What causes white spots on the tongue?

Q. What are these white spots on my tongue?

Answered by
Dr. Michael Steven Korn
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 06, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 27, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have some white spot on my tongue. I researched on the internet and it looks like white oral cancer lesion. Any of your thoughts will be appreciable. I have attached the pictures for your reference. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Most often these types of lesions (attachment removed to protect patient identity) are from frictional keratosis that is a soft tissue becomes tough and white due to continuous friction over time. If you were to go and see an oral surgeon for evaluation and possible biopsy they would likely look for sharp edges on your teeth in the area, smooth them down and give it a few weeks. If everything looks the same in a few weeks, then they will likely monitor it in every six months. It means they will take pictures now, then after six months and again in six more months and compare them. My recommendation would be to stay away from the internet derived self-diagnosis when it comes to the mouth. We do not have very good vision or illumination when looking our own mouths and 9 times out of 10 what people find on the internet is way off from the actual diagnosis and unnecessarily freaks people out. An oral surgeon in your area would be happy to take a look and going to see him might make you feel better.

Thank you doctor,

Today, I was able to scrape the white thing off of my tongue. So, now it is not there and I have just some indentation. What does it mean?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It probably means that it is not concerned. Possibly, it is a taste bud or minor salivary gland. If it comes back, then please take another picture and let me know.

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