Yellow plaque on the tongue – causes and symptoms in children and adults

Language is considered to be an indicator of the internal state of the body. For this reason, patients often hear at the doctor’s appointment the words: “Show the tongue.” The appearance of yellow deposits on its surface is clear evidence of malfunctions in the liver, stomach or intestines. The symptom may have other reasons, for their accurate determination, thorough diagnosis and analysis by a specialist is necessary.

Why does a yellow plaque appear

The mucous membrane of the tongue is normally pink, shiny, with taste buds on it. In the morning, it can be covered with a white transparent film consisting of food residues, saliva proteins and traces of the presence of certain microorganisms. Such plaque is easily removed during cleaning and does not appear again during the day. The film on the tongue has the ability to stain. Among deviations of this kind, tan deposits are more common than others.

The cause of this symptom is the most diverse: from harmless staining with food colors to severe pathologies. The appearance of yellowish deposits in the mouth can lead to:

  • taking certain groups of medicines – iodine-containing drugs, antibacterial drugs, hormones;
  • eating foods with appropriate natural or chemical dyes – citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges), persimmons, soft drinks, carrots, fruit juices and fresh juices, yogurts;
  • abuse of tea and black coffee;
  • frequent consumption of hot, spicy and spicy foods, alcohol-containing or carbonated drinks;
  • tobacco smoking;
  • dental factors (caries, gingivitis, lack of proper oral care, poorly selected braces or dentures);
  • pregnant women are faced with the problem of yellowness in the mouth due to the pressure of the fetus on the digestive organs and the development of gastroduodenal reflux;
  • hot weather – in hot weather, this symptom is considered a variant of the norm and signals a lack of fluid in the body.

Experts say that yellow deposits can be eliminated on their own only in a few cases: smokers need to give up their bad habits, and lovers of dyed foods should stop their use. In all other cases, the appearance of yellowness in the mouth is a cause for concern and visits to a medical institution.

Pathological causes in adults

The tongue is an organ of the digestive system, therefore, when an uncharacteristic plaque occurs in the mouth, the source should be sought in this area. Yellow plaque on the tongue in adults often appears due to problems in the gastrointestinal tract or a decrease in immunity. The causes of yellow plaque in an adult’s tongue may be as follows:

  • liver diseases (hepatitis, cirrhosis);
  • lesions of the biliary tract (cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, inflammation of the bile ducts, neoplasms in the corresponding area);
  • pancreatitis, tumors of the pancreas;
  • suprahepatic jaundice;
  • diseases of the intestines and stomach, these include gastroduodenal reflux, gastritis, peptic ulcer;
  • infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract (tonsillitis, sinusitis);
  • glossitis – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the tongue;
  • parasitic microorganisms (giardiasis of the liver) that settle in the bile ducts and liver.

A detected yellow plaque in the tongue should concern a person, because such a symptom often reports liver problems. This organ does not have nerve endings, so the first symptoms, such as yellowness on the tongue, discomfort in the upper abdomen (right), appear only as a result of a serious and lengthy pathological process.

In children

Parents of infants should be extremely careful, because yellowing of the tongue, skin and sclera of the eyes is a frequent phenomenon in the neonatal period (hemolytic disease), when there is a massive death of red blood cells, and an immature liver produces bilirubin too intensely. The presence of these manifestations within a few days after birth is not considered a pathology. Nuances for other age categories:

  • Yellow staining of a child’s oral mucosa is often caused by the introduction of certain foods, such as carrots, persimmons, into the diet.
  • Sometimes the corresponding color is the result of tasting pencils, felt-tip pens by the baby, excessive eating of sweets with dyes.
  • After eating large amounts of fatty foods at night, nausea and a yellowish coating on the tongue may occur in the morning.
  • The onset of the development of stomatitis in a baby can manifest itself in the form of a plaque in the yellow tongue due to the active reproduction of microorganisms, the allocation of their metabolic products.
  • In adolescence, more often than in adults, the development of acute respiratory and infectious diseases (measles, rubella) is characterized by the appearance of yellow spots on the tongue.
  • A tongue with a yellow plaque in a child, in combination with an indigestion, can signal the activity of enterovirus infection.

