ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

What Causes White Spots in Your Tongue?

White spots in your tongue is a sign of disorder in your system. What disorder will depend on the cause of the presence of these white spots. Essentially, we need to know the cause and there are several causes for this.


Reasons for White Spots on Tongue

  1. Dehydration: this condition can lead to build-up of bacteria on your tongue that will evolve into white spots.
  2. Allergy: often an allergic reaction can develop white patches on your tongue.
  3. Oral Sanitation: poor habits in oral care can swell the tiny taste buds that then catches bacteria or debris that coat it white.
  4. Canker Sores: painful white ulcers may appear wherever in the oral cavity and also on your tongue. This discomfort appears due to stress, body heat, or nutritional deficiencies.
  5. Hot Food: a thermal burn on your tongue from extra hot food or drinks can give you white spots that may pester you for a week or two.
  6. Injury: that white spots may appear because you accidentally bit your tongue, or a broken tooth has nudged it, or an ill-fit denture.
  7. Transient Lingual Papillitis: this odd-sounding name is just the taste buds swelling with white spots at the tip which they also call as lie bumps.
  8. Oral Thrush: also called candidiasis, this is a yeast infection wherein white spots on your tongue will appear because on an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth.
  9. Oral Lichen Planus: an autoimmune condition where mucus membranes in the mouth and tongue are affected resulting in white patches that can become open sores.
  10. Geographic Tongue: so called because your tongue, with red patches that are encircled with a white band, will appear like a map. This condition may disappear by itself.
  11. Leukolakia: mucus membrane irritation may lead to white lines or bumps on or under your tongue and mouth. This may result from bad dentures or smoking.
  12. Oral Cancer: this may manifest as white bumps on your tongue or mouth but may not be if not with other symptoms such as baffling bleeding, pain in the ears, sore throat, uneasy to chew.



Home Remedies the Natural Way

Several of the causes for white spots are nothing serious which home remedies can handle. A few of these are: salt or baking soda rinse for gargle, baking soda paste, tea tree oil or coconut oil or apple cider mouthwash.



Emergency Signals

See an ENT doctor immediately when any of these occur:

  • persistent sore;
  • large sores spreading;
  • acute pain;
  • with high fever;
  • trouble eating and swallowing.


Did you find the information useful? If so, continue reading our posts.


For details of the ENT services, diagnosis, and treatment, please consult our ENT specialist.




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