White plaque on the lips in adults and children: why it appears

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Whitish bloomPlaque white on the lips is a fairly common phenomenon that gives people some discomfort and aesthetic inconvenience.

In some people it may appear constantly, in others it will appear only from time to time.

White plaque in the lip area can be both an independent problem and one of the symptoms of somatic diseases.


  • Varieties
  • Causes of white plaque
    • Candidiasis
    • Stomatitis
    • Avitaminosis
    • Dysbacteriosis
    • Heilit
    • Lifestyle
    • Colds
    • Dehydration
  • Treatment methods


There are several types of the appearance of a whitish plaque in the lip area:

  • thin film on the surface;
  • in the corners;
  • thick or filmy, covering the entire surface of the upper and lower lip;
  • in the morning, immediately after waking up (associated with the drying of saliva flowing freely at night);
  • cheesy, from the inside, passing to the mucous membrane of the oral cavity.

The characteristics of plaque directly depend on the etiological factor that led to this condition.

Causes of white plaque

All factors that can lead to the appearance of plaque on the lips can be divided into two large groups:

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  • non-pathological reasons;
  • pathological reasons.

Non-pathological reasons indicate that white bloom is not a sign of any disease, but simply arises as a separate process.

Possible reasons are as follows:

  • insufficient level of oral hygiene (typical for children);
  • improper diet, lack of vitamins and minerals;
  • the use of dentures;
  • the presence of bad habits (excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, smoking);
  • constant exposure to stress;
  • chronic depressive conditions;
  • general dehydration of the body;
  • breathing with an open mouth;
  • taking certain medications, such as antibiotics or combined oral contraceptives.

Pathological causes are a list of diseases, one of the symptoms of which is white deposits in the lip area.

Such diseases and conditions include:

  • AIDS virus;
  • dental diseases such as stomatitis;
  • infectious processes of various origins;
  • diseases of the digestive system;
  • tonsillitis;
  • liver problems;
  • scarlet fever;
  • candidiasis or thrush;
  • lichen planus;
  • skin injuries in the lip area;
  • condition after chemotherapy or radiation therapy;
  • diseases affecting the respiratory system.

Definition of the disease on the lips, video:


Thrush is a disease of fungal etiology, the causative agent of which is considered to be a conditionally pathogenic fungus of the genus Candida. Usually, pathology occurs against the background of a weakened immune system.

In addition to directly white plaque, which has a cheesy character and is localized mainly in the corners of the lips, the following clinical manifestations are characteristic of oral candidiasis:

  • an abundance of microscopic cracks in the skin of the lips and in the corners of the mouth;
  • the formation of ulcerations of small diameter;
  • hyperemia of the entire oral cavity;
  • increased bleeding cracks;
  • severe itching;
  • a burning sensation in the lesions.

In parallel with this, a sick person has a deterioration in his general condition, lethargy, irritability, fatigue, and loss of appetite develop.

Treatment of candidiasis should be started as early as possible in order to prevent the occurrence of complications such as adherence bacterial infection, deepening of erosive damage or the transition of the candidal process to the mucous membrane of the larynx.

Video about candidiasis:


Under this term, a number of diseases are combined that affect the mucous membrane of the oral cavity, as well as the skin of the lips. These diseases can be of viral, bacterial, or fungal etiology. Less often, pathogenic protozoa become their causative agents. Both an adult and a child can get sick with stomatitis, but children get sick more often, due to insufficient hygiene.

Clinical manifestations stomatitis differ in moderate severity.

The main symptoms of this disease include:

  • light, even white plaque on the skin of the lips and oral mucosa;
  • hyperemia and swelling of the oral cavityStomatitis;
  • unpleasant, and in some cases even painful, sensations arising during eating, laughing or simply opening the mouth;
  • the formation of erosive or ulcerative lesions with smooth bright red edges;
  • itching and burning sensation in the area of ​​ulceration;
  • increased salivation;
  • the appearance of bleeding in the gum area;
  • the occurrence of an unpleasant odor from the oral cavity;
  • an increase in the size of the lymph nodes, especially the submandibular;
  • in severe cases: manifestations of a general intoxication syndrome with an increase in temperature to febrile values ​​(38 degrees and above).

Only three types of stomatitis lead to the appearance of a white plaque, namely:

  • ulcerative;
  • aphthous;
  • candidal.

Video from Dr. Malysheva:


Avitaminosis is a lack of certain vitamins in the human body. Against the background of this condition, the skin dries up, rashes and cracks form on the skin of the lips, and in parallel with them, a whitish bloom.

Quite often, plaque can acquire a yellowish tint, which indicates the addition of a bacterial infection due to a weakened immune system.


With dysbiosis in the intestines of a sick person, the balance between beneficial microorganisms and pathogenic microflora is disturbed, and the latter prevails. Against the background of the colonization of the intestinal cavity with bacterial agents, its work is disrupted, which leads to a decrease in appetite, dryness of the oral mucosa and an unpleasant odor when breathing.

At the same time, plaque in the form of a thin film may develop, due to which a person with dysbiosis feels an unpleasant taste in the mouth.


HeilitHeilit - an inflammatory process of the skin and mucous membrane of the lips, which forms in the corners of the mouth. Usually cheilitis develops in parallel with dermatitis or dermatoses.

The main etiological factors of the disease are poor oral hygiene and the consumption of large amounts of simple carbohydrates.

The initial sign of this disease is the appearance of seizures localized in the corners of the mouth, after which the entire surface of the lips is gradually covered with a whitish, filmy coating.


Poor lifestyle, inadequate nutrition, exposure to stress and bad habits often lead to plaque.

The tar contained in tobacco can change the color of the plaque to yellow. The use of low-quality cosmetics is also a provoking factor. In this case, the plaque will look like a thin translucent film.


Colds do not directly lead to plaque formation. However, with such diseases, a fairly common symptom is nasal congestion, while a person begins to breathe through his mouth. The mucous membrane of the mouth and lips dries up, which leads to the formation of whitish deposits in these areas.


Chapped lipsIn this case, the mechanism of occurrence of plaque is similar to that of colds.

The delicate mucous membrane of the lips suffers from a lack of moisture, as a result of which a thin layer of white overlays forms on it.

That is why lips turn white in people suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The constant thirst experienced by such patients leads to the drying out of the mucous membrane of the lips and the appearance of a whitish film on it.

Treatment methods

The methods of therapy depend on the cause that led to the appearance of white plaque in the lip area. Before starting treatment, it is necessary to consult a specialist.

In addition to the etiotropic treatment of the underlying disease, there are two main ways to remove white overlays from the skin of the lips:

  • mechanical removal of plaque using antiseptic and antifungal agents;
  • strengthening immunity by taking multivitamin complexes and immunomodulators.

Regular hygiene of the mouth and lips speeds up the process of getting rid of overlaps, increasing the effectiveness of the medicines used.

Rinsing the mouth after eating with herbal infusions stimulates the repair processes. A healthy diet is one of the essential components of therapy, which will not only get rid of unpleasant white plaque, but also increase immunity.

When white overlays appear, do not self-medicate. The best way out is to contact a specialist who will carry out all the necessary diagnostic procedures, diagnose and prescribe adequate therapy.

The site is for informational purposes only. Do not under any circumstances self-medicate. If you find you have any symptoms of illness, contact your doctor.

  • Oct 28, 2021
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