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Q. I have a coated tongue for the past five months. What it could be?

Answered by
Dr. Honey Arora
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 26, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have had a coated tongue for the past five months. I was under extreme stress, worry, and anxiety. Even thought that I had got HIV from receiving oral sex. Since then, I have had a 10 week and six months negative HIV test. About a month after my exposure, I noticed that my tongue was white. Now five months later, I feel like the roof of my mouth is dry and has a clear mucus layer, and my tongue has not changed. The coating is primarily on the back. It feels like my papillae are furry. If I use a scraper or salt and then dry mouthwash it looks normal for a bit. What do you think?

Dr. Honey Arora

Dentistry Oral Implantologist


Welcome to

I have viewed the images (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It looks like a thick white coating that is commonly seen in case of yeast infection of the tongue or oral thrush. It commonly causes dryness in the mouth. Papillae feel furry due to the infection. My suggestion to you is to start gargling with anti-fungal mouthwash like Nystatin mouthwash. Eat more of probiotics like yogurt. Place Clotrimazole lozenges in the mouth and let it dissolve. Also, get your tongue examined by a dentist. Did you use any mouthwash or took any medicine for it?

For more information consult a dentist online -->

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Thank you doctor,

Could this be HIV? I was told that my two tests were conclusive. Does oral thrush bleed? Or be in other places than just my tongue? I did take two to three different antibiotics for a couple weeks before I noticed the white tongue. I did consult a few dentists online who said it did not resemble thrush. Is thrush common in adults? Can stress cause this? Any home remedies? I have uploaded a new photo. It has been the same for months. No change.

Dr. Honey Arora

Dentistry Oral Implantologist


Welcome back to

It is not necessarily due to HIV. Also, thrush does not bleed normally. Yes, it gets wiped off but will reappear. Taking antibiotics can be a causative factor for thrush. I have already mentioned the remedies in the previous answer.

For more information consult a dentist online -->

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