As a child, you’ve probably had a refreshing orange popsicle on a warm, sunny day only to notice that your tongue is bright orange, even hours later. And while it’s all fun and games, you might be worried to notice an orange tongue in the mirror, especially if you’ve never seen it before. So if you’re wondering, “why is my tongue orange?” This article will discuss what an orange tongue can mean.
There are several factors involved, ranging from benign and harmless to signals of an underlying medical condition.
Why Is My Tongue Orange?
Your tongue’s natural appearance is important to make a note of. The powerful muscular organ is an integral part of our lives and normally appears a fleshy, uniform pink. You may notice, though, that the tongue can sometimes accumulate debris from food and beverages you’ve consumed throughout the day. This is because it has lots of tiny bumps on the surface, called papillae. When you chew, these papillae come in contact with food mixed with saliva, sending taste signals to the brain.
After a meal, your tongue might have an off-white film or coating on it. This is a mixture of food particles, saliva, and bacteria. Of course, if you’ve had staining or colored foods like coffee or tea, the tongue might have a darker, orange color. Therefore, it’s important to clean your tongue every time you go through your oral hygiene routine.
Tobacco use, through smoking or chewing tobacco, can also cause an orange tongue.
Oral Conditions That Cause Orange Tongue
Some conditions can lead to an orange tongue. A dry mouth (xerostomia) can affect the color of your tongue by allowing bacteria to accumulate on the surface of the tongue. Xerostomia is a side effect of many medications, and it causes a lack of saliva, which normally keeps oral bacteria populations in check.
You might also have an oral yeast infection or oral thrush. A fungus such as candida thrives in the warm, moist environment inside the mouth and can accumulate on the tongue. This can make the tongue look turmeric yellow or even orange.
An interesting cause of an orange tongue is beta carotene consumption. It’s present in high quantities in mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, papayas, and cantaloupes. This pigment gives these foods a distinct yellow or orange color, and having too much can lead to carotenemia – a condition where the tongue (and even the skin!) can turn orange. Fortunately, simply consuming less beta carotene will cause the color to subside.
Conclusion: No Need To Worry, Do This Instead
The easiest solution to an orange tongue is to be more thorough with your oral hygiene routine. Brush for a full two minutes twice a day, and make sure to give time and attention to your tongue. You can even buy a tongue scraper from any pharmacy and incorporate it into your brushing and flossing routine. In addition, monitor how many orange foods you’re eating and cut back on their consumption.
If your tongue is still orange, though, it’s a great idea to see a good family dentist and have them examine it. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and see if it’s caused by medication side effects, an underlying condition, or anything else.
Dynamic Dental Solutions is your premier family dentistry option in Baytown, TX. We provide exceptional dental services and care for all patients of all ages. Because of this, we’re proud to be a complete solution to all of your dental concerns. So, if you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to give us a call at (281) 837-9090.