What causes white spots in mouth? Explore on the reasons for white patches in your mouth, small bumps that forms on tongue, throat, back, and on the roof of the mouth. The symptoms and how to treat.

White Spots in Mouth

White spots at the back of mouth

White spots in mouth

White spots on the tongue or in the mouth can be an advanced symptom of a serious medical condition or my imply something not serious. When you experience this symptoms of white spots, it is a best idea you visit your doctor.

White spots or patches in the mouth can be symptoms of chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, or AIDs and are characterized by an area of thickening in the lining of the mouth, which has a white appearance.

The lining of the mouth and tongue is made of a special type of membrane known as mucosa. This membrane is usually pink in color, but there are conditions that cause it to change its appearance.

How these spots look like

These kind of spots can vary in size, and it can differ depending on the person- to- person basis. The spots can be irregular in shape. However, white spots in mouth and tongue start on the surrounding and tip of the tongue and move towards the center. White spots that line the mouth are typically found on the inner sides of the cheeks.

Can STD cause white spots in the mouth?

There are several causes of white spots that appear in the mouth. Getting tested regularly is the right way to stay updated on your sexual health status. This is because different sexually transmitted diseases will occur with a sign of white spots in the mouth as we discussed earlier. If you are used to having unprotected intercourse with new partners, STD testing may be the best for you regularly.

It is good that you know that white spots in mouth and tongue can appear as a sign of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and AIDS presence in your body.

Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be treated by use of antibiotics if detected and attended to early enough. If they are treated early enough, long- term risks accompanied with gonorrhea and chlamydia can be controlled.

On the other hand, HIV/AIDS is not curable, but patients can treat and manage the disease with active antiretroviral therapy [HAART], in order to maintain a high quality of life, for as long as possible. Most patents start treatment for the HIV/AIDS immediately upon receiving their test result to help prevent future symptoms and complications.

If the person suffering from aids is not treated, this can result to long- term problems and even death. The first thing to do, is know your status always.

Common Causes of White Spots in Mouth

Apart from sexual transmitted diseases, there are a number of causes that can cause white spots around your mouth. These may include:

  • Excessive dry mouth – If your mouths stay dry for long periods, there are possibilities you will develop white spots or patches around your mouth or tongue. This is sometimes referred to as cotton mouth.
  • Thrush – this is a growth of yeast that has manifested itself in the mouth. These white spots can develop on the gums, cheeks, or the roof of the mouth or even the tongue.
  • Migratory glossitis – this is sometimes referred to as geographic tongue. It is a condition that presents itself as tiny, pinkish- white bumps [papillae], which are actually short, fine, hair- like projections. This condition is noncancerous, and has no risks to the affected person.
  • Oral/ mouth cancer – one of the common signs of oral cancer is white spots that cover the inner parts of the mouth and tongue. Special testing is required to ascertain if it is really oral cancer that causes you white spots in mouth.

If this condition of white spots or patches in the mouth happens to you for the first time, it should not last for long- not more than two weeks. If they recarry or stay for more than two weeks, it is important to visit your doctor who will find out the cause of the white spots.

White Bumps in Mouth

White spots in mouth STD

White bumps in mouth

There are different illness and conditions that cause bumps in your mouth. Different types of sores or bumps can appear anywhere in the mouth, but some of the most common places include gums, inner cheeks, bottom of the mouth, tongue and lips. The pimples may appear as a response to allergens, but they can be caused but sexually transmitted illness as well. Depending upon the causes, the symptoms may vary from person to person.

Most of the bumps do not require medical specialist’s examination, but it is a good idea to consult an expert in order to be on the safe side.

Causes and Treatments of Bumps in the Mouth

Food irritation

A bump or white spots in mouth may appear due to food irritation, usually caused by eating overly salty, spicy or sour foods.

Treatment: avoid eating spicy foods and ensure that the temperature of your drink or food is not that much high.

