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White palate: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The palate can be affected by different diseases. Some only manifest in that area, others can affect the rest of the mouth and, in some cases, the whole body can be affected. The causes of white palate are varied: from fungi, viruses, burns to autoimmune diseases and tumors.

It is important to reach a good diagnosis in order to choose the appropriate treatment. If you have doubts, it is best to consult your case with a professional. Next, in this FastlyHealarticle, you will learn more about white palate: causes and treatment .


The proliferation of the Candida fungus can cause the lining of your mouth, including the roof of your mouth, tongue or throat to turn white. By releasing the discharge, you can see how the area is rather red, this condition is also known as thrush .

There can be several reasons for yeast infection, the most common of which are:

  • Low defenses : receiving a transplant or diseases such as malnutrition, diabetes or cancer can make certain microorganisms take the opportunity to generate infection. They are the so-called opportunistic diseases.
  • Lack of oral hygiene : food debris and improper cleaning facilitate fungal growth in the mouth.
  • Excess cleaning : the intensive use of oral cleaning solutions can destroy the normal flora of the mouth, that is, those “good” bacteria that are necessary to maintain a proper balance in the oral mucosa. This is usually more frequent if you also suffer from low defenses.
  • Smoking : Tobacco use can promote the growth of fungus in the mouth .
  • Poor diet : excess sugar stimulates the growth of Candida .
  • Dry mouth : it is a risk factor that can promote and perpetuate this problem.
  •  Removable dentures or mouth implants : These can make candida grow more easily.
  • Corticosteroids : both the chronic use of these drugs and the inhalation by mouth of aerosols.


On the one hand, to solve the white palate due to candidiasis, an antifungal drug such as nystatin should be applied to combat the presence of candidiasis in your mouth.

On the other hand, you should prevent its reappearance with some measures such as:

  • Control your diet.
  • Keep your mouth and teeth sanitized.
  • Drinking water.
  • Try to keep your health in the best possible state.
  • Rinse your mouth after using a corticosteroid inhaler.

Learn more about Oral Candidiasis: symptoms, causes and treatment .

Dry mouth

Dehydration or lack of water in the body can make your mouth drier. In that case, the saliva becomes more pasty and can make your palate and tongue whiter.

There is a disease called Sjögren’s syndrome in which the production of saliva, tears and secretions in general is decreased. One of the most common symptoms is a dry mouth and a white palate.


If you do not suffer from a specific disease, hydration with water may be sufficient. Other drinks with sugar, coffee or artificial juices can make the situation worse, since they can lead to more dehydration.

In the case of Sjögren, the application of liquids that moisturize the mouth can be indicated, since no cure has yet been found for this problem.

Bacterial plaque

Due to poor hygiene of the teeth and mouth, material called plaque accumulates. This bacterial plaque is painless and can be easily dislodged. This is one of the most common causes that explain the white palate.


New hygiene habits in the oral area and dental control are usually sufficient.

Traumatic ulcers

If the mucosa of the palate has been injured, for example by the friction of a poorly fitted prosthesis, that area will be covered with a whitish substance, giving rise to a white palate. The intention of this coating is to promote healing .

But if the palate continues to hurt, it can lead to:

  • Infections
  • Necrosis.
  • Chronic type lesions, in this case the mucosa becomes thick, taking the name of hyperkeratosis.


In this case, the use of oral antiseptics, a warm soft diet and, of course, control with a specialist may be indicated.

If hyperkeratosis is already present, it is essential to correct the cause that generates it and to check that malignant lesions do not occur.

Chemical ulcers

They can be produced by the contact of an irritant substance or by the reaction to some drugs. This situation of chemical ulcers is common to see in treatments with:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Acetylsalicylic acid.
  • Bleach.
  • Other caustics.


Chemical ulcers on the palate usually heal on their own in 1 to 2 days and, as they are usually painless, they do not require treatment most of the time.

If the healing process is delayed or there are other diseases that generate low defenses, it is advisable to go to a professional to monitor the ulcer.


Burns on the palate are common in people who are under radiation therapy, although it also includes burns of other origin. The mucosa of the palate, in this case, will be red and a whitish pseudomembrane is applied over it.


Treatment will depend on the extent and evolution of the burns. Usually, care must be taken with the ingestion of food, which must be soft and warm.

If there is pain in the palate , local or oral analgesics may be indicated .

Viral infection

Different viruses can give rise to blisters , which, when broken, give rise to ulcers that are covered with a whitish or yellowish substance, giving rise to a white palate. The most frequent diseases are:


It is symptomatic, this means that they will be administered depending on the symptoms:

  • Analgesics.
  • Topical analgesics.
  • Antipiréticos.

Autoimmune disease

In some cases, the body’s defenses attack when they do not recognize any substance or tissue of their own. This is the case of diseases that affect the whole body (such as pemphigus, pemphigoid or lupus ) or only the oral mucosa (lichen planus).

The palate may be affected depending on the case. If this happens, blisters may appear which, when broken, will give rise to lesions that are covered with white tissue or linear lesions in the case of lichen.


If they occur too frequently, treatment with corticosteroids or immunosuppressants may be necessary . In other cases, the symptoms are not so important and their treatment will be only when required.

Lichen planus should be closely monitored for the possibility of malignancy.

Inflammation from drugs

Also known as drug stomatitis, it is an inflammation of the oral mucosa that can occur as a side effect of some drugs. The palate may be injured and blisters may appear which, when broken, will appear white.

This condition is also known as erythema multiforme and can be caused by treatment with:

  • Acetylsalicylic acid.
  • Sulfamidas.
  • Anti-inflammatories.


The treatment of inflammation by drugs will depend on the severity of each case. If possible, the medication should be stopped or replaced with another. If there is pain, topical pain relievers can be applied.


White lesions on the palate for a long time may correspond to so-called leukoplakia .

These tend to appear more commonly in people who:

  • They smoke.
  • They drink alcohol.
  • It has low defenses .
  • Are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • It can also occur without those factors.

At that point, they are not tumors but they have a great chance of turning into one. If the white lesions bleed, are permanently injured, and do not heal, it is more likely a tumor.


The important thing is to make the correct diagnosis, usually through a biopsy . Removal of the lesion may be sufficient or other more specific treatment may be required.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to White palate: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Teeth and mouth category .

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