Do you know that the tongue is the largest muscle in the body? The general health of the body can be portrayed by the color of the tongue. Therefore, the presence of white bumps on the tongue implies there is a problem with your health.
White spots on the tongue pictures help to show the common types of spots on tongue among adults and children. It is caused by various reasons ranging from simple infection and tongue injury to serious oral cancer.
Get more insight into the causes and symptoms. Learn how to get rid or remove white spots on the tongue also.
Note: You can also read my article about the causes and treatment of white bumps on the back of your tongue.
White Spots on Tongue Pictures
The tongue is the most sensitive organ in the mouth and it is covered by tiny tongue bumps or small papillae. Those tiny bumps on the tongue can trap bacteria, become inflamed and infected. You will notice the presence of white spots or bumps on the tip and the surface of the tongue.
There are some instances you may notice some spots on the side and under the tongue. This could be due to mechanical injury since those parts lack taste buds.
The white lesion may be blisters or white sores on the side of the tongue. Eating acidic foods or hot drinks will sting the spots on the tongue.
Symptoms of White Spots or Bumps on the Tongue
The presence of white spots or bumps on the tongue could be irritating and this could affect your daily activities. The spots could result in strange taste while having meals.
White sores could cause pain when speaking, swallowing, tasting the food and another general discomfort in the mouth.
Most symptoms are shown depending on the underlying cause of the infection. Cankers sores cause pain and discomfort. White ulcers cause a stinging sensation on the tongue. Yeast infection could cause white patches on the tongue.
White Spots on Tongue Causes
The causes of white spots in tongue include:
- Poor oral hygiene
This could result in the development of white bumps on the tongue. Poor oral hygiene may result in the buildup of bacteria that make the small bumps on the tongue to turn to a whitish-gray color.
According to Mayo clinic reports, poor oral hygiene can cause the small taste buds on the tongue to become inflamed. The enlarged bumps will trap bacteria, dead cells, and debris will cause the white coating on the different part of the tongue.
- Thermal burn
White sore on the tongue could be due to burning sensitive part of the mouth. Thermal burn causes the development of blisters on the surface of the mouth or under the tongue.
According to Dr. Sumana Jothi on MedlinePlus, drinking hot tea or eating hot foods will result in mouth sores. Depending on the severity of the burn, it could take a period of 2 weeks to heal. Gargle saline water to help speed up the healing process.
- Canker sores
The presence of painful white spots on the lip, the tip of the tongue, or on the side of the tongue could be due to canker sores. Canker sores are small spots on the mouth or tongue that appear after every few months.
According to Dr. Alfred Wyatt from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry, canker sores can cause discomfort while eating food just the same way as white bumps. Canker sores can also appear on the roof of the mouth and on the gums.
Canker sores are caused by injury and stress. They can also be due to a lack of certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies. It is also recommended to avoid hot food or spicy or acidic foods.
- Lie bumps (transient lingual papillitis)
Swelling of the taste buds on the tongue causes the development of white spots and bumps on the front of the tongue. There are numerous conditions of mouth that can result in inflamed papillae that look like small white spots on the tongue.
According to dermatologist Dr. Dyall-Smith, lie bumps are caused by gastrointestinal upset, stress, or fluctuations in hormones. There are other diseases such as eczema, allergies, or asthma can also increase the chances of getting lie bumps.
White spots on tongue last for several days and might cause itching or a burning sensation. Many doctors recommend the use of antibacterial mouthwash.
- Allergic reaction
According to WebMD, allergies may result in spots on the tongue to appear as white patches which become sores after some time. If you notice the tongue begins to swell, consult your healthcare for treatment.
According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet report, tongue swelling may result in breathing problem and this may require immediate medication.
Tongue biting either on the tip or side of the tongue would result in the formation of fluid-filled blisters that looks like a white or clear. The injury of the tongue makes it sensitive to heat and certain foods.
According to Dr. Sumana Jothi on MedlinePlus reports, there are other types of tongue injuries that can result in mouth sores. They are brace irritations, dentures that don’t fit properly, or a broken tooth.
Body dehydration causes the development of white patches on the tongue. There are other symptoms that are associated with inadequate water supply in the body. These signs include headaches, bubbles in the urine, dark colored urine that may smell like ammonia, lightheadedness, and trouble concentrating.
