Having a yellow coating on your tongue is a common oral condition that can occur due to various factors such as oral thrush, STD, sore throat, cancer and others. Get insight on cause and how to get rid of it.
Yellow Coating on Tongue Causes
A yellow tongue is a common oral condition that can show up to anybody. The yellow coating on the tongue might be an indication of either harmless or more serious health problem that needs medical concern.
In most occasions, yellow coating on the tongue is symptoms of a harmless oral condition that can go away with a period of few weeks. However, you should not ignore a symptom of a yellow tongue in your oral cavity. This might be an indication of a more serious disease such as std and cancer.
It is quite useful for you to have a clue about the possible causes of yellow coating on the tongue. This can help you to decide whether to go for medical treatment or not. Generally, there are several factors that may make your tongue to develop yellow coating.
The common possible causes that can lead to a yellow coating on your tongue include the following:
- Poor oral hygiene practices
You can develop a yellow coating on your tongue due to poor oral hygiene practices. The accumulation of bacteria, dead skin cell, food debris, and the mucous layer can coat your tongue. The yellow or white coating on the tongue can make your mouth to have a bad breath or bad taste.
- Harsh oral hygiene products
Clean your mouth with oral products that have strong oxidizing agents can help to maintain your mouth fresh free from bacteria and fungi. However, some of the mouthwash and toothpaste has aside effect of making your tongue to develop yellow coating.
The mouthwash and toothpaste that contain harsh chemicals such as peroxide, menthol, alcohol, thymol, hazel, and eucalyptus can irritate the tongue to develop yellow coating. They can as well make your mouth to dry up and cause the tongue to discolor into yellow.
- Dyes in food
Do you know that some food has a natural yellow dye that can stain your tongue permanently? According to Web MD, both natural and artificial food dyes (colorants) can stick on the surface of your tongue to form a yellow coating.
- Certain drugs and medications
Yellow coating on tongue can appear as a side effect of certain medication and drugs. Some drugs contain pigments that can stain your tongue to develop yellow coating. Also, strong medication can weaken the immune your immune system and make the tongue to appear yellowish in color.
Some of the drugs and medication that might make your tongue to develop yellow coating after using include:
- Strong antibiotics
- Diabetes medication
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Cancer therapy
- Chlorhexidine mouthwash
- Iron Salts
The use of some illicit drugs that contain nicotine and cocaine can also make your tongue to discolor.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco products
Smoking and chewing tobacco product not only stain your teeth but also can discolor your tongue. the smoke and tobacco products contain harmful tar and another pigment that can stain your tongue and teeth to develop yellow coating.
- Dry mouth
The main function of the saliva is to keep the oral cavity moist and wash away bacteria and food particles on the tongue. Body dehydration and dry mouth can encourage the accumulation of food particles and bacteria on the surface of the tongue that can pear as a yellow mass.
Dry mouth can be encouraged by mouth breathing. If you use your mouth to breath instead of the nostril, this can lead to the problem of dry mouth and yellow tongue.
- Oral thrush
Oral thrush or candidiasis is a fungal infection that can lead to white or yellow patches on the surface of the tongue. The yellow coating can show up due to the overgrowth of yeast or fungi.
- Black hairy tongue
This is an oral condition that is typically characterized by the black hairy surface of the tongue. However, the elongate papillae on the surface of the tongue can trap food particles and bacteria to form a yellow coating.
The black hairy tongue is a harmless oral condition that does not correlate with a cancerous condition. But the black hairy tongue can really disappoint you when it may lead to other oral problems such as bad breath, bad taste in mouth, gagging, nausea and burning sensation.
- Geographical tongue
The geographical tongue is an oral condition that shows up as white or yellow patches on the side or upper surface of the tongue that look similar to geographical maps. These conditions often appear in infants, babies, toddlers and young children.
Yellow coat on the tongue can show up as a consequence of jaundice. This condition may occur due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin is a chemical compound that is formed from an abnormal break down of red blood cells.
This condition can also cause other parts of your skin, eyes, the palm of the hand and sole of the feet to turn into yellow color. Jaundice is a serious health problem that might be associated with liver failure. In case you notice symptoms of jaundice on your body, it is advisable to seek medical help from your doctor.
- STD infection
A yellow coating on tongue can show up as a symptom of sexually transmitted infection. HIV, syphilis, genital herpes, oral herpes and genital warts are some of the STDs that can make your tongue to develop yellow coating.
