When to see a doctorBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Medical treatment for yellow tongue usually isn't necessary. If tongue discoloration bothers you, try gently brushing your tongue with a solution that is 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 5 parts water once a day. Rinse your mouth with water afterward several times.
Quitting smoking and increasing fiber in your diet also may help by decreasing the bacteria in your mouth that cause yellow tongue and reducing the buildup of dead skin cells.
Schedule a doctor's visit if:
March 18, 2015
- You're concerned about persistent discoloration of your tongue
- Your skin or the whites of your eyes also appear yellow, as this may suggest jaundice
- Goldstein BG, et al. Oral lesions. http://uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.
- Wolff K, et al. Disorders of the mouth. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Jaundice. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.
- Jaundice. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic_and_biliary_disorders/approach_to_the_patient_with_liver_disease/jaundice.html. Accessed Jan. 27, 2015.
- Geographic tongue. American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. http://www.aaomp.org/public/geographic-tongue.php. Accessed Jan. 27, 2015.
- Bruce AJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 9, 2015.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 9, 2015.