What Does It Mean If You Have A White Tongue With Red Spots?

Tongue is an important muscular organ in humans which has several functions to play at the same time. It helps to taste and swallow the food, besides enabling to speak. It is said that the color and texture of tongue is a tell tale sign of human health. This strongest muscle in the healthy people is normally pink and smooth with tiny nodes like papillae on its surface.

Physicians during a medical examination always look at the tongue, because the color and texture of tongue can reveal many health problems. For example in iron deficiency anemia tongue appears pale and white.

Sometime red bumps and sores may develop on tongue as a result of infection. Sores and ulcer on tongue can develop due to ill fitting dentures or biting from chipped tooth.

Most problems related to tongue are not concerning health issues and they resolve easily. However, sometimes sore and discolored tongue can indicate serious ailment that should not be overlooked. For this reason when you find any abnormality with your tongue, seek medical opinion. Here are some of the common factors that may give rise to white discoloration with red spots on tongue.

Cause & Symptoms Of White Tongue With Red Spots

There are number of reasons that can cause white coated tongue with red spots on it.

Thrush: Thrush in oral cavity is common condition that can afflict children and adults. It is also known as candidiasis caused by Candida Albicans a type of fungus. A person suffering from thrush has thick white coated tongue with red spots.

Oral candidiasis is an opportunistic infection which mainly occurs in individuals having compromised immune system. People taking antibiotics for an extended period of time usually are susceptible to this condition. In children the condition is common as their immune system is still in developing stage. Oral thrush can be easily identified with its symptoms:

  • Irregular white coating over the tongue.
  • When the white coating is forcefully scraped it leaves behind red and raw tongue surface which often bleeds.
  • Pain and burning in mouth.
  • Discomfort while eating food or drinking due to irritation.

Migratory glossitis: Also commonly referred as geographical tongue it is a benign condition. It occurs when the filliform papillae are shed from a particular spot. It thus causes a bald patch on the surface of tongue. There are several patches on the tongue with well demarcated border. The area left behind is covered with white discoloration.

The exact cause of geographical tongue is not known, but vitamin B complex deficiency and hereditary are suspected causes. Its symptoms are:

  • Red irregular patches on tongue with well demarcated margins.
  • Frequently changing area on the tongue.
  • Burning and pain after eating acidic and spicy food.

Lichen planus: The exact cause of this condition is not known, but it is believed to result from immune response. In short it is an autoimmune disorder. Certain factors such as drugs for hypertension, heart disease, dental filling allergy, can make the condition worse.

The condition involves oral cavity including the tongue. Symptoms include:

  • White streak like patches on tongue, inside of gum, lips, and cheek.
  • Open sores when exposed to food and liquid cause burning pain and discomfort.
  • Change of taste.