The term “Yellow Tongue” refers to a yellow discoloration of the tongue. This condition is typically mild and temporary. Many things may cause tongue discoloration. The yellow tongue can occasionally be a sign of underlying illness. Most people who have Yellow Tongue fully recover. Taking better care of oneself and improving dental hygiene typically fixes the problem. But if it is severe, you can visit the best hospital in Hyderabad for a better diagnosis.
Dead skin cells, bacteria, or other discoloring substances commonly accumulate on the tongue’s surface and cause a yellow tongue. Most of the time, home remedies can clean up the yellow tongue. However, on rare occasions, the condition is a sign of a more serious medical issue that needs treatment, typically jaundice.
Depending on the reason, there are different yellow tongue symptoms. The majority of the time, simple home remedies, particularly good oral hygiene, cure yellow tongue within a few days to a few weeks.
What Does a Yellow Tongue Look Like?
The underlying cause will determine how yellow the tongue will appear. For example, yeast overgrowth may cause you to have yellowish-white patches on your tongue and other areas of your mouth. In addition, dead skin cells, germs, and other particles in your mouth can cause a yellow accumulation on the surface of your tongue due to poor oral hygiene and several other disorders. Additionally, it may cause poor breath.
Your tongue, gums, or palate may briefly get stained from certain foods, medicines, and pharmaceuticals. Jaundice can cause your tongue, palate, eyes, and skin to turn yellow, albeit it’s not one of the most typical causes.
Yellow tongue Causes
A high buildup of dead cells and bacteria on the tongue results in oral yeast infection, often known as the yellow tongue. A person’s probability of getting the illness is known to be increased by a few specific behaviors, health issues, and medications. For example, a yellow tongue can be brought on by:
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
By removing bacteria from the tongue’s surface, cleaning the teeth and tongue can minimize the likelihood of getting a yellow tongue. If you do not regularly and properly clean your teeth, bacteria, skin cells, and pores can pile up on the tongue’s papillae. The colors that bacteria emit might make your tongue yellow. In addition, your tongue might turn yellow if it gets coated with food, tobacco, or other things.
2. Mouth Breathing or Dry Mouth
Saliva naturally aids in removing extra bacteria and debris from the tongue’s surface. However, dehydration decreases saliva production, so germs and food particles are more likely to stick around cells and cause bacterial overgrowth. In addition, mouth breathing increases the chance of developing dry mouth, particularly at night.
3. Black Hairy Tongue
Bacteria or fungi can cause an expanded, elongated, hair-like carpet to grow on the tongue’s surface, a persistent, non-cancerous condition known as a black hairy tongue. Although the tongue is usually black, it can also be yellow, blue, or green. Most people with the ailment only seek treatment because of how it looks. However, others also complain of nausea, gagging, poor breath, and a burning sensation in their mouth.
The chemical bilirubin, produced when red blood cells are broken down, abnormally accumulates in tissues in persons with jaundice. Sometimes only certain body parts, like the whites of the eyes, become yellowed.
Occasionally, the entire body may have a yellow glow or tint. For example, jaundice requires rapid medical care and is frequently treated since it may indicate potentially fatal illnesses, like liver failure.
5. Gastric Conditions and Infections
Yellow tongue coating has been linked to conditions that inflame the gastric lining. In addition, a yellow, thicker tongue coating is related to persistent gastritis or stomach lining irritation, mainly caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
6. Some Mouthwashes
Your tongue can change color after using a mouthwash containing peroxide, witch hazel, or menthol. In addition, the surface of your teeth and tongue have been reported to become stained by prescription mouthwashes that include chlorhexidine.
Yellow Tongue Symptoms
Depending on the underlying cause, a tongue can appear yellow. For example, yeast overgrowth may cause white patches that are yellowish on your tongue and other parts of your mouth. Here are a few symptoms of Yellow Tongue.
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
- A bad taste
- Yellow tongue sore throat
- Burning sensation
- Acid reflux or indigestion
- Small, raised bumps on the tongue
- The appearance of hair or fur on the tongue
- More white spots, films, or coatings on the mucous membranes or tongue
Yellow Tongue Treatment
Most of the time, good dental hygiene habits eliminate yellow tongues. For example, any germs or other buildup on the tongue’s surface may be removed with a toothbrush or tongue scraper. In addition, the eventual darkening of the tongue may be avoided by quitting smoking or chewing tobacco.
Complications of Yellow Tongue
Rarely a yellow tongue might signify the underlying illness of jaundice. A yellow chemical substance called bilirubin develops in the blood if you have jaundice. This accumulation could be a sign of liver injury or malfunction.
When to Visit a Doctor?
You don’t need medical attention if you merely have a yellow tongue. However, you should see a doctor if you have any of the other symptoms listed below:
- Abdominal pain
- Your tongue hurts
- Blood in your stool
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- skin or the whites of eyes turn yellow
- The yellow color stays for more than two weeks
Having a yellow tongue is generally harmless and will eventually go away by itself. However, a few causes of the yellow tongue, such as jaundice, are more severe and require medical attention.
The Final Word
Yellow Tongue causes cottony mouthfeel or loss of taste. Antifungal medications can usually treat yeast infections. However, sometimes untreated yeast infection can become more severe, especially in those very sick. Therefore, it is best to consult your doctor immediately as they may be signs of a more serious underlying condition, jaundice.