The yellow tongue is the sign of a generally benign disease; occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce pigments that form a yellow coating on the tongue.
This yellow saburra can be:
- At the tip,
- No center,
- In the back (in the background).
It usually does not indicate the presence of a serious illness except in very rare cases.
Yellow tongue in Chinese traditional medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, the balance of the body is determined by the principles of Yin and Yang. When one of them overcomes the other, diseases develop.
The yellow tongue is considered a symptom of the moist heat caused by the excess of Yang.
At diagnosis, the doctor examines the tongue for information about the body’s internal systems.
If the tongue is yellow, the patient may have:
- A Yin deficiency,
- An excess of Yang (moist heat) in the body,
- Problems of functioning in the spleen or stomach .
Causes of yellow tongue
People usually develop the yellow tongue when the taste buds become swollen and create a rough surface that allows the bacteria to adhere and produce the pigment that forms the white-yellow patina.
Among the common causes of yellow tongue are:
- Poor oral hygiene;
- Certain medicines (in particular antibiotics);
- Fever ;
- Dehydration ;
- Gastritis , especially in the morning before eating;
- Jaundice occurs in liver disorders such as cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer ;
- Pregnancy, pregnant women often suffer from stomach ailments (eg, gastroesophageal reflux ) and liver. Liver diseases can color the skin, mucous membranes, tongue and eyes yellow;
- Oral breathing.
In addition to being covered by a yellowish spot, the tongue may look like:
However, the yellowish tongue may indicate an infection or a more serious illness.
It is necessary to go to the doctor for advice if:
- The person is concerned about changes in the appearance of the tongue;
- The person feels pain in the tongue;
- The yellowish tongue persists for more than 2 weeks.
In some people the yellowish tongue does not return to normal color or texture even after treatment.
- Lack of mineral salts (especially iron) and vitamins, especially those of group B.
- Problems in the gallbladder.
Yellow tongue risk factors
Generally, the change in tongue color is due to poor oral hygiene. Here are some causes of yellow tongue mucosa.
Poor oral hygiene
People who follow proper oral hygiene rules are less likely to develop yellow tongue.
Brushing and flossing keep teeth healthy. The use of tongue cleansers helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria in the tongue that occurs when the food remains between the teeth.
The tongue cleaner is useful for preventing bacteria from accumulating, but it is not necessary to shave the tongue too hard.
Inflamed taste buds
The mucosa or pink tissue covering the tongue may be irritated due to the consumption of hot drinks or foods with a rough texture.
Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages and drinking little water can dry your mouth.
The constant flow of saliva helps to inhibit bacterial growth.
A dry mouth increases the buildup of bacteria that cause changes in the color of the tongue.
- Alcohol abuse,
- Smoking cigarette,
- Chewing tobacco,
- Breathing with the mouth,
- Prolonged use of certain medications, etc.
In addition, these factors alter the color and texture of the tongue.
Black hairy tongue
In some cases, the yellowish tongue may be an early sign of black hairy tongue.
The change in color and texture is due to the proliferation of bacteria in the mouth.
- The consistency of the tongue changes when the taste buds grow in hairy formations.
- The color of the tongue changes due to the accumulation of bacteria or fungi on the papillae.
The color of the tongue can also be changed from pink to yellow, brown, green, etc., because of pigments contained in food or beverages.
Some factors that contribute to the development of this signal are:
- Dry mouth ,
- Use of medicines containing bismuth,
- Poor oral hygiene,
- Use of tobacco,
- Mouthwashes containing oxidizing agents,
- Excessive consumption of tea and coffee.
Smoke and diet low in fiber
Smoking and insufficient dietary fiber can contribute to the formation of a yellow spot in the center of the tongue.
- Tobacco smoke can stain the surface of the tongue, leaving a yellowish appearance.
- Dietary fiber can scrape away excess bacteria on the tongue and thus prevent the yellow tongue.
Causes of yellow tongue in children
Some reasons for yellow tongue in children may be:
Yellow tongue after piercing
Good oral hygiene is important to allow the injury caused by tongue piercing to heal as quickly as possible.
Alcohol-free mouthwash (Oral-B) is necessary to rinse the mouth.
It is very important to rinse your mouth for the first 7 days.
During brushing the tongue should not be brushed to avoid irritating the piercing.
On the second or third day after piercing, it is possible to notice the swollen tonguewith a yellow spot on the tip.