According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, dehydration can also result in the accumulation of bacteria on the tongue. The bacteria causes tongue whitening or formation of patches.
- Oral thrush
This is a yeast infection that results in the formation of white lumps or patches on the back of the tongue and in the mouth. The condition is also known as candidiasis and it occurs due to bacterial imbalances in the mouth.
Oral thrushes are characterized by the formation of white patches on the tonsils and back of the mouth. According to Dr. Michael Friedman, the condition is quite common to both infants and adults.
This condition results in the formation of white lines under the tongue but it can be scraped away. These lines are difficult to be noticed since they occur on the bottom of the tongue but they are painless.
According to doctors from WebMD, chronic irritation on the roof of the mouth and tongue may trigger the development of white lesions on the tongue, inside the cheek, or on the floor of the mouth.
Some of the common causes of leukoplakia are chronic smoking and irritation from ill-fitting dentures, rough teeth or fillings. The condition causes the appearance of white grayish patches and thickens on the tongue.
- Geographic tongue
It causes the development of red patches with raised white borders on the tongue. This condition is named so since it gives the tongue an appearance of a map. These lesions appear on the top and side of the tongue.
According to Dr. Alfred Wyatt on WebMD, it is easier to distinguish the patches on the tongue due to the presence of the white border. This condition could last for several days or even months. The patient may also experience a burning sensation when eating spicy or hot foods.
- Oral lichen planus
This is an inflammatory mouth condition that results in the development of sores on the tongue. According to experts, the condition is said to be an autoimmune condition. This is a condition where the immune system attacks the mucous membranes of the mouth.
According to the mayo clinic, the condition causes white, lacy patches on the tongue that can become open sores. The condition can also cause the formation of red bumps on gums, inside the cheeks, and roof of the mouth.
- White Spots in Tongue Oral Cancer
This is a rare state but in case it occurs, it is as serious as it can result in a large white bump in the mouth. The appearance of white bumps in the mouth does not imply the presence of oral cancer.
According to Dr. Michael Friedman on WebMD, the common signs of oral cancer are unexplained bleeding, red and white speckled patches in the mouth, difficulty chewing, ear pain, and a chronic sore throat.
- Strep Throat
This is a bacterial infection that is accompanied by the formation of tiny white spots on the tongue. The spots can either be red spots on the white tongue or white dots on the red tongue.
In case the condition is left untreated, it can result in Scarlet Fever which is marked by the strawberry tongue, rashes on the neck, upper chest spreading to other parts of the body, enlarged lymph nodes and various other symptoms.
- Other causes include:
- Acid reflux or GERD
- Eating Sunflower seeds
- Infected Tongue piercing
- Mouth ulcers
- Hepatitis C
- Dipping tobacco
- Chinese medicine
- Cottage cheese
- Cold, Stress or panic
- Pregnancy or early pregnancy
White Spots on Tongue Painful
Sores on the tongue could be due to something obvious and visible. It is recommended to consult your doctor in case of persistent pain that is not caused by an injury.
This would imply that there is an underlying problem on the tongue that requires immediate treatment. Here are some of the outlines that cause white spots on the tongue that hurts. They include:
- Geographic tongue
- Oral thrush
- Aphthous mouth ulcers
- Moeller’s glossitis
- pemphigus vulgaris
White Spots on Tongue Baby
Infants and toddlers may also experience the formation of white spots and patches during the period of breastfeeding. This could be due to oral thrush which is a fungal infection. It spreads out in the mouth and on the surface of the tongue.
According to baby center reports, white dots or patches on the surface of the tongue of a baby could be due to milk residue or remains on the tongue. In case of such a situation, wash the tongue with the clean scraper to avoid accumulation of bacteria.
It is recommended to consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment in case you suspect the presence oral thrush in the mouth. The white coating that is spreading in the mouth should be observed carefully.
White Spots on Tongue Images
The picture in the article helps to identify some infections that show symptoms such as white dots, patches, coating and white spots on the tongue.
The condition resulting in the infection differs but it helps one to identify the problem causing the formation of white spots on the tongue.
The pictures also help an individual to differentiate between white spots that are dangerous and the ones that are harmless. Let’s look at each of these different signs carefully.
Note: You can also read my article about the causes and treatment of bumps on side of the tongue.
