White patches on the tongue are not the exfoliated epithelium, which has “gathered some trash”. They form in the result of such diseases, as stomach ulcer, gastritis, colitis, pancreatitis, and cholecystitis. The tongue can also be covered with fur on the background of inflammation of tonsils, decompensation of diabetes mellitus, heart diseases, and the acute leukosis. White patches on the tongue can take a form of rash under the influence of herpetic or fungal infection. All of these diseases require thorough clinical examination, while the therapeutic methods should by no means be constrained to local treatment.
First of all it is required to define what white patches on the tongue actually present.Any fur type on the tongue testifies to the disturbance of the process of cankering and rejection of epithelial cells of the papillae on the tongue, associated with neurotrophic disorders. The cells, which have prepared themselves for exfoliation hold off due to the lack of desquamation of the surface membrane. Necrotic leucocytes and other microorganisms, present in the saliva, now join them and come into conflict in the oral cavity. This process is actually what causes the fur on the tongue. This additionally creates favorable conditions for the generation of bacteria, with subsequent risk of fungal infection. The nature of nutrition, bacterial composition, and oral hygiene are also vital for the treatment of coated tongue.
We distinguish between several groups of diseases, able to induce the appearance of white patches on the tongue:
- Inflammation of upper respiratory passages;
- Endocrine pathologies;
- Local infectious diseases (viral, fungal).
White patches on the tongue, that point to gastrointestinal dysfunction
In case of such diseases, as stomach ulcer, cholecystitis (inflammation of gallbladder), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or enterocolitis (intestinal pathology) the coat can be not only white, but also yellow, brown and even black. Besides, coating can also go in line with swelling of the tongue.
The picture of papillae, covering the coated tongue is also of considerable importance. Depending on the condition of papillae, we distinguish between hyperplastic andhypoplastic glossitis (inflammation of the tongue).
The first type characterizes the enlargement of papillae due to increases acidity in the intestines. Apart from white patches, one can also observe distinct outlines of structural prominences.
Often, hyperplastic glossitis is accompanied by swelling of the tongue, which can be observed through the presence of traces of teeth on the both sides of the tongue and its tip. It testifies to gastric and duodenal ulcer.
Hypoplastic glossitis is the atrophy of papillae, often rather intense. This condition is referred to as bald tongue, due to its unique smooth and glossy look. White patches are especially visible on a smooth tongue. They are observed in gastritis with decreased secretion, hypoacid ulcers, colic and dysfunction of bile passages (the latter is characterized by yellow coloring).
Local desquamation (exfoliation) of epithelial cells at the setting of thick fur indicates to the flare-up of chronic diseases of the digestive tract.
ENT pathology and white patches on the tongue
Appearance of white-grayish fur on the tongue can be indicative to bacterial infection, particularity inflammation of tonsils. Tonsillitis (commonly referred to as quinsy) is provoked by β-hematolytic streptococci or specific agents of such diseases as diphtheria. In any case, development of a bacterial process in the oral cavity forces the tongue’s reaction, expressed in furring.
Endocrine diseases, marked by white patches on the tongue
Constant thirst, dry and scored coated tongue are the most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes.
Severe diabetes mellitus with a high level of blood glucose is the first factor affecting microcirculation of blood. It is observed in all organs, and the tongue is no exception. The surface of the tongue can be dotted with trophic (deprived of nutrition) ulcers, covered by islets of dingy white fur.
The same picture can be observed in decompensated diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as in the acute leukosis, when minor vessels are most affected.
White patches on the tongue, which have an infectious nature
The most common diseases among the large number of pathologies, which can alter the external look of the tongue are stomatitis and Candidiasis.
Stomatitis can have various etiologies. White patches on tongue in the form of bubbles, that appear on the background of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and blood diseases (i.e. without direct contact with infectious agents), are referred to as catarrhal stomatitis.
The same symptom, provoked by viral infection is called herpetic stomatitis.
Only a doctor can differentiate these two cases after detailed questioning of the patient and additional testing. The origin of patches in such situations is extremely important, since it is etiology that determines the course of treatment.
Typical white patches on the tongue that appear in the form of small thick islets, most often indicate to Candidiasis (thrush) of the oral cavity. Candida fungi reside even in a healthy organism, but in favorable conditions (immune deficiency and decrease of protective features of saliva, including acidity) they stat to colonize the mouth actively.
The thrush is not only an unpleasant disease; it is also an alerting symptom of serious immune deficiency. Therefore, appearance of such a rash on one’s tongue should urge the patient to visiting a clinic and undergoing thorough examination.
Summing up, we should once again turn your attention on the circumstance that, white patches on the tongue indicate to the pathogenic process, localized in the oral cavity. Such patches most often warn about large-scale disturbance of one of the systems of the organism.