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What causes white back tongue? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 07-Apr-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 106 Questions
User:I havnt had sex, but I have received oral sex in the past. Recently I noticed that the back of my tongue was white. Its not thick or anything. I actually can't even scrape it off. Should I be worried?
Doctor:I have read your query
User:What do you think?
Doctor:The white thing is usually debris from food mixed with dead cells
Doctor:But if it is not getting scraped then it can be something else too
User:I was concerned that it could be HIV
User:What do you think?
Doctor:It is a remote possibility
Doctor:You may get tested for HIV
User:From oral sex?
Doctor:But such symptoms from HIV usually develop after long term infection
Doctor:It may be possible
User:What are some other symptoms
User:That would come before that?
Doctor:In HIV it may be caused by EBV
Doctor:Usually the CD4 count drops low
Doctor:for this to appear
Doctor:Otherwise it can just be leukoplakia
Doctor:Not due to HIV
Doctor:So the better way is to get the test done for HIV
Doctor:Mostly first the hiv gets diagnosed
Doctor:Then aids develops after a few years
Doctor:and then we begin to see hairy leukoplakia due to EBV in HIV
Doctor:Hope I am making myself clear
User:What are the odds of HIV during oral sex?
Doctor:The odds depend on any breakage of mucosal barrier
Doctor:Also if you have used condom, it would be protective
User:Are you there?
Doctor:Yes I am there
Doctor:In intact skin the chances are very less
Doctor:Are you able to see my messages
User:Just seen them
User:Are the chances lower when, on the receiving end of oral sex?
Doctor:So do you have any doubt here?
Doctor:Actually the chances are more
User:Did you see my last question
Doctor:since there may be some breakage of mucosa
User:I've read that there has been no found cases of HIV from oral sex
Doctor:I mean the person who is using the mouth has more chances of contracting
User:What about the other?
Doctor:The chances are very less when compared to vaginal or anal sexual intercourse
Doctor:For the other person it is less
User:I was the one Receiving
Doctor:I think you mean the one not using the mouth
Doctor:so you have lesser chances
Doctor:But there are cases documented in medical journals of contracting HIV after oral sex
Doctor:But the incidence is negligible as compared with other types of transmission
User:Thanks, my tongue being white just freaked me out. Other than that, I have felt fine
Doctor:I think there is not much to worry
Doctor:You may see a doctor if the it gets worse suddenly
Doctor:Otherwise you should do fine
User:I never even noticed it until I saw something on Internet about thrush.
Doctor:Are you sure that you are not able to clean it with a togue cleaner
Doctor:Since you recently had MRSA, you must have been on antibiotics
Doctor:And you may have developed candida
User:I actually over took my medicine for mrsa. I took my brothers medicine also ( thinking that would really kill it)
Doctor:I personally think that candida is normal flora of body
Doctor:The aim should be to reduce it and not to cure it
Doctor:Lifestyle changes are the best to take care of it
User:I can barley notice it. It's just white in the back of throat
Doctor:I think you should not get worried about it
Doctor:Though it may get worse in future if you take unnecessary antibiotics
Doctor:Also take hygienic food and cleaner drinking water to arrest its spread
Doctor:It happens due to altered normal flora
User:Also, I had mrsa like two months ago. Can the thrush stick around that long?
Doctor:flora in water may make things worse
Doctor:Candida usually stays very long
Doctor:I have treated many patients with antifungals
Doctor:It may change its face but it mostly never goes away
User:Thrush wouldn't be the first sign of HIV any way, would it?
Doctor:Thrush isnt the first sign of HIV
Doctor:Moreover thrush is a very common condition
Doctor:Mostly it happens without HIV
Doctor:The first sign of HIV is flu like symptoms
User:Other than this, I am pretty healthy.
Doctor:Even candida is considered normal
Doctor:I do not think you should be worrying about HIV
User:Internet had me scared, it said thrush is usually because of HIV or diabetes
Doctor:Not really
Doctor:Most commonly it is due to antibiotic use
Doctor:HIV and diabetes are less common causes
Doctor:Thanks for consulting
Doctor:Take care
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