Single White Spots on Tongue
A child may develop a single white spot on tongue. Anyone is susceptible to getting a single white spot on the tongue. Having a single white spot on the tongue could be a symptom of canker sore or a lie bump.
These spots begin as an infection on the tongue where it forms a blister filled with blood and pus. The blister burst to result in open ulcers which are white in color.
A single white spot on the tip or side of the tongue could also be an indication of oral thrush. It is important to understand other tongue diseases that start with the development of a single spot or patch on the tongue.
How to Get Rid Of White Spots in Tongue
These remedies include:
Apple cider vinegar
This is a natural antiseptic and antifungal cure for removal of white spots and bumps on the tongue. It is recommended to use raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar (ACV).
It has healing properties that help to get rid of bacteria, fungi, and infections from the oral cavity. According to the Journal of Prosthodontics reports, the presences of antifungal acidic properties in apple cider vinegar get rid of Candida strains that can infect the mouth.
What to do
- Mix 2 teaspoons raw ACV and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water.
- Swish the natural mouth rinse around your mouth for a few minutes.
- Repeat several times during the day and continue using until all signs of your white spots on your tongue have gone.
It is an essential remedy for treating any symptoms of oral thrush in the mouth. The oils contain fatty acids that are vital in getting rid of yeast and fungi from the mouth that can cause candidiasis.
According to the Journal of Medicinal Food research, coconut oil also contains antimicrobial properties that have fungicidal actions. This property gives coconut oil the ability to get rid of any form of Candida strains that causes oral thrush in the mouth.
What to do
- Mix 2 drops of cinnamon oil with 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil.
- Swishes the remedy around the mouth for a few minutes to help get rid of oral thrush.
- Spit the liquid out and dispose of it in the trash (to avoid clogging pipes in your home).
- Brush your teeth as usual and rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat every day until you no longer have white patches on your tongue.
It is a natural antiseptic that helps to get rid of canker sores, lie bumps, and other causes of white bumps on the tongue. It also helps to minimize inflammation, irritation, and pain in the mouth due to natural astringent.
According to the University of Michigan, it helps to reduce the pain and speed up the healing process in case of canker sores.
What to do
- Mix 1 teaspoon witch hazel and 2 drops of clove oil in a glass of warm water.
- Use as a mouthwash 2-3 times a day to help canker sores and other types of white bumps heal quicker.
- Repeat daily until your painful white lesions on your tongue have disappeared completely.
Tea tree oil mouthwash
It has a strong antibacterial essential oil that can help to soothe the pain of an infected white sore on the tongue. It also plays a vital role in getting rid of yeast fungi that can cause oral thrush and white, clumpy bumps on the tongue.
According to the report by The European Journal of Dentistry, it has antimicrobial compounds that are effective in getting rid of infection-causing oral pathogens.
What to do
- Mix 1-2 drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water.
- Rinse the remedy around your mouth for a minute or so to kill off any infection and then spit out.
- Use 2 times a day and continue until you no longer have any white patches or gray-whitish bumps on the tongue.
This is another natural remedy for getting rid of white spots and bumps on the tip of the tongue or on the side of the tongue. It is antibacterial in nature and therefore, it helps to get rid of bacteria in the mouth.
According to the report by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, baking soda has the ability to treat painful white bumps caused by canker sores.
What to do
- Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with a little water to form a thick paste.
- Apply the baking soda remedy directly to the white spots or patches on the tongue to reduce irritation.
- Leave for a few minutes on the sore white spots on your tongue to help kill off any infection.
- Uses 2-3 times a day until the white irritating bumps have gone for good.
This is a natural antibacterial agent that can help to get rid of infections in the oral cavity that cause whitening on the tongue. A saline mouthwash can also help to battle gum infection and improve oral hygiene.
According to reports by doctors in mayo clinic, washing the mouth saline solution help to get rid of white canker sores from the tongue.
What to do
- Mix a teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of warm water and mix until the salt has dissolved.
- Swish the remedy around the mouth for a few minutes to help kill off infections and get rid of white bumps on the tongue.
- Repeat 2 times a day for best results.
- Tongue Problems: https://www.healthline.com/health/tongue-problems-2
- White Spot On The Tongue: Is It Serious? https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/white-spot-on-the-tongue-1215
- Tongue Problem Basics: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps#1
- Sore or white tongue: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sore-or-white-tongue/