My tongue looks white, could it be tongue cancer?

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I also got white tongue when I was dehydrated. I know for sure it's not tongue cancer.
It is unlikely to be oral cancer. Possible conditons for while tongue include:

1. Poor oral hygiene

2. Dry mouth

3. Dehydration

4. Smoking or other oral tobacco use

5. Alcohol use (excessive)

6. Mouth breathing

7. Low roughage diet (eating mostly soft or mashed foods)

8. Mechanical irritation from sharp tooth edges or dental appliances

Here are some causes of a white tongue ranging in severity.

  • Leukoplakia: Although it is typically not dangerous, a patch can become cancerous.
  • Dry mouth or xerostomia
  • Oral lichen planus: In severe cases, an antiseptic mouthwash or an oral steroid is required.
  • Oral thrush
  • Periodontal disease: Improper oral hygiene can result in periodontal disease. Proper oral hygiene consists of brushing teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash. A bacterial infection can occur in the gums, causing the tongue to appear white. Preventative care is best to avoid periodontal disease.
  • Debris on tongue.
  • More serious causes: More serious causes of a white tongue include HIV/AIDS, mouth cancer, and tongue cancer.


If symptoms of a white tongue last longer than two weeks, see your doctor.

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