|Whitish Coating on Tongue
The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Dec 31, 1996
Rick, I have a thin, slightly whitish coating on my tongue. The coating is uniform throughout the surface of the tongue. It doesn't appear in patches and my cheek insides are clear. I'm HIV negative and I heard people talk about thrushes and leukoplakia. Does my situation sound like either one to you? If not, what else could cause a slightly whitish coating to appear on the tongue? Could it be stress/diet? Is this a fairly common condition among adults? Thanks and a Happy New Year to you and your family!!!
| Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Hi. Thank you for your question.
Diseases such as Oral Hairy Leukoplakia and Thrush are only seen in adults when there is a problem with the immune system. If a person has these infections, and they test HIV negative, it indicates that the problems are not AIDS related. Thrush appears as a thick cheesy coating on the tongue that can be scrapped off, and is due to a yeast infection in the mouth. Oral Hairy Leukoplakia resembles a whitish thickening of the oral tissues. Hairy Leukoplakia has been associated with both Epstein Barr Virus, and Human Papilloma virus. If you are HIV negative and have no other problems with the immune system, it would be doubtful that you have Thrush or Hairy Leukoplakia.
Whitish tongues can be due to numerous reasons, including things like smoking. To determine if you have anything abnormal, see your doctor or dentist. But based on what you told me, there's no reason to believe you have anything AIDS related. I hope this answered your questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.