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Back of tongue is white and can be scraped off

Resolved Question:

Hello, while brushing my teeth today I came to realize that the back of my tounge is white I tried brushing and some of it came off but still have a lot left. I have been reading about oral candida infections do you think its oral candida ?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 25 Doctors Online

I understand your concern and will try my best to help you.

Patient replied :

Well I dont have any history of Diabetes or any high risk sexual partners. I am otherwise healthy no other complaints. After sending you a message I tried to rub it off and most of it was coming out easily do you think this could still be Candida or could it something else ?

If you could rub it off easily without any pain or inflammation or bleeding it could be Leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a condition in which there is excess production of cells and it gets accumulated. As I said earlier in Candida lesions when removed there will be slight redness or bleeding (unlike in leukoplakia). The lesion appears more similar to candidiasis from the picture.

I assume that most the lesion is gone now. Use a chlorhexidine containing mouth wash once a day. If the lesion recurs or persists, then you should get in touch with your Doctor. Otherwise you can just leave it alone. Hope this helps.

Please feel free to ask followup questions
Thank you

Patient replied :


Its been now a week and white coating on my tongue has not gone away. Its not painful and does not cause me any discomfort and when I try to scrape it of it comes off without any bleeding. I was hoping you can explain to me what it could be, I have uploaded an updated picture.


If still the lesions are persisting then its a diagnostic confusion between oral candidiasis and leukoplakia. A testing (scraping with KOH mounting) needs to be done., there is no other way of knowing for sure. This will confirm the diagnosis. Another options is to have trial treatment with antifungal medications ( Nystatin or Clotrimazol suspension) as these medications are safe.

Hope this helps
Thank you

Patient replied :

Last night I was able to get scape it of with brushing my teeth, if it was either of these two how long could it take for it to come back ?

In 1-2 weeks if its Oral candidiasis
Leukoplakia might not come back at all .

Dr. Mayank Bhargava
Category: Family Physician-GP
Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Chotiram Hospital & Research centre, Indore, 2009
Residency: General Medicine, Rajasthan University Jaipur, 2008
Medical School:  MBBS, Rajasthan University Jaipur, 2004
Dr. Mayank Bhargava and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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