Why is My Tongue Yellow? | Causes & Treatments

Aug 30, 2022

Do you know that cleaning your tongue is essential to your oral hygiene? Whether through a tongue scraper or a brush, it’s important to clear your tongue free of any lingering bacteria. You’ve probably thought to yourself once in a while, ‘Why is my tongue yellow? Shouldn’t it clean itself?’ Well, that might be true, but only to a certain extent.

You see, your tongue has the ability to clean itself out, especially after eating food. Your saliva acts like a cleaning agent and wipes away the food remnants. Nonetheless, no matter how much it may try, bacteria can be super clingy and hard to get rid of. This is then what ultimately leaves behind a yellow sheen on your tongue, making it appear extremely discolored.

Why is my Tongue Yellow?

Poor oral hygiene is what essentially causes your tongue to turn yellow. The bacteria slowly builds up over time and forms a blanket of discoloration. You might notice the signs if you have a nasty case of bad breath or a constant feeling of nausea. Moreover, even smoking tobacco and certain types of vitamins or foods can make your tongue turn a different hue.

Essentially, the tiny bumps on your tongue (known as Papillae) need to stay fresh. Nonetheless, if food gets lodged between them, it can give birth to all sorts of germs and bacteria. This leads them to get bigger in size and change color.

What Causes Yellow Tongue?

Poor oral hygiene is the primary reason behind tongue discoloration. Usually, there’s nothing to worry about, as it is benign and tends to clear away on its own. However, in some cases, it could indicate an underlying oral condition. Some of the reasons that can trigger a yellow tongue are:

  • Geographic Tongue
  • Black Hairy Tongue
  • Jaundice
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Excessive use of Preservatives or Dyes in foods and drinks
  • Consuming too much Tobacco
  • Sleeping with mouth open

How to Clean Your Tongue

Chances are, if you have never brushed your tongue before, the idea of cleaning it would sound absurd. But in reality, it’s one of the most important steps for your oral hygiene. So, if you find your tongue turning yellow, it might be because you haven’t been paying proper attention to it. Here’s how you can clean your tongue naturally:

  1. Use a metal tongue scraper every day
  2. Eat lots of greens and other nutritious foods
  3. Avoid smoking too much
  4. Drink lots of water
  5. Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash
  6. Visit a dentist twice every year
  7. Go for a toothbrush with soft bristles
  8. Brush your teeth and gums twice daily
  9. Avoid drinking alcohol
  10. Brush with a Fluoride toothpaste

What’s the Takeaway?

All in all, if you find yourself questioning, ‘Why is my tongue yellow?’ just remember there is nothing to worry about. You can use a tongue scraper and clean away the thick coating of bacteria. In fact, using a tongue cleaner will also help with bad breath, along with other multiple benefits. Nevertheless, on the rare occasion you find the yellowness refusing to go away, contact Spring Cypress Dental at (281) 256-3222 to schedule an appointment immediately.


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