- A sore throat
A sore throat is also called strep throat infection. This is a bacterial infection that is associated with a yellow tongue, sores on the throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes. This condition can also cause hoarse voice and difficulties in swallowing something.
- Overgrowth of oral bacteria
The overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth has an effect of white or yellow coating on the tongue and bad breath. Excess growth of oral bacteria can result in bad taste in your mouth that can even make you develop a feeling of vomiting.
Yellow tongue with a thick coating on surface and bumps that bleed easily could be symptoms of the cancerous condition. Tongue cancer is a rare oral condition that might affect your tongue. However you should not ignore any strange thick yellow coating on your tongue but instead, go for diagnosis and treatment by visiting your doctor.
- Mononucleosis or mono-infection
Mononucleosis is a viral infection that can make your tongue to form a yellow coating on its surface. This infection can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, rash on the skin, swollen lymph nodes, headache and sore throat. This infection can be transmitted through saliva by process of kissing hence its name generated as kissing disease.
- Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is infections can develop if you have strep throat. The infection is associated with a white or yellow coating on tongue. The infection can also show up as bumps and sores in the entire parts of the oral cavity.
- Tongue injuries
A yellow coating on tongue after piecing, tonsillectomy or tooth extraction might be the effect of oral injuries. Yellow mass on the tongue can also appear when the surface of the tongue has sores, cuts, wounds or ulcers.
- Change of hormones
A yellow tongue is a common oral condition in women that might show up during pregnancy, menstruation and menopause period. The yellow coating could be attributed to being an effect of change of body hormones.
Why is my Tongue Yellowish?
A normal color of your tongue should be bright pink. However, the development of yellowish tongue is an alarming symptom that might look worrisome to you. it is quite normal for you to have a great concern to know why your tongue is yellowish in color.
A yellow coating on tongue is usually an indication of either harmless or more serious health condition. in most cases, your tongue can develop white or yellow mass of coating due to the harmless oral condition that can go away within few days.
The common harmless oral condition that can make your tongue to appear yellowish include, poor oral hygiene, food dyes, oral thrush, excess bacteria on the tongue, dry mouth, geographical tongue and black hairy tongue.
Occasionally, yellow tongue might be a symptom of more serious health problem that requires medical treatment. Some of the serious health conditions that might cause your tongue to turn yellowish include jaundice, cancer, STDs, smoking, scarlet fever and a chronic side effect of certain medication.
You should not ignore any symptoms of the yellowish tongue. But instead, you can visit your doctor to help you in diagnosis before treatment. After knowing why your tongue is yellow, your doctor may give you the appropriate medical treatment to solve the problem.
Yellow Tongue Sore Throat
A sore throat is an infection that affects the back of the oral cavity to develop painful sores, bumps, and patches. During an infection of a sore throat, you can also develop a yellow coating on tongue as one of the symptoms of this infection.
Sore throat infection is commonly caused by viruses such as the one that leads to mononucleosis and flu infection. Also, bacterial attack of the oral cavity can lead to strep throat. Streptococcus is a known bacteria that can lead to sores and blister to show up on your throat.
The presence of harmful bacteria and viruses that causes a sore throat might also make your tongue to develop yellow mass. Sometimes, a yellow tongue can form painful blisters similar to the one in the throat regions.
Yellow coating on your tongue as an effect of a sore throat can be managed and treated by the use of the prescribed medicinal drug from a qualified doctor. Alternatively, you can over-the-counter pain-killer to relieve sore throat infection if the condition is a mild infection.
Yellow Tongue std
If you develop a yellow coating, bumps, and blisters on your tongue after unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex, it could be symptoms of sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI). Some of the STD that can lead to the yellow coating on tongue includes syphilis, HIV, genital herpes, oral herpes, and HPV.
These STDs infection may not only cause your tongue to appear yellowish but also it can cause painful blisters, bumps, ulcers or sores to develop on the surface of the tongue and also the entire parts of your oral cavity.
An infection of an STD can also make your mouth to have a bad taste and breath. This can lower your appetite and even make you vomit. It is advisable to seek medical help from your doctor in case you notice your tongue has a yellow coating and blister after unprotected sex.
Yellow Tongue Cancer
Oral cancer is a life-threatening condition that can show up in various symptoms. Tongue cancer can manifest in form of bumps, blisters, tumors and yellow thick or fibrous coating on the surface of the tongue.