Children, like adults, are prone to the same pathologies of the immune system and digestive tract. When, after the exclusion of banal staining and dietary adjustments, the condition of the child’s plaque has not changed, then this symptom is a good reason to consult with a pediatrician.

Symptoms with a yellow plaque in the tongue

To make the correct diagnosis, the doctor will need information about the nature of the deposits, so the patient should note:

  • whether plaque is easily removed;
  • what is the duration of the symptom (does not pass 3-4 days or more);
  • consistency (loose, viscous, curdled);
  • thickness and intensity of staining.

The thicker and darker the color of the deposits, the more neglected and serious pathology takes place. The properties and localization of plaque in the language are associated with the type of pathology. It’s believed that:

  • yellowish-whitish at the root of the tongue means pathological processes in the intestine;
  • pale yellow, along the organ, in the middle – ulcerative processes of the stomach, gastritis;
  • dark yellow, on the periphery of the root – pathology of the urinary system;
  • dry, located in a thick layer, on the periphery of the anterior region – respiratory diseases;
  • yellow-green with fingerprints, more on the left – changes in the liver (stagnation of bile);
  • on the right – spleen diseases;
  • in the form of plaques over the entire surface – glossitis, candidiasis;
  • at the top – diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

Tongue obstruction is accompanied by symptoms of the disease that caused a discoloration of the plaque. So, inflammatory processes in the liver (cirrhosis, hepatitis) lead to a violation of the exchange of bilirubin (pigment). It accumulates in the tissues, and the body is poisoned. In this case, patients observe:

  • severity in the epigastric zone on the right;
  • yellowness of mucous membranes and skin;
  • bitterness in the mouth;
  • weakness, nausea;
  • discoloration of urine and feces.

Cholecystitis, acute pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors give rise to stagnant processes in the bile ducts and increase bilirubin levels. The situation is manifested:

  • yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes;
  • paroxysmal pain on the right under the ribs;
  • nausea and vomiting mixed with bile;
  • fever.

For respiratory diseases (influenza, tonsillitis, scarlet fever), as well as for any pathologies accompanied by a violation of nasal breathing, local manifestations and symptoms of general intoxication are characteristic:

  • heat;
  • rashes on the mucous membrane of the pharynx;
  • decreased performance.

Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the tongue with possible affecting the underlying tissues (glossitis), as well as stomatitis are accompanied by:

  • ulcers;
  • pain with chemical irritation.

Acute intestinal infections (enterocolitis, salmonellosis, staphylococcal and enterovirus infections) are characterized by:

  • intestinal disorders (diarrhea);
  • pain in the epigastric region;
  • fever;
  • weakness.

Disruptions in the functioning of the stomach and intestines (duodenogastric reflux, gastritis, gastroduodenitis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and intestines) are combined with the throwing of bile into the stomach, which causes deposits in the mouth. Pathologies have the following symptoms:

  • heartburn;
  • belching;
  • nausea;
  • sucking pains in between meals;
  • vomiting;
  • pain in the stomach.

Severe generalized infectious lesions against a background of reduced immunity (AIDS, sepsis, diabetic coma) are manifested:

  • high numbers of body temperature;
  • pallor of the skin
  • severe weakness.

Treatment with yellow plaque in the tongue

Yellow plaque in the tongue is not an independent disease, therefore, in order to neutralize the symptom, its cause should be removed. Such a manifestation may be the “first bell” of a serious disease of vital organs. There are principles of action when detecting this problem:

  1. Cleaning the oral cavity should be systematic – before bedtime and after it. You need to do this with a toothbrush with paste (children can be cleaned with gauze wound on a finger).
  2. You should adhere to a sparing diet: remove greasy and fried foods from the refrigerator, focus on fermented milk products.
  3. If the patient suffers from stagnation of bile, do not forget to take choleretic drugs prescribed by your doctor.
  4. To treat an infectious pathology (tonsillitis, candidiasis) if the obstruction of the oral mucosa has arisen because of them.
  5. Don’t ignore constipation, increase fluid intake, take laxatives.
  6. To carry out detoxification measures, if only the source of poisoning is precisely known.
  7. Visit your dentist regularly for timely treatment of carious teeth.
local_offerevent_note January 31, 2020

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