatment (kenacort mouth paint, cream) and a injuction of kenacort this white spot gone. after some days 6 month ago same white spot on left side of my tounge and one month ago i found a small white spot on inside of my cheek right side please tell me about these white spot can serious condition.

  17. i have tiny white bump on my toung so i drank some saltwater and tea.it hurt like crazy

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  19. Hello everybody,
    Lately , we’ll two days to be exact. I finished eating a meal and right after. I feel a bump on my tounge. At first ,I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Since I have had allergies in past years , and my tounge got swollen, I thought benedryl would be okay for me to take. But I didn’t because after a certain period of time it went away. But today, my second day, after I finished eating Chinese food , my started again feeling lumps on top and the when I felt as if I had something on my tongue. I grab a mirror when I notice white spots on my tongue. Imidiatly I got scared and thought CANCER. God forbid, but I have also started smoking cigs again. I have to admit I’m scared to find out , I read an article saying it might be some type of gum disease. Please share your though , I don’t even what to ask.

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