Yellow tongue

The yellow tongue is the sign of a usually benign disease and arises when bacteria produce a pigment that covers the tongue yellow.

This yellow coating may occur;

  • at the tip of the tongue,
  • In the middle
  • in the posterior (posterior) area.

Usually, it is not an indication of a serious illness, except for a few rare cases.


Yellow tongue in traditional Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the balance of the body is determined by the principles of yin and yang. When one surpasses the other, diseases arise.
A yellow tongue is considered a symptom of moist heat caused by an excess of yang.
When diagnosing, the doctor examines the tongue to obtain information about the internal systems of the body.
If the tongue is yellowish, the patient can:

  • a lack of Yin,
  • an excess of yang (moist heat) in the body,
  • have problems with the spleen or stomach.

Causes of yellow tongue

Normally, people develop a yellow tongue when the taste buds swell and form a rough surface that allows the bacteria to adhere and produce a pigment that forms the white-yellowish coating.
The most common causes of a yellow tongue are:

  • poor oral hygiene;
  • some medicines (especially antibiotics);
  • Fever;
  • Dehydration;
  • gastritis, especially in the morning and before eating;
  • jaundice (jaundice), occurs in liver diseases, such as cirrhosis or liver tumor;
  • Pregnancy; pregnant women often suffer from problems of the stomach (for example, gastroesophageal reflux) and liver; liver diseases can turn the skin, mucous membrane, eyes and tongue yellow;
  • Mouth breathing.

In addition to this yellowish tongue coating, the tongue may also appear:

  • hairy
  • irregular.

A covered tongue may indicate an infection or a serious illness. You should consult a doctor if:

  • one is concerned about the changed appearance of the tongue;
  • one feels pain on the tongue;
  • the tongue coating persists for more than 2 weeks.

In some people, the tongue no longer takes on normal color or consistency even after therapy.

Other causes:

  • Lack of minerals (especially iron) and vitamins, especially group B
  • Problems of the gallbladder

Factors contributing to the development of a yellow tongue

Usually, a change in tongue color is due to inadequate oral hygiene. Here are some causes of the yellow mucous membrane of the tongue.

Lack of oral hygiene People who follow the norms of proper oral hygiene
are less likely to develop a yellow tongue.
Toothbrush and dental floss keep the teeth healthy. The use of a tongue cleaner helps prevent bacterial deposits on the tongue that occur when food particles are trapped between the teeth.
Tongue cleaning is useful to prevent bacterial accumulation, but do not scrape the tongue too tightly.

Inflamed papillae
The mucous membrane, or pink tissue that lines the tongue, can become irritated due to the consumption of hot drinks or coarse foods.

mouth The excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages and insufficient water drinking dries out the mouth.
The constant flow of saliva serves to prevent bacterial growth. Dry mouth increases the accumulation of bacteria, which leads to changes in tongue color.
Factors that can lead to the feeling of a bitter mouth and dry mouth include:

In addition, these factors change the color and texture of the tongue.

Black hair tongue
In some cases, a yellow coating can be the precursor of a black hair tongue.
Changes in color and consistency are the result of bacterial proliferation in the mouth.

  • The nature of the tongue changes when the papillae grow in a hair-like shape.
  • The color of the tongue changes due to the accumulation of bacteria or fungi on the taste buds.

The tongue color could also change from pink to yellow, brown, green, etc. due to the ingredients of food and drinks.

Some factors contributing to the development of this disease sign are:

  • Xerostomia
  • taking bismuth medications,
  • Smoke
  • lack of oral hygiene,
  • Tobacco use
  • mouthwashes containing oxidizing agents,
  • excessive consumption of tea and coffee.

Smoking and low-fiber diets

Tobacco smoke and insufficient dietary fiber can contribute to the formation of a yellow tongue coating in the center of the tongue.

  • Tobacco smoke can discolor the surface of the tongue and give it a yellow appearance.
  • Fiber can rub off the excess of bacteria on the tongue and thus prevent a yellow tongue.

Causes of a yellow tongue in children

Some reasons for a yellow tongue in children may include:

  • Jaundice;
  • amoeba abscess in the liver;
  • Tooth abscess;
  • Typhoid fever abdominalis (also known as enteric or typhoid fever).

