What Does It Mean When My Baby Has a White Tongue?

children's health

What Does It Mean When My Baby Has a White Tongue?

For many new parents, any change in their baby’s health or overall appearance can be a cause for concern. All parents are understandably worried about their babies and any new symptom that may appear. One of the more common conditions pediatricians get calls about has to do with their baby’s tongue. More specifically, when their tongue is white.

If you see a white coating on your baby’s tongue, understand that this does happen from time to time—and it typically isn’t a cause for concern. In some situations, a while tongue can be as simple as leftover milk residue. If the white coating sticks around, many time it’s caused by an overgrowth of yeast, or Thrush.

What is Thrush?

Thrush is a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus. This is the same yeast that causes diaper rashes in babies as well. With Thrush, a yeast infection will start to form on different parts of the mouth that are involved with sucking—meaning the tongue, lips and sometimes inside the cheek.

How to Tell If Your Baby Has Thrush

The first thing to do when you notice a white residue on your baby’s tongue is to try to wipe off the coating. If it’s easy to wipe off, it’s likely milk residue. Yeast is very difficult to get off. You should also take a look inside your baby’s mouth. If the white coating isn’t just on their tongue, but all over the inside of their mouth—then chances are you’re dealing with Thrush or a similar yeast infection.

Getting Thrush Treated

Thrush is not only fairly common in new babies, but it is relatively easy to treat. Your pediatrician will prescribe certain mediations including an oral antifungal medication or other medications that can quickly and easily get this yeast outbreak under control. You may also need to apply an antifungal cream to your breasts if you are breastfeeding.

If you are breastfeeding, your doctor will also talk to you about the potential that your baby may pass the fungus on to your breasts or nipples. You will also need to make sure that you sterilize your baby’s pacifiers, nipples, teething rings and more to make sure you completely eliminate the possibility of the yeast infection coming back.

If you have more questions about Thrush, or other symptoms that your baby may be suddenly exhibiting, you should always make sure that you call your pediatrician. Here at Continuum pediatrics, we are available to help diagnose and treat issues such as this. You can call to make an appointment at 817-617-8600 so that you can get a proper diagnosis for your child.