Oct 23, 2000
Hey Dr., first of all thank you for this great site and allowing time to answer so many questions. I just wanted your help concerning my dry mouth. I have been very worried after looking up thrush. I am not sure if I have thrush. Do a lot of people have a whitish coating on their tongue normally due to the normal bacteria present. I only really have whitish coating towards the back of my tongue, but when I worry so much, my mouth gets dry and my tongue gets white or worse. It seems that when I am not worrying my mouth is not dry and the back of my tongue is not as white with coating. Can all this worry and anxiety cause this instead?? Thank you so much!
Response from Dr. Reznik
It is very possible that dry mouth alone or dry mouth induced by anxiety or stress can lead to coated tongue. Remember, coated tongue is neither a sign nor a symptom of HIV infection but an overgrowth of the normal papillae of the tongue or an accumulation of bacteria which are trapped around these papillae. Without normal levels of saliva in your mouth you lose out on the benefits saliva offers which include cleansing and antimicrobial properties.
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