Common Causes and Treatments for Orange Tongue

Orange tongue

Having an orange tongue is not a concern if you have just eaten orange colored food. But in some people, it may appear without such consumption.

If you notice orange or yellowish coating on your tongue you would probably want to know why is your tongue yellow. You may wonder what is causing the orange coating on the tongue and how to fix it.

In this article, we will discuss the common causes, symptoms, and treatments for an orange tongue.

Common Symptoms of Orange Tongue

When you have an orange tongue, you will usually have other symptoms too. The symptoms to check for besides an orange coating are:

  • Orange colored saliva
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • A dry tongue or spots on your tongue
  • A bad breath
  • An itchy or burning feeling in your mouth
  • The symptoms of cold, like a runny nose or a sore throat
  • An upset stomach
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue and weakness

You should keep a track of your symptoms. This will help you figure out better the cause of yellowish-orange coating on your tongue. The more symptoms you have, the more you should be concerned.

Related: What Causes Wavy, Scalloped Tongue and How to Treat It?

Causes of Orange Tongue: Why is My Tongue Orange?

A yellowish-orange tongue will surely concern you and you would want to know why is my tongue yellow or orange. So what causes the orange coating on the tongue?

If you have tongue discoloration, it may be due to the following reasons. These are the most common causes of the discolored tongue:

1. Food Debris

Mouth hygiene is important to keep your tongue healthy. You must brush your tongue twice a day while brushing your teeth. If you don’t, it will allow food debris to build up over time.

This can cause orange tongue and bad breath. To deal with this problem, keep your tongue clean. And if the buildup of food debris has gotten worse, you can try using a tongue scraper to remove the debris.

2. Vitamin Imbalance

The vitamins we get from eating a well-balanced diet are important for our body. If you don’t get all the right vitamins, you can have health problems including the orange tongue.

If you don’t get enough vitamin B or folate, you can get an orange coating on the tongue. It is also important to keep your vitamin intake balanced.

If you get too much of some vitamins, like beta-carotene or lycopene, it can discolor your tongue.

Check your eating habits against the daily recommended doses of each vitamin. Then alter your vitamin intake to match the recommendations.

3. Yeast Growth

Tongue discoloration can also be due to yeast overgrowth or bacterial overgrowth. It may cause orange spots on your tongue.

The yeast overgrowth can be caused by eating too much dairy, fruits, and candy. It can be caused by drinking too much alcohol or soda.

Usually, you can balance the overgrowth by eating yogurt with live cultures or enriched wheat bread. Yogurt is the only kind of dairy product you should eat more in this case.

4. Heartburn

Heartburn, or acid reflux, is when acids from the stomach travel up to the mouth. Because these acids come up in the digestive tract, they may make the tongue look discolored.

Acid reflux is one of the most common causes of the orange tongue. And it usually happens at night because you are lying down and it’s easier for the acid to move back to your mouth.

If you have orange tongue mostly in the mornings, it can be caused by acid reflux.

5. Mold

If there is mold in your home or workplace, it can cause orange tongue. This is because mold is an airborne toxin and you breathe it in the air. If you haven’t already checked for mold in your environment, you should do it soon. You should get rid of the mold to prevent orange tongue.

6. Antibiotics

It’s normal to have healthy bacteria in your mouth. This makes up the natural flora in your mouth. Sometimes if you take antibiotics for an infection, it may alter the balance of your natural flora.

This imbalance can cause an orange coating on your tongue. In this case, the orange tongue should go away when you are done with your antibiotic treatment regimen. This cause of tongue discoloration is not of a great concern.

Orange Tongue Treatment Options: Home Remedies to Try

Often the answer to how to get rid of orange tongue depends on the underlying cause. Most of the causes can be treated with a home remedy.

1. Change Your Diet

If your orange tongue is caused by vitamin imbalance, you should try changing your diet. You should also change your diet if it causes heartburn or yeast imbalance. Eat vitamin B or folate-rich foods whole grains, fruits and vegetables, breakfast cereals, beans, and fortified grains. Avoid alcohol and dairy foods.

2. Anti-fungal herbs

If your orange tongue is due to molds in the environment, you can try taking anti-fungal herbs. You should still try to remove the mold from your home or office. But the anti-fungal herbs can help fix your tongue discoloration problem.

3. Probiotics

You can take probiotics to balance your natural flora. If the orange tongue is caused by an imbalance of your gut or mouth flora, taking probiotics may help.

There are natural probiotics like yogurt with live cultures that you can eat. And there are probiotic supplements you can get at the health food store.

4. Good Tongue Hygiene

A proper oral hygiene can help fight many tongue problems. Brush your tongue twice a day, when you brush your teeth. You can also use mouthwash to clear out food or yeast buildup.

How to Prevent Orange Tongue?

Even though the orange tongue is not a problem for your health, it’s not desirable. You will want to prevent the yellowish tongue from reappearing.

To prevent this, make sure you brush your tongue every day. Also, you can take probiotics and a multivitamin every day after consulting with your doctor. Avoid excess of soda, alcohol, or tobacco.

You can prevent this problem from getting worse by taking care of it early. As soon as you notice symptoms, you should start to keep a symptom log. That way you can treat it sooner to stop it from getting worse.

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“Orange Tongue Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Diagnosis,” Act for Libraries web site;, last accessed 2 September 2017;
Ladey, H., “Why is My Tongue Orange?,” Med Health Daily web site;, last accessed 2 September 2017;
“Why Is My Tongue Orange?,” New Health Guide web site;, last accessed 2 September 2017;

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