Yellow tongue after piercing

Good oral hygiene is important for a rapid healing of a tongue piercing.
You should rinse your mouth with an antibacterial and alcohol-free mouthwash (Oral-B).
It is very important to rinse your mouth for the first 7 days.
When brushing your teeth, you must not brush your tongue so as not to irritate the piercing.
On the second or third day after applying a piercing, one can observe a swelling of the tongue with a yellow coating on the tip of the tongue.
This does not have to worry, but is a normal secretion of the tongue, which passes after healing in a few days.
One can also observe a whitish circle around the tongue puncture: it represents the scab on the tongue and passes within a few days.

Diagnosis of yellow tongue

People who form a yellow tongue with no apparent cause should talk to a doctor if symptoms don’t go away within a few days.

The doctor examines the patient and may order examinations to determine the cause of the yellow tongue, for example:

Differential diagnosis of white plaque formation and yellowing of the tongue

The doctor must rule out conditions that cause white spots or plaque, such as:

Leukoplastic changes or leukoplakia
This is a common condition in which white painless plaques appear in the mouth; They are formed on:

  • Tongue
  • Gums
  • Cheeks
  • Lips (inside).

This white plaque formation seems to be the result of:

  1. excessive production of cells of the oral mucosa;
  2. Accumulation of a protein called keratin.
  3. Leukoplakia can develop with irritated tongue.
  4. This is associated with alcohol abuse and smoking.

Symptoms associated with leukoplakia also include bad breath or halitosis.
It is usually not dangerous, but in some cases carcinogenic leukoplakia can develop, usually many years or even decades after the first onset.
It is important to have your mouth checked regularly by a dentist or doctor to know if leukoplakia:

  • becomes larger,
  • changes,
  • new leukoplakia sites develop.

The dentist or doctor is able to tell the difference between a white tongue caused by leukoplakia and a white tongue.

Oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus (lichen planus in the mouth) is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes white lace-like stripes and white spots in the mouth and also on the tongue.
In most cases, mild cases do not cause pain, but they can cause:

  • burning and discomfort in the mouth,
  • reddened and painful gums,
  • Spots on the oral mucosa.

The cause of oral lichen planus is unknown. It is not hereditary and cannot be transmitted to other people.
Oral lichen planus can be treated with:

  • antiseptic mouthwash,
  • cortisone-containing sprays and mouthwash tablets dissolved in water.

Candida in the mouth and on the tongue
Oral thrush (candidiasis) is an infection in the mouth caused by a fungus. It may be associated with:

  • burning of tongues,
  • sore throat,
  • white coatings that can be scraped off (although red dots sometimes appear).

Sometimes candida colonizes the mouth and can lead to a white or yellowish tongue coating.
This fungal infection may have been caused by antibiotic treatment that has altered the bacterial gut flora.
This disease is the most common cause of a white or yellowish tongue in newborns and infants.
However, they can be eliminated by medication.

Candida is most likely to develop in the mouth in the case of:

If thrush remains untreated, the symptoms persist and cause continued discomfort in the mouth. The therapy is based on antifungal drugs and a change in diet.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
If transmitted through oral intercourse, syphilis can cause small painless injuries or ulcers on the tongue. These appear after 10 days to 3 months after infection.

Among the symptoms of syphilis, there are also lymph node enlargements. The therapy consists in the single administration of penicillin.
Left untreated, syphilis can cause white and grayish plaques on the tongue. This disease is then called syphilitic leukoplakia.

Therapy and natural remedies for yellow tongue

There are several ways to treat or prevent a yellow tongue, for example:

  • improving oral hygiene,
  • taking medicines to reduce bacteria in the mouth,
  • change of diet and lifestyle (quitting smoking),
  • Gently clean the tongue with a tongue scraper,
  • drink enough water.

Medication for yellow tongue

The doctor may prescribe medications to treat the conditions that cause the yellow tongue.

With gastritis (inflammation of the gastric mucosa), the doctor may prescribe therapy, consisting of:

  • Antacids, such as magnesium hydroxide (Maalox),
  • proton pump inhibitors, such as lansoprazole (Lanzor).

With liver diseases, the doctor prescribes:

  • a therapy specially tailored to the disease,
  • Prohibition.

Diet and nutrition for yellow tongue

For liver, stomach and intestinal problems, a natural diet is recommended, for example:

  • Paleo diet (Stone Age diet),
  • blood group diet,
  • vegan diet/raw food.

Foods to avoid are:

  • milk and dairy products,
  • cereals containing gluten,
  • Fried
  • Fast food
  • Beverages containing caffeine and tein,
  • Spice sauces.

According to hygienism (a natural medicine), the most effective therapies for treating digestive organs are:

  • short fasting cures (if there are no contraindications),
  • Nutrition based on fruits and raw vegetables.

Read more: