The tongue plays an important role in our daily lives. From eating to chewing and even speaking, we rely on this muscular organ to function. So if some problems arise with our tongue, we start panicking. For instance, noticing a physical change in how it looks might seem alarming. You might wonder, ‘Why does my tongue look yellow?’, if you notice discoloration in the digestive organ. Although it is usually harmless and returns to normal soon, it can signify conditions that require immediate medical attention. Therefore, we’ll jot down the causes of yellow tongue in this blog.
Why Is Causing My Tongue to Look Yellow?
Your tongue can become yellow due to several reasons; some harmless, some serious. Reasons your tongue looks discolored include:
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
Do you know how many oral issues are due to poor oral hygiene? We are not kidding or exaggerating when we say: stick to your oral care regime and don’t miss a day! Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to collect in your mouth, including your tongue papillae. Pigments released by bacteria can make your tongue look yellow. In addition, food particles, tobacco, and other substances can also get trapped in papillae. Results? Discolored tongue!
2. Black Hairy Tongue
It may sound disgusting and alarming, but in reality, a black hairy tongue is a harmless condition. Overgrowth of dead skin cells on the tongue is responsible for the discoloration, causing papillae to grow larger. Furthermore, factors like bacteria, food, and dirt can change the color too. Although the name has ‘black’ in it, the tongue usually turns yellow or another color at first.
3. Breathing Through Mouth or Dry Mouth
Your saliva helps prevent tooth decay by washing away the bacteria on your tongue and teeth. However, insufficient saliva can allow bacteria to build up in the mouth, causing yellow patches on the tongue.
Many people inhale through their mouths, which can dry them. Dry mouth can be a factor behind a lack of saliva. Medical conditions like diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome can make your mouth dry. In addition, radiation, chemotherapy, and medication side effects might also be responsible.
4. Geographic Tongue
Some people have missing patches of pappillae on their tongues for unknown reasons. The missing parts of the papillae give a map-like appearance to the tongue, hence the name. The patches are usually red and hurt sometimes, but they might turn yellow. In some cases, geographic tongue seems to run in families.
Tea, coffee, and other things you eat or drink can temporarily change the color of your tongue. Candies, chips, crackers, or anything with yellow dye might be behind, leaving behind yellow or other colored stains on your tongue. Moreover, some vitamins and supplements also have yellow dye.
People who smoke or chew tobacco are vulnerable to getting a discolored tongue. Moreover, smoking also puts you at risk of a black hairy tongue.
What Should I Do?
If your tongue looks yellow, it is usually due to harmless factors like what you ate or drank. But it can also indicate some underlying cause, so it is better to see your oral healthcare provider. You can always contact our Vintage Oral Surgery experts by dialing (281) 800 8852.