7 doctors weighed in:

I keep waking up with a thick white layer on my tongue that i was told is not thrush. What could it be then?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Dry skin

The surface of the tongue is covered with an adaptive surface of rough tissue that ages and sheds over time.
It can dehydrate if you're a mouth breather while sleeping.It can also trap milk solids and other food debris.It tends to turn a pale grayish white & shed periodically, pushed up by pinker younger tissue.

In brief: Dry skin

The surface of the tongue is covered with an adaptive surface of rough tissue that ages and sheds over time.
It can dehydrate if you're a mouth breather while sleeping.It can also trap milk solids and other food debris.It tends to turn a pale grayish white & shed periodically, pushed up by pinker younger tissue.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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1 comment
Dr. Raymond Traver
it can also be a sign of gastric reflux. Do you get heartburn a lot? See a doc please if you do.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: White tongue

The tongue is known to have many variations with pigmenting, size, appearance, & not always due to disease.
Causes of a tongue that looks white include: lichen planus (responds to steroids), white sponge nevus (familial, benign, permanent), smoker's leukoplakia (2% risk of cancer, needs biopsy), hairy leukoplakia (due to epsteinbarr virus), warts (due to papillomavirus), "thrush" (rx antifungals).

In brief: White tongue

The tongue is known to have many variations with pigmenting, size, appearance, & not always due to disease.
Causes of a tongue that looks white include: lichen planus (responds to steroids), white sponge nevus (familial, benign, permanent), smoker's leukoplakia (2% risk of cancer, needs biopsy), hairy leukoplakia (due to epsteinbarr virus), warts (due to papillomavirus), "thrush" (rx antifungals).
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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1 comment
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Thorough, interesting - thanks for this great info.
Dr. Joseph Leon
Dentistry

In brief: Dry mouth

If you are a mouth breather, that can contribute to a thickening of the saliva while you sleep.
The surface of your tongue is covered with tiny "whisps" of skin that grow over time and contribute to the white appearance. It's always recommended to use a tongue scraper or to clean it with your toothbrush to avoid problems.

In brief: Dry mouth

If you are a mouth breather, that can contribute to a thickening of the saliva while you sleep.
The surface of your tongue is covered with tiny "whisps" of skin that grow over time and contribute to the white appearance. It's always recommended to use a tongue scraper or to clean it with your toothbrush to avoid problems.
Dr. Joseph Leon
Dr. Joseph Leon
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