If your tongue has a yellow coating, blister, and bumps, it does not means you have oral cancer. Other harmless causes that are already been discussed in the relevant section of these post can as well make your tongue to develop a yellow coating.
There is no reason why you should develop worries if your tongue has a yellow coating that looks worrisome. But instead, you should go diagnosis to determine the reason behind your oral problem by visiting your doctor.
Oral cancer is treatable at its early stage for your survival. In case a yellow coating on your tongue is a symptom of the cancerous condition, your doctor might help you by giving the appropriate cancer therapy treatment.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Coating on Tongue
You can get rid of a yellow coating on your tongue using various treatment methods. Home remedies are one of the methods you can go for. This method is effective and can brighten your tongue to pink color within few days.
You can try the following:
- Brushing and scraping the tongue
Cleaning your tongue thoroughly and frequently can help to remove bacteria, fungi, dead skin cells, food debris and mucous deposit on its surface. For effective cleaning, you should consider the following:
- Use soft toothbrush or tongue scraper to clean your tongue gently
- Rinse your mouth with gentle antibacterial mouthwash
- Brush the teeth and tongue with a fluoride rinse
- You can use salt, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide solution to rinse your mouth
- Avoid oral products that can stain your tongue and teeth
- Ensure you clean your mouth after every meal
- Aloe Vera rinse
You can rinse your mouth with Aloe Vera juice. This herb has the ability to remove bacteria, fungi, dead skin cell ad food debris from the tongue surface.
How to use:
- Get one teaspoon of herbal Aloe Vera juice
- Swirl the Aloe Vera juice in your mouth for 5 minutes
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water
- Repeat this procedure two times in a day until yellow coating on your tongue clear away
- Fresh garlic
Eating fresh garlic is an effective home remedy that can help to remove a yellow coating on tongue. Garlic juice has antiseptic properties that can help to clear away bacteria and yeast on the surface of the tongue.
How to use:
- Get a fresh garlic root
- Chew a small piece of the garlic root
- Allow it to stay in your mouth for10 minutes
- Spit it out and rise your mouth with water
- Repeat this step twice in a day until your tongue attain normal color
- Neem tree oil
Neem oil is an excellent home remedy that can help to remove the yellow coating on the surface of the tongue.
How to use:
- Get Neem tree oil
- Place few drop of the oil on yellow surface of the tongue
- rinse your mouth after about 15 minutes
- repeat this procedure three times in a day until the yellow coating on your tongue clear away
- you can alternatively use other essential oil such as Olive oil, Almond oil, and Coconut oil
- Change of lifestyle
You can adjust your lifestyle and avoid factors that might encourage your tongue to discolor or stain to yellow color. Some of the changes you can adopt in order to get rid of yellow coating on tongue include the following:
- quite the habit of smoking and chewing tobacco products
- reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine
- reduce the intake of sugary foods, starch or sticky sweets
- avoid eating food that has a lot of colorants or dyes such as colored drinks
- avoid too hot, spicy and acidic foods
- eat food that has enough fiber content
- avoid the using of illicit drugs such as cocaine
- eat a balanced diet and drink enough clean water
- maintain good health by going for medical check-up regularly
Yellow Coating on Tongue Treatment
If the yellow coating on your tongue has failed to respond to home remedies, you can alternatively go for medical treatment by visiting your dentist or doctor. Medical treatment is an effective treatment method that can help to remove the yellow coating on tongue caused by a serious health condition such as jaundice, STDs, and cancer.
Before the treatment, your doctor may decide the appropriate diagnosis plan to used that can help to determine the main cause of your oral problem. Diagnosis methods include oral swab, blood samples and tissue biopsy that might be taken to the laboratory for testing and examination.
The doctor may give you the appropriate treatment depending on the result of the sample test. Some of the treatment methods that your doctor might use include:
- prescription of oral medication that includes antibiotics that can help to remove bacteria and fungi on the surface of the tongue
- prescription of mouthwash antiseptic oral products that can help to remove the yellow coating on the surface of the tongue
- surgical procure that can help to remove the chronic yellow coating on tongue
- laser treatment that uses a beam of light to remove the yellow mass of the tongue surface
- Why is my tongue yellowish: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/yellow-tongue/basics/definition/sym-20050595
- Yellow tongue and sore throat: https://www.emedicinehealth.com/sore_throat/article_em.htm
- how to get rid of yellow coating on the tongue: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-get-rid-of-yellow-coating-on-the-back-of-my-tongue