There is a popular belief that oral cavity health is the reflection of the overall health of a person. Therefore, whenever one develops some disorder or disease in the oral cavity, it usually indicates some local or systemic infection. The tongue may be affected by some conditions and its normal appearance can change, more precisely its color and its texture. In a healthy person, the tongue is reddish pink in color and smooth and velvety in texture, while when it is affected by some condition, it may become white and covered with many tiny red spots.
Causes and treatment for white tongue with red spots
In most cases, the main culprit for the incidence of white tongue with red spots is the fungal infection called oral candidiasis. The fungi Candida albicans overgrows in the amount in cases of people with weak immunity or in those who wear ill-fitting dentures for a very long time. The people who develop oral candidiasis usually have the tongue coated with large and unevenly shaped white spots. When the white coating of the tongue is removed, raw and red bleeding part of the tongue can be seen. Other symptoms of oral candidiasis are bad breath, burning sensation and pain while eating, especially when eating spicy foods. If it is not treated timely, sore throat, as well as white tongue with red spots, tend to develop. White tongue with red spots caused by oral candidiasis is treated with the antifungal medication.
Another condition responsible for the occurrence of white tongue with red spots is called geographical tongue marked by large asymmetrical and easily distinguishable tongue patches, which can be noticed on the tongue’s dorsal surface. The shedding of the filiform papillae present on the tongue’s dorsal surface is responsible for the incidence of the white tongue with red spots. Another name for this condition is benign migratory glossitis since when the previously shed filiform papillae regrow, the filiform papillae in the surrounding area begin to shed.
Geographical tongue’s primary cause has not yet been discovered, but pain, metallic taste and burning sensation are among the most common symptoms of this tongue disorder. The treatment for the geographic tongue addresses just the symptoms since the cause is not known. However, this condition cannot be permanently cured because it tends to recur.
The white tongue with red spots may also be caused by many other medical conditions, such as, for example, sexually transmitted diseases.