Yellow Coating On Tongue
Got A Yellow Coating On Your Tongue?
If you've a yellow coating on your tongue, the chances are quite good that it's something not terribly serious, although if it persists for any length of time, it should be looked into. The tongue at times acts as a barometer telling us how the rest of our body is doing, and an abnormal color is sometimes a symptom of a disease or disorder that may have little to do with the tongue itself. Our tongue is a little like a dog's nose, which if not cool and moist may mean the dog is suffering from some disorder or another. Our tongue is naturally moist, though not cool, but a tongue that is any other color than pink is not a normal tongue.
It Could Be Bacteria - What then does a yellow color on your tongue mean? Usually it means one of three things, although other possibilities may also exist. Most commonly, if the little bumps on the surface of the tongue, the papillae, become enlarged, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can give the tongue a yellow coating. There might be nothing wrong with the tongue itself, but if it's coated with bacteria you'd obviously like to be rid of the problem. Bacteria can cause other colors as well, including black, but right now the discussion is about a yellow coating on your tongue.
It Could Be A Liver Problem - A yellow tongue can also occur as a symptom of jaundice, leading to the possibility of a liver disorder. On most cases where one is suffering from jaundice or liver disease, other symptoms point to the disease or disorder long before the tongue takes on a yellowish tinge.
It Could Be From Smoking - Smoking is a fairly common cause of yellow tongue. Those who drink lots of coffee or tea experience yellow tongue on occasion as well, but smoking is much more apt to cause the condition. If you smoke a lot and your tongue starts to become yellow, it may pay to give a little thought to the color your lungs might be turning. A yellow tongue sometimes accompanies a cold or fever, and the color usually subsides as the cold or fever symptoms disappear.
Other Colors Can Be More Serious - Although a yellow coating on your tongue may sound a little scary or out of the ordinary, it is rather rare that it means something serious is going on. The tongue can take on a number of different colors, and some of them need to be taken quite seriously as they indicate underlying problems which should be looked into. If the tongue takes on a pale color or a bluish color, it indicates a lack of blood or oxygen. A blue or purple colored tongue is often a symptom of a heart or lung disease or disorder. A pale tongue can be the result of anemia, but it can also result from poor nutrition or a vitamin deficiency. A black or strawberry colored tongue, like a yellow tongue, is often a sign of bacterial growth.
Brush Your Tongue, Or At Least Your Teeth - A bacterial growth on the tongue, no matter what color may result, is often caused by improper oral hygiene. Not everyone brushes their tongue, though some do as often as they brush their teeth. Tongue brushing is good practice, but brushing ones teeth and an occasional use of mouthwash can go a long ways towards preventing any undesirable bacterial growth.
If you should experience a yellow coating on your tongue, something as simple as a little hydrogen peroxide or an antiseptic mouthwash may clear up the problem. It usually isn't anything serious, but if it should persist or appears to becoming chronic a doctor should have a look at it, as it might be a symptom of something that needs to be treated. Treating the symptom itself always doesn't work, the underlying cause often must be found and dealt with first. The worst color? Probably brown, often associated with end of life disorders.