I can understand your frustration, and need to find an alternative of leaving them alone...leaving them alone is the hardest thing anyone can possibly do to have to heal their lips. However, people trying to fix them for years and years, using countless products, and I can assure you not one single person has truly gotten healed from any of them. If I am wrong PLEASE send me a link showing a before and after picture and a recent picture showing they are still cured.
Now to answer your questions. 1) Not everyone gets this the same way. Some people get it from using too much chapstick, which the reason it causes it is:
When you use a product like chapstick what it does it creates the natural lubrication for the body unaturally. The body is used to providing its own source of lubrication and when an unatural source gets applied, then the body slowly starts producing less and less of its own lubrication, causing the person to need more and more chapstick.
It's very simple logic that we are using here. If you would like to test it out try using eye drops. Put them in every day about 4 to 5 times a day for a few weeks. Then stop using the eye drops. Your eyes will feel desperately dry because your body has ceased the natural creation of tears. At this point you will feel the need to get your eyedrops back out. However stopping is the ONLY way that your body will start producing tears again, so it's best to ease off slowly.
This is the exact same scenario we have, except that we are actually taking off layers of skin. The reason the layers of skin start to come off is because the constant rubbing of chapstick onto your lips causes slight trauma to the lips. After a decade or two of constant-light trauma to your lips layers will slowly start to be removed unnoticed. At this point your body will try rebuilding those layers, which will only be small parts of your lips at this point. You will see the skin being rebuilt and believe it to be dry skin and smother more chapstick on it, causing further trauma, thus removing more skin. Do this for a couple years and you'll eventually have Exfoliative Cheilitis.
Now, that is just one way to get it. Didn't ever use chapstick? Okay, the key word is trauma that we are searching for. You most likely don't remember the trauma because it was an unimportant event in your life and didn't affect your lips immediately. It could be as simple as a dentist visit where they have to excessively stretch your lips when doing work on your teeth. The extreme stretching can cause so much trauma to them that it could start rebuilding the broken cells in the lower layers, causing the upper layers to die quiker than before. Another example of non-chapstick users would be if they floss with regular floss instead of floss picks. Flossing with floss that you have to wrap around your fingers will cause you to stretch your lips considerably to get to the back teeth...do this for years? You'll end up with EC eventually. Will it happen to everyone? No, some people have more elasticity in their lips so it won't affect them at all. Some people however don't have that luxury.
So you need to think of a key point in which there was trauma to your lips. Could it be from bad diet? Of course. Anything that causes trauma. Don't drink water? Trauma to your lips because your body can't supply the natural lubrication needed for the protective barrier on the mucous membrane.
So yes, leaving them alone is a MUST to get them fixed, but once you get them fixed if you don't get the nutrients your body needs, then you'll go right back to having EC if your body can't supply the libs with the natural lubrication it needs. So eating healthy is pretty important as well. However some people's bodies produce more than enough lubrication, so they can eat as bad as they like and never have problems. They probably drink a lot of soda as well which provides the water they need. It's the same thing as people with diabetes, some people produce a lot of insulin, some produce a normal amount, and some produce a very small amount.
We are all not the same, so there is no one reason why you'll get it, you'll just have to think really hard back years and years ago, and unfortunately you may never figure it out. But there is one solution to fix it. Leave them alone and eat healthy while getting plenty of excercise. These three things in combination will fix them. However, if you happen to have an actual disease that is causing it, then this may not be enough...but a disease would cause more symptoms than ONLY peeling lips.
Okay so there is your answer for number 1...Now you would like to talk about number 2..
2) White tounge actually has nothing to do with peeling lips. I have nothing white on my tounge. What white tounge is is actually food that accumulates on top of your tounge, you'll notice it can easily be removed with a tounge scraper. What causes this is eating bad food...processed food or high in sodium. Try eating raw fruits and vegetables for a while and cut out meat and see if your white tounge goes away. If you can't scrape the white parts away then I don't know what that would be, you'll have to check with your doctor.
If you're having spots on your gums you really need to have a dermatologist look at it, because there could be some kind of virus or something in your system attacking your mouth, which could very well be the cause of your peeling lips.
Sorry for the long responce, but hopefully I answered your questions in a different light than you not have looked at them. Please keep us posted and let us know what your dermatologist says about the spots on your gums.