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

Updated on November 13, 2008
C.S. asks from Orlando, FL
20 answers

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?

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G.S.

answers from Miami on

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.

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M.H.

answers from Gainesville on

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
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N.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

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! :)

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T.F.

answers from Orlando on

Sounds like some sort of yeast infection, which I think will require antibiotics. Call you doctor or start by showing it to a pharmasist in case there is anything over the counter that can get rid of it
****CORRECTION*****
OOps! Thanks goes to Mary for letting me know that antibiotics do not TREAT yeast infections, but actually can be the cause of them! Anyway, I know there is special medicine to take care of it, so be sure to ask your doctor or pharmasist!

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M.V.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi C.,

My baby had a white bubble on the tip of her tongue plus the white coating all over. When I realized it was thrush, Mimi (her reply is below) told me it was an overgrowth of yeast (bad bacteria) and I needed to treat it with probiotics (good bacteria). As soon as I got the bottle I began using it and within 3 days the white spot and the coating was completely gone! All I had to do was open the capsule to get some onto my fingertip and then I could rub it around in her mouth. If you'd like to know what probiotics I was using, I'd be glad to share. =) Please don't treat something as simple as this with drugs. Your child will have more problems, if not now, then later on in life.

M.

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R.F.

answers from Gainesville on

If she has had many canker sores, it means her immune system is down. The white coating could be thrush, aka Candida. I would have her looked at by a naturalopath doctor who has experience of diagnosing candida. Good luck! Until then, I would suggest taking her off sugar as much as possible.

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C.M.

answers from Boca Raton on

My 2 year old son had thrush a few months ago. Sounds like thrush to me. Please see your pediatrician! Hope your baby is better soon.

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S.S.

answers from Melbourne on

I agree with the previous poster's about thrush. A way to get rid of it naturally would be to have your daughter eat yogurt that has live cultures in it. Most, if not all, yogurts do have the live cultures. Yogurt is known to naturally fight yeast infections.

HTH

S.

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C.B.

answers from Boca Raton on

I agree with the other response's that it is Thrush. The color of your tongue is an indicator of what is happening in your digestive track. You need to treat her with plenty of Probiotics and healthy "bacteria" to help counter act that. As an adult there are lots of cleanses and diets to follow but they aren't as easy/ or healthy for children. Try and give her as much healthy foods as possible and see if she will drink lemon and water in the am to help clear it out. My children like the taste of it. It is very cleansing. You can also put a little honey, or real maple syrup to sweeten if you have to.
Good Luck

J.S.

answers from Ocala on

Has she had a low grade fever? It sounds like hand foot and mouth disease. My toddler had this and the canker sores are what keyed me in to take him to the doctor and sure enough that's what it was. There was not just a few canker sores we're talking about 20 mostly in the back of the mouth and on the tongue. It is a virus kind of like chicken pox so there is nothing they can give except this miracle mouthwash stuff (It was maalox and a couple of other things) to soothe the sores. It goes away all on it's own in about a week. But just to be sure I would take her to the doctor.

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C.P.

answers from Miami on

Canker sores are commonly due to a gluten sensitivity which is a protein in wheat, oat, rye and barley. A white tongue can also be an indicator that she has sensitivities. I would have her assessed for that by a naturopath, chiropractor or acupuncturist. If not addressed it can lead to more severe health issues in the future.

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J.H.

answers from Pensacola on

C.,
It's common, must children get it, it sounds like the yeast that is called "Thrush". Both of my children had this, I would take the child to the peds because it could easily be another bacterial infection that is common. Having a health care professional give a look will help you to treat it correctly. There are many home remedies, and I do believe that I used a home remedy once for this, but you would feel safer going to the peds in case there is something tonsilar or going on with metabolism or digestion. Whatever you decide to do, I am praying for ya!

Good luck!
J.

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T.H.

answers from Tampa on

Yeast, cut out the sugar, the starch and anything fermented like pickles etc...Get som good acidophilus, eat yogurt.

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L.M.

answers from Boca Raton on

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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C.V.

answers from Miami on

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

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G.S.

answers from Miami on

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.

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C.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

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.

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K.T.

answers from Jacksonville on

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)

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

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...

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S.J.

answers from Gainesville on

Are the gums white too? A friend of mine noticed this on her son and he had Strep. I would think that would be your worse case scenario. He didn't develop the typical sore throat until about 24 hours after she noticed the white in his mouth.

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P.E.

answers from Panama City on

It could be a lot of things. Call the doc, might need labs and meds

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