20 answers

My 3 Yr Old Has a White Coated Tongue... Any Thoughts?

Hi. Our 3 yr old's tongue has a white coating. She recently got over a large amount of canker sores in her mouth but now has this tongue thing. It won't brush off. I thought it may be thrush but since none of the "white" came off when I brushed her tongue, I'm thinking maybe it's something else. Looking around online I see some suggestions for hydrogen peroxide or maybe salt but thought I'd ask some other Moms to see if anyone has experienced similar symptoms within their families. Any thought?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It sounds like thrush, and usually won't brush off you need to put antibiotics directly on the tongue. www.DiscoveryToysLink.com/LisaRyan LisaM

I'm told that it's toxins from the foods/ drinks we eat/drink.
Does she eat stuff with preservatives, fast foods, pre-packaged/ processed foods?
Juices from concentrate? Drinks with high-fructose corn syrup? Artificial sweeteners?
I had to go on a 10-day cleanse to get rid of it, and I eat pretty healthy.

but that's food for thought.

More Answers

Hi C.,
I am going to disagree with everyone here and say that I honestly don't think it is thrush. If the white coating is "patchy looking" and scrapes off easily, revealing red inflammation beneath, that would be an indication of thrush.
Generally, a white tongue is usually a temporary, harmless condition. It is due to inflammation of the papillae on the surface of the tongue. Debris, bacteria and dead cells get lodged between the inflamed papillae, creating the appearance of a white coating that will not scrape off. It can be caused by dehydration, or even excessive mouth breathing. Has your daughter recently had a stuffy nose and been breathing through her mouth a lot? That could be the culprit. Keep her well-hydrated and it will likely resolve on its own.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest gets a white tongue before getting strep and when her immune system has taken a vacation. Good luck mama. Stay off the sugar and dairy and extra vitamin C! :)

I don't know about the white stuff, but I wouldn't try the hydrogen peroxide. The solution is pretty harmless on your skin, but is toxic if ingested! Most 3 yr olds aren't competent enough at spitting to make me comfortable enough to let her have it in her mouth. Please reconsider the hydrogen peroxide. I use it myself (in fact, will use it later tonight to gargle) when I am fighting off a cold, but I understand how dangerous it would be to accidently swallow it. Just my 2 cents...

She has thrush. My baby had it not too long ago. Its like a mouth yeast infection. She needs a prescription for Nystantin (think that is the spelling). It works very well. Good luck!

K.
Mother of Caroline (15yrs) and Daphne (8mos)

Hi, C.:

I'm not sure, but it does sound like thrush. My daughter caught it from daycare when she was about 11 months old. Hers was able to scrape from the tongue and lips, and that's what the pediatrician suggested it was. We went an alternative route after the oral supplement did not work; we used Gentian Violet. This is available at less traditional or compounding pharmacies. There are NO side effects and it takes it away within 3 days. You use a tiny amount. Either way, I'd call the ped to get your little one an appt, but ask them about the Gentian Violet. Hope it helps.

I'm told that it's toxins from the foods/ drinks we eat/drink.
Does she eat stuff with preservatives, fast foods, pre-packaged/ processed foods?
Juices from concentrate? Drinks with high-fructose corn syrup? Artificial sweeteners?
I had to go on a 10-day cleanse to get rid of it, and I eat pretty healthy.

but that's food for thought.

It might be thrush. You should have the DR check it out.

It sounds like thrush, and usually won't brush off you need to put antibiotics directly on the tongue. www.DiscoveryToysLink.com/LisaRyan LisaM

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