Papilla inflammation

Bumps caused by inflamed papilla can appear around taste buds. Burning by hot food and drinks or other injuries to the tongue and mouth lining like biting by accidents can cause papilla to be inflamed.

Treatment

  • The bumps of this kind can be left to heal on their own
  • You can use over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and aceraminophen to soothe your pain
  • Avoid these kind of bumps by keeping yourself away from tongue injuries and be cautious when you want to eat anything so that you make sure it isn’t much hot.

Bumps or white spots in mouth from canker sores

Canker sores look like a yellow or pale ulcer with reddish outer ring. You may have one or more of these sores. They are painful when irritated but they are not contagious. Canker sores are usually caused by hormonal changes, a weakened immune system, stress or lack of certain minerals and vitamins in the body. Also, mouth injury during dental work, biting the cheek and allergies can as well cause canker sores to appear.

Treatment: these sores usually heal on their own, but certain topical medications such as anbesol will help reduce the pain. A mouth wash of warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide can also help in speeding the healing.

Mucous cysts

These kind of bumps usually appear on the inner surface of the lips and don’t usually affect the roof or floor of the mouth, inside of the cheek and tongue. These fluid- filled sac are painless. Mucous cysts are caused by some damage to a salivary duct, which may occur if you have accidentally sucked your lips hard between your teeth. Mouth piercings may also create or results to these kind of cysts.

Treatment;

The cysts rupture and drain without a treatment, but you may need a surgery, if they do not disappear after a few days.

Oral lichen planus

This inflammatory condition produces bumps in mouth, especially inside of the cheeks and on the sides of the tongue. These spots in mouth are caused by hepatitis C infection, liver disease, certain vaccines, allergies and medications.

Treatment: here you have to use certain medications, which you can acquire over the counter that are antibacterial agents. A laser treatment can also be used to handle oral lichen planus.

Cold sores

They usually start as blisters, and can sometimes be associated with much pain. These blisters will stay for some time and then crust over. It is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus and passed from person to person through shared utensils, kiss or other close contact.

Treatment: several over the counter ointments and creams may speed up the healing process and reduce pain from the sores.

Oral thrush

This is a yeast infection of the mucous membrane lining in the mouth and on the tongue. The infection is caused by a candida fungus that naturally occurs in the mouth. If the immune system is weakened and fails to keep the fungus in check, the overgrowth of candida, leading to thrush will occur.

Treatment: the infection will go away after some days, but you can handle it at home by eating natural yogurt and taking over the counter medications can speed up the healing process. Brushing with a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution will help clear a thrush infection fast. In other cases your doctor may prescribe stronger medications if the infection is much severe.

White Patches in Mouth

Those white patches in your mouth are a common symptoms of infection, inflammation, trauma, malignancy, and other underlying conditions and diseases. White spots in the mouth or patches result from pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which inflame the lining of the mouth causing swelling, redness, and ulcer formation.

Ulcers in most occasions form in the inside of the mouth but may also occur on the tongue and lips, or in company with more generalized conditions, such as cancer. Allergic reactions to food and other substances may cause inflammation, swelling, and development of mouth white patches.

Injuries to the mouth, gums, or even teeth may as well result in white spots in mouth or white patches. Trauma related cuts become inflamed, swell, and have potential to develop into a mouth ulcer that is white in appearance.

Ill- fitting dentures may cause mouth white patches that originate as injurious sores. Any kind of trauma that occur in the mouth, lips, or tongue can cause mouth white patches as a result of inflammation and swelling around the site of the injury.

Leukoplakia [white plague] is a medical term used to refer for precancerous condition that most often occur on the tongue or lining of the cheeks. This problem also form white patches in the mouth and is caused by chronic irritation rather than infection. Leukoplakia itself is benign but up to 20% of such white spots in mouth will eventually grow to cancer if left untreated.

Also, use of tobacco particularly pipe smoking, can cause mouth white patches. Mouth white patches may result from specific medications, including chemotherapy. Underlying conditions that are common causes of mouth white patches include, inflammatory bowel disease, alcoholism, and cancer.

