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Mouth Diseases

Orange tongue

03/27/2006

Question:

Lately ,l have been getting an orange coating on my tongue. l do brush my tongue 2x a day and l see a periodontal q 3 months. my diet seems to be the same. l do have a fatty liver, and l do my blood work annually, which is pending soon. Please advised,thank you.

Answer:

Assuming the orange coating that you describe is on the top of the tongue, this probably is caused by either staining by something you are eating or using, such as chlorhexidine (Peridex; Periostat) mouthrinse. It could also be caused by pigment-producing bacteria that are often found in the mouth and are harmless. The discoloration affects the dead, keratinized material that normally is produced on the top of the tongue. A tongue scraper is usually more effective than a toothbrush in removing this material, although removal is not really necessary. It would be highly unlikely that this is related to your fatty liver.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University