White spots manifesting on the tongue is, in the vast majority of cases, due to a microscopic fungi of the yeast genus called candida albicans
. These spots appear like white plaque, and can also spread to the inside of the cheeks. This condition is common in newborns, and can be responsible for pain and difficulties in swallowing, in which case it is called oral thrush. It is also commonly seen in immunocompromised adults, whose defenses are weakened, such as an AIDS
sufferer, for example. This infection can be treated by antifungal
medicine. The tongue can also appear "uniformly" white, in which case it is called coated tongue, that can be due to poor oral and dental hygiene, and indicates the growth of bacteria within the tongue tissue, or more rarely, a digestive disorder.