Medication

For severe symptoms, such as chocking or much difficulty in breathing, high fever, sudden swelling of the tongue or throat structures, change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness, or change in mental status or sudden change, like confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucination and delusions.

These symptoms require you to seek prompt medical care. Also if the white spots in mouth or patches recur or are persistent, seek dentist’s help or visit a doctor around you immediately.

White Spots on Tongue

White patches on tongue

White spots on tongue

The white spots that normally occur on the tongue can result from a few mouth conditions. In some cases this can become a white coating that cover the entire part of the tongue.

In numerous occasions, the white coating is usually temporary and harmless, but in other cases it is a side effect to other underlying serious conditions, which may require medical attention to be eliminated.

Checking into your other side effect can help you narrow down the cause of the white spots in mouth and tongue so you can focus on getting rid of them.

How white spots on tongue look like

They will vary depending on the nature of the cause. The spots can be small and even, but they can also be large and irregularly shaped. In numerous cases spots on the tongue begin on the side s of the tongue and spread to the center of the tongue.

The spots can as well grow into a coating that covers the tongue. This can continue to grow to be quite thick if it is allowed to continue unchecked. Coatings on the tongue can also start to take on other colors based on the foods you eat or bacteria that may become caught in this tongue coating.

What causes white spots on tongue?

You may see these white spots appearing on your tongue, it is a good idea to take immediate measures to find out its reason. Possible and common causes of white spots in mouth and tongue are as follows:

The common oral thrush- is one of the major causes of these white spots that appear on the tongue. It is a growth of yeast that has natural occurrence in the mouth. The white spots can as well form on gums, cheeks, or roof of the mouth.

Excessive mouth dryness – if your mouth becomes excessively dry you can develop white patches on the tongue. Though this kind of spots are not harmful, but are a clear sign of dehydration in the body.

Geographic tongues – they are patches that appear to be white and flaky, similar to the type of patches that appear on the skin when someone suffer from eczema.

The tongue can appear to have white spots due to leukoplakia. These are white patches that appear across the mouth, but mostly on the tongue. These patches are often irregular in size and texture, and may appear to be fuzzy.

If the white spots in mouth or on tongue begin to form a white coating, it may simply be a coating that is build up. This coating can be caused by dead skin cells as well as remnants of food. If you are ill this coating may also be caused by mucus buildup because you are sick.

Treatment

The treatment of white spots will vary based on the nature of the spots and cause. The common treatments may include:

  • Clean your mouth daily and drink enough water. Brushing your tongue gently and remove all particles that are stag in the debris as they are some of the causes of the white spots. Plenty of water will help in being hydrated.
  • Visit your doctor. If the spots won’t go away with simple home remedies, you can visit your doctor who will diagnose the cause and give you a right medication thereafter.

White Spots in Mouth Baby or Toddler

White spots on tongue thrush

White spots on tongue baby

If you realize whitish spots in your child’s mouth, then you have a reason to worry. However, this is not the end of the road. Oral thrush in babies and young children is a fungal infection in the mouth that is usually harmless and easily treated. This is visible by white spots in mouth.

Signs of oral thrush in babies

The main and common sign of oral thrush is a white coating on your baby’s tongue and mouth lining. The white coatings may look like curd or cottage cheese and usually can’t be rubbed off easily.

If the baby has a white coating on the tongue that rub off easily, it’s more likely to be milk coating on the tongue and not thrush.

The baby may appear not bothered with the patches, but may be reluctant to feed or keep detaching from the breast during feeds if they are sore.

There may be also nappy rashes accompanied with the same infection that needs to be treated as well.

Causes of white spots in mouth of babies

The white spots from oral thrush result from yeast fungus called candida albaicans. People who are healthy usually have this fungus in their mouth and it does not at all cause problems. However, it can grow larger and harm the membranes in the mouth.

