White blotches on tongue always point to a certain pathology. They can appear in the result of oral infection, virus, bacteria or fungi. Also white blotches on tongue can appear on the background of decomposition of general diseases. Besides, we distinguish between nonmalignant and malignant white blotches on tongue. In any case, this symptom requires visiting a clinic, in order to rule out the most aggressive causes of any type of spots.
Normally, mucous lining of the tongue is pink and it has a slightly velvety structure, which is determined by papilla, located on the its back and lateral surfaces, ranging in height and diameter. Generally, both the color and nature of blotches are highly variable, up to the condition of “black hairy tongue”. However, investigating the most common causes, one should specifically dwell on white fur on tongue, which is observed in multiple diseases.
White blotches on tongue, which have infectious etiology
All types of viral agents, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, are able to provoke inflammation of oral cavity. Pathogenic microorganisms often induce reaction of lymphadenoid tissue, thus causing tonsillitis. Though the process is mainly focused on tonsils, associated inflammation can affect all the mucous membranes, particularly forming a fur on tongue. In case of tonsillitis and diphtheria white discharge on tongue can have a grayish hue. It should not be removed on one’s own, instead it is required to consult an otolaryngologist in order to work out a scheme for the treatment of the underlying disease.
Viral stomatitis (sore mouth) is most often provoked by the herpes virus. It is contained in the blood of practically every person on Earth. Most of the time herpes is inactive, only occasionally showing up in the form of vesicular (blebby) blotches on the lips. Rapid weakening of the organism’s immune resistance can serve ground for the development of herpes stomatitis. The treatment of this pathology should be prescribed by a dentist. It can be either exclusively local or involve general antiviral drugs, as well as medication, stimulating the immune system. It is important to keep in mind that white bubbles on tongue are an alerting signal, warning about immune deficiency.
Fungal infection – Candidiasis (thrush) – also develops in the setting of low immune resistance. Characteristic white blotches on the surface of the tongue testify to the presence of dysbacteriosis of the oral cavity (since normally Candida reside here in a small number) and require thorough clinical examination for the detection of acquired immunodeficiency disorders, including the HIV syndrome. The treatment involves application of local antiseptic medication and general antifungal therapy. In case of extremely reduced immune resistance, the treatment can take much time and efforts.
White blotches on tongue
Certain precancerous and malignant diseases can be accompanied by the appearance of white blotches on tongue. Thus, leukokeratosis is a virus-induced nonmalignant oncological pathology, pointing, among others, to rapid decrease of immune resistance , including the HIV symptom. It is expressed in white “hairy” islets on lateral surfaces of the tongue, as well as under it. This phenomenon does not usually involve any symptoms and assumes primarily immunologist’s supervision.
Carsinoma of the tongue prior to cankering can also look like white spots on tongue. This serious disease should be supervised by an oncologist, who will decide the tactics and volume of the treatment.
White blotches on tongue in the setting of severe somatic diseases
Since the tongue is considered to be one of the organs of the digestive system, it is no wonder that intestinal diseases are irremissibly reflected on it. It can be thick whole fur (for example, in case of hyperpeptic gastritis), blotches in combination with atrophy of papilla (benign migratory glossitis in case of hyperacid gastritis) or yellow covering in case of cholecystitis and pancreatitis.
Nevertheless, changes on the mucous membrane of the tongue can be caused by other general diseases. Thus, decompensated diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular pathology are characterized by the development of catarrhal stomatitis. This condition, the same way as the above mentioned fur, should be duly treated, based on the agent of pathology. Only complete compensation of somatic pathologies provides for the elimination of pathological white blotches on tongue.
Thus, observing distinct white fur on tongue or appearance of other atypical elements, one should immediately consult a doctor, since, besides wrong approach to oral hygiene, they can be provoked by threatening general diseases, which should be diagnosed and treated on the earliest stages.