It is not the case to worry; this is the normal substance that the tongue produces and when it heals disappears in a few days.
It is also possible to see a whitish circle around the sublingual hole: it represents the crust on the tongue and disappears in a few days.
Diagnosis of the yellow tongue
People who develop the yellow tongue without an apparent cause should talk to their doctor if symptoms do not go away in a few days.
The doctor examines the patient and may prescribe tests to identify the cause of the yellow tongue, for example:
Differential diagnosis of white or yellowish plaques on the tongue
To identify the disease causing the yellow tongue, the doctor should exclude diseases that cause white patches and plaques including:
Leukoplakia or leukoplakia
It is a frequent disease in which a white plaque appears without pain in the mouth; can also develop:
- In the tongue,
- In the gums,
- On the cheeks,
- On the lips (on the inside).
This white plate seems to be the consequence of:
- Excessive production of oral mucosal cells.
- Accumulation of a protein called keratin.
- Leukoplakia can develop when the tongue is irritated.
- It is related to alcohol and tobacco abuse.
Among the symptoms related to leukoplakia, there is also bad breath or halitosis.
It is usually not dangerous, but in some cases can become a cancerous leukoplakia, often many years or even decades after its first appearance.
It is important to regularly check your mouth by a dentist or doctor to find out if leukoplakia:
- If new areas with leukoplakia develop.
The dentist or specialist is able to distinguish between a white tongue caused by leukoplakia and a yellowish tongue.
Oral lichen planus
The Lichen planus oral (lichen planus of the mouth) is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes white streaks like an income and white patches in the mouth, also in the language.
Usually mild cases do not cause pain, but the individual may have:
The cause of oral lichen planus is unknown. It is not hereditary and can not be transmitted to other people.
Oral lichen planus can be treated with:
- An antiseptic mouthwash,
- Spray corticosteroids or tablets dissolved in water to rinse the mouth.
C â ndida mouth and tongue in
the oral candidiasis (thrush) is an infection caused by a fungus in the mouth.
- A burning sensation in the tongue ,
- Sore throat ,
- White plaques that can be scraped off (although sometimes red dots may appear).
Sometimes c â ndida colonizes the mouth and can cause a white or yellowish coating.
This fungal infection can be caused by a cycle of antibiotics that has altered the intestinal bacterial flora.
This disease is the most common cause of white or yellowish tongue in newborns and infants.
However, it can be eliminated with medicines.
There are more likely to develop c â ndida mouth in case of:
- Recent intake of antibiotics or cortisone ;
- Daily inhalation of corticosteroids to treat asthma ;
- Weakened immune system;
- Presence of dental prostheses.
If the candidiasis is not treated, the symptoms persist and the discomfort in the mouth continues. The treatment is based on antifungal medicines and diet modification.
The syphilis is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
If it is transmitted through sexual intercourse, syphilis can cause a small sore without pain or an ulcer on the tongue. It appears 10 days to 3 months after exposure to infection.
Symptoms of syphilis also include swollen lymph nodes . Treatment is performed with a single dose of penicillin.
If left untreated, syphilis can cause white and gray spots on the tongue. It is a disease called syphilitic leukoplakia.
Natural treatment for yellow tongue
There are several ways to treat and prevent the yellow tongue, for example:
- Improve oral hygiene,
- Use medicines to reduce bacteria in the mouth,
- Change diet and lifestyle (stop smoking),
- Gently brush the tongue with a tongue scraper,
- Drink plenty of water .
Yellow tongue medicines
The doctor may prescribe medications to treat diseases that cause the yellow tongue.
In the case of gastritis , the doctor prescribes a therapy that includes:
- Antacid medications, for example aluminum hydrate (Maalox),
- Proton pump inhibitor drugs, such as lansopranazole (Lansox).
In case of liver disease, the doctor prescribes:
- A specific treatment depending on the disease,
- Prohibition to consume alcohol .
Diet and feeding for yellow tongue
For liver, stomach and intestinal problems, a natural diet is recommended, for example:
- The blood type diet ,
- On a vegan / crudivorous diet .
Among the foods to avoid are:
- Milk and dairy products,
- Cereals with gluten ,
- Fried food,
- Junk food,
- Caffeine or protein based beverages,
- Condiments processed,
According to hygienism (a natural medicine), among the most suitable treatments to treat the digestive organs are:
- Brief fasting (if there are no contraindications),
- A diet based on raw fruits and vegetables.