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Yellow tongue

Although in the vast majority of cases we do not pay much attention to the color and appearance of the tongue, the truth is that it can indicate many health problems. If you have a yellow tongue , you should know that this color is due to the accumulation of dead cells on the papillae, on the surface of the tongue. This is especially the case if the papillae are enlarged and bacteria in the mouth cause this discoloration.

Don’t worry because it is usually a temporary and harmless problem. Although yellow tongue can be a symptom of jaundice , it is not the most common. Even so, if this coloration is maintained over time, and even increases in intensity, it is recommended that you consult your doctor.

What is yellow tongue

You look at yourself in the mirror and suddenly realize that your tongue is yellow instead of the usual pinkish hue . Although it may seem like a symptom of a disease, in the vast majority of cases it is not serious.

Most likely it is accompanied by a very unpleasant breath since the bacteria that are accumulated in the folds of the tongue release a series of sulfur compounds, which cause the bad smell.

The yellow tongue is defined as a benign condition that causes pigmentation due to a bacteria. In almost all cases the solution is very simple and fast.

What are the causes of yellow tongue?

Respiratory diseases

There are certain diseases of the respiratory system that can also cause a yellow tongue, such as colds or sinusitis . One of the main symptoms of these disorders is nasal congestion. If you cannot breathe well through your nose, you do it through your mouth, causing it to dry out and favoring the proliferation of bacteria.


Jaundice is a disease characterized by the fact that the skin and mucous membranes turn yellow due to excess bilirubin in the body. This is a very common condition in newborn babies, although it can also occur in adults.

Wounds or Sores

The yellow tongue can also be due to a wound or sore in this area. When some external agent damages the tongue, it becomes inflamed and, as a consequence, more bacteria accumulate, giving rise to this alteration.


It is important to drink between 2 and 2.5 liters of water daily . The dehydration is a condition that can lead to serious complications. Remember that not drinking enough water reduces salivation, drying out the mouth and making it more exposed to bacteria.

Oral candidiasis

Oral candidiasis is one of the most common oral infections in the adult population. A disease caused by the yeast fungus , and with a yellow tongue as the main symptom. Another sign of this disease is inflammation of the taste buds, which in turn favors the accumulation of bacteria in them.


Smoking is one of the least healthy habits that exist since it causes serious damage to health. Regular tobacco use causes the saliva to be thicker and, in addition, there is less salivation. This makes the mouth dry, thus favoring the proliferation of bacteria, which accumulate on the taste buds . This is how the color change occurs on the tongue, which takes a yellow color.

Stress and anxiety

Experts agree that stress is one of the main diseases of the 21st century. Although not many know it, yellow tongue is one of the most common symptoms. The reason is that stress and anxiety cause dry mouth, which leads to the accumulation and proliferation of bacteria and, consequently, to the change of pigmentation.

Inadequate diet

To lead a healthy lifestyle, having a good diet is essential. You should favor the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and avoid those foods rich in sugar and caffeine . Otherwise, over time your tongue will turn yellow, especially if you do not maintain good oral hygiene.

Poor oral hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential. Experts recommend brushing your teeth after meals, not forgetting to clean your tongue well. Do not forget that many bacteria accumulate in the mouth, especially in the folds of the taste buds. If you don’t remove them, the tongue may turn yellow. Also, you will suffer from halitosis.


Consuming certain medications, such as antibiotics , has some side effects that you should be aware of. Besides the little salivation and the dry mouth , the yellow tongue is one of them. If you have these symptoms, you should see a doctor to change your medication.


As we have explained, the yellow tongue in the vast majority of cases is not due to a serious condition. Still, you should pay special attention to whether this pigmentation change is accompanied by other symptoms.

One of the diseases that can cause a yellow tongue is jaundice, the main symptoms of which are: fatigue, tiredness , abdominal pain, pale stools, dark urine and fever .

In case of respiratory problems, such as sinusitis or a cold, you should be aware of signs such as: mucus, nasal congestion, fever, headache and fatigue for no apparent reason.

Treatment for yellowish tongue

Generally speaking, the yellow tongue is an alteration with a very simple solution. Sometimes it is enough to rub the tongue with a special scraper for this area.

If, in addition to the color change, you have a fever , go to the doctor. Most likely, when the fever clears, so will the yellow tongue.

If the cause is dehydration , the basic treatment is the replacement of fluids so that the tongue recovers its usual color.

And, if the origin of this pigmentation change is a disease, the doctor will tell you what treatment you should follow.

Yellow tongue in babies

Although for parents it may be somewhat worrying, the truth is that yellow tongue is common in babies. The cause in the vast majority of cases is to leave the bottle until they fall asleep without cleaning their mouth afterwards with gauze.

After each feeding it is essential to clean the mouth of babies with gauze . Both sugars and milk accumulate on the taste buds. Once there, they mix with the rest of the bacteria in the mouth, giving rise to a greater number of bacteria. This, over time, can affect the child’s oral health.

How to avoid yellow tongue?

Although there is no totally foolproof method to avoid yellow tongue , there are a number of measures that you should take into account. This will greatly reduce the risk of your tongue turning this color.

Remember that in the vast majority of cases this pigmentation is due to poor oral hygiene . Therefore, you should take maximum care of this aspect. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue after every meal, using a suitable toothbrush. In addition, it is recommended that you use dental floss to remove the remains of food that are between the teeth. And, of course, a good fluoride mouthwash.

If you smoke regularly, it is better that you put this habit aside, both to avoid the yellow tongue and to take care of your health.

With regard to food , you should reduce the consumption of drinks and foods with a lot of coloring. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and avoid dry mouth.

And finally, if the cause of the yellow tongue is due to fungi , as in the case of oral candidiasis, you should consult your doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment.

The best home remedies for yellow tongue

You should know that there are a series of home remedies that are of great help to improve the health and appearance of the tongue. If the cause of this coloration is not a serious disease, these solutions will return your tongue to a normal color.

  • Mint and chamomile: prepare an infusion of mint and chamomile, two natural ingredients with multiple properties. Once ready, let it temper for a few minutes and soak a cotton gauze in it. Then, apply it on the tongue, rubbing gently.
  • Baking soda and honey: prepare an infusion of bicarbonate and, when it is warm, add a teaspoon of honey. Then, gargle with it for a few seconds. A very popular and effective remedy to eliminate accumulated bacteria in the mouth.
  • Baking Soda – Another one of the best homemade solutions to say goodbye to yellow tongue is to brush your tongue with baking soda. This way you will be able to avoid the proliferation of bacteria.

By way of conclusion, remember that the yellow tongue in the vast majority of cases is totally harmless, so it will disappear on its own with the passage of time. There are only a few conditions, such as jaundice, that are more serious and require medical treatment.

In any case, you should pay special attention to the evolution of the color and shape of the tongue , and, above all, check if the change in pigmentation is accompanied by other symptoms.

And finally, do not forget to lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid any problems.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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