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Dr Basu
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Experience:  MD
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white film on tongue with red raised bumps on back of tongue,could

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white film on tongue with red raised bumps on back of tongue,could it be a bacterial infection or tongue cancer?


Thanks for your question.

Dehydration can commonly cause white coating of the tongue.

Smoking may worsen this.

The red bumps are the taste buds ( tongue papillae). These may become more prominent if the adjoining taste buds atrophied with age.

Fungal infection or candidal infection is another possibility which can give this appearance.

Antifungal treatment with nystatin should be tried.

Tongue cancer does not present like this.

The manifestations of tongue cancer can be nonhealing ulcer, fungating growth or white plaques ( different from white film).

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