Babies are in a great risk of oral thrush because their immune system is still weak to develop and are rarely to resist infection. This mostly happens to babies who were born prematurely. If your baby has recently been treated with antibiotics, they can also be affected by oral thrush. This anti-bacterial helps to reduce the levels of healthy bacteria in your baby’s mouth.

White Spots in Back of Mouth

Sometimes, due to the many reasons a person can also experience some white spots in back of mouth. You may develop whitish spots, bumps, patches, chunks, stuff or things on your tonsils. There could be also a small white spots or overgrowth patches.

In most cases, having white spots on your back of the mouth could be result of many things, some possible causes of these spots, dots, patches, things, plague, chunks, specks, coatings, build up on tonsils or some with pus filled white blister developing on tonsils.

Tonsillitis white spots

This is the inflammation of tonsil often caused by virus infection. Although, bacteria could also cause this problem of white spots in back of mouth. But it is not usually normal, when you get this infection, a sore throat is the most common symptom.

White Spots on Roof of Mouth

White spots on roof of the mouth may tend to be very troublesome. When it comes to chewing and eating foods, this may seem difficult to you. The cause of this dots can be caused by irritation or injury on the roof of your mouth. In most cases cold can develop this irritation or very sugary cold drinks we take.

The formation of an infection called mucocele on the roof of your mouth will be a common sighting, if your salivary glands are cut or blocked, these white spots in mouth usually go away when excessive mucus accumulate to its break point. Be aware of this spots because they can appear again for some time.

White Spots in Throat

White spots in your throat are not always due to infection, they may also develop from post-nasal drip, dry air or allergic reactions. Appearance of white spots or patches in your throat can be disconcerting especially if you are developing other symptoms. These dots can be a result of medical reactions, occurring from development of oral yeast to bacterial infections.

This medical reactions accompanied with white spots in the mouth or throat should not be ignored, because they can result of some serious threat. Visit your doctor for further treatment especially if you have these white spots in throat associated with fever.

White Spots in Mouth Pictures

white spots at the back of mouth

White spots in mouth pictures

The occurrence of white patches or lumps on the lips, mouth and throat can result from different non- cancerous conditions, and often an indication of an underlying condition. Here are pictures that will enable you to figure out the appearance of these different conditions and know how they form.

How to Get Rid of White Spots in Mouth

Removing those white spots from your mouth will depend with what caused the spots or bumps to occur. Here we are going to discuss some of the common at home activities that will help you handle your situation and if the problem continues, option to visit your doctor for further examination and counselling.

Home Remedies for White Spots in Mouth

Oral hygiene

It is very important if we can brush or clean our mouth after every meal to remove particles that may be remaining in the debris. If they are left in the mouth they may propagate bacterial, viral and even fungal infection

Drinking plenty of water

For those white spots caused by dehydration, you can drink water to hydrate your body hence reduce the effect of white spots in mouth.

Gargle of warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide solution

Salt water or HP will help in the killing of bacteria and relieving of pain. This will also help in the speeding of the healing process.

If you have been drinking much, or using tobacco it is better you stop.  This is because they can propagate the formation of white spots in the mouth.

When you have tried all the home remedies and the spots won’t go away, or they reoccur, it is best if you visit your doctor very immediately.

Further references:

  1. White spots that occur in the mouth causes: https://www.stdtestexpress.com/white-spots-mouth/
  2. Bumps in the mouth: http://www.enkivillage.com/bumps-in-mouth.html
  3. White patches in the mouth: https://www.healthgrades.com/symptoms/mouth-white-patches
  4. White coating on the tongue: http://www.md-health.com/White-Spots-On-Tongue.html
  5. Oral thrush in babies: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Oral-thrush—babies/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  6. Spots that occur in the back of the mouth: http://www.healcure.org/tonsils/white-spots-on-tonsils/white-spots-patches-bumps-on-tonsils-causes-stds-tonsillitis-mono-strep/
  7. What causes white spots in the throat? http://www.livestrong.com/article/346628-what-causes-white-spots-in-the-throat/