White Spots On Tongue: 10 Medical Cases When They Occur

  1. Oral lichen planus. Persons with easily agitated nervous system and those infected with hepatitic C, (more often women over 40 y.o.) are susceptible to developing lichen planus. 6 different forms of lichen planus can be diagnosed in mouth cavity with symptoms, ranging from white lace-like stripes to white spots and erosive sores. White spots on tongue, characteristic for lichen planus, usually don’t cause any pain, while erosive sores are accompanied by a burning sensation and may be very painful.
  2. Leukoplakia. It may start as one white spot on tongue that causes no pain. Later another spot joins up and so on. Leukoplakia belongs to optional precancerous conditions. Local irritants play an important role in its development. The most frequent cause of leukoplakia progression is associated with tobacco smoking, besides, frequency of leukoplakia cases depends on the amount of tobacco people smoke. As for other irritants, passion for too hot or too spicy food, frequent alcohol consumption also may count. There are 5 different types of leukoplakia with different symptoms. The main symptom for leucoplakia plana, for instance, is flat white spots on tongue with inhomogeneous epithelial opacity and quite distinct borders. One or a few spots like this, whitish or greyish in color, localize on the visually otherwise healthy tongue mucous membrane.
  3. Geographic tongue (Migratory atrophic glossitis). Spots are numerous, smooth, red with white borders, resembling archipelago islands. This is why the condition is named “Geographic tongue”. The disease is diagnosed quite often – in 1-3% of population. Geographic tongue is not associated with malnutrition, it rather has an idiopathic origin. Presumably, psychosomatic causes lay in the basis of this disorder. The symptoms usually disappear by themselves: with time they simply fade out.
  4. Precancerous condition. If white spots are raised over the surrounding surface and covered with crevices, they can point at a dangerous precancerous condition.
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