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Sometimes, thrush can be a sign of a more serious, underlying condition, especially if you're not part of one of the higher-risk groups mentioned earlier in this answer. Diabetes and HIV are two possibilities. If you're concerned, or if you have been in sexual situations that have placed you at risk, it might be a good idea to get tested by a clinic or health care professional.

Several non-thrush conditions can also cause a white tongue, including:

Scarlet fever
The tongue has a white coating for the first two days of the disease.
Kawasaki disease
A white coating and prominent red bumps appear on the tongue.
Herpes simplex virus type 1
Cold sores caused by the herpes virus can give the tongue a white coating.
Lichen planus
A skin disease that causes lacy white patches on the tongue and inner cheeks if the mouth is infected.

Most of these conditions, however, come with a variety of other symptoms. 


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