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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Yellow tongue

09/18/2008

Question:

I am 13 years old. I don`t chew gum. I don`t eat a ton of sugar. I eat pretty healthy, and I brush and floss my teeth regularly, but for a few months now I have had a yellow tonuge. I feel fine, but am I fine? And what can I do to get rid of my yellow tongue?

P.S. I brush my tongue too.

Answer:

Your yellow tongue is probably caused by pigment-producing bacteria that normally live in people's mouths. There are literally dozens and dozens of types of bacteria that inhabit the oral mucosa, and each of us has millions of these various organisms in our mouths. Many of these bacteria live harmlessly on the dead cells that line the top of the tongue. This is the normal situation. So don't worry about your yellow tongue - it is highly unlikely that this is anything significant.

If you need confirmation of the diagnosis, then have your parents make an appointment to see an oral pathologist.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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