Why Is My Tongue Orange?

Having an orange color to the tongue can be easy to miss as the tongue tends to change color depending on the food being eaten. People tend to overlook it and do not think it may indicate a disease. Orange tongue can also be caused due to poor oral hygiene like not brushing or cleaning the tongue on a regular basis. It is actually hard to miss and can be a complication of some health issues.

Why Is My Tongue Orange?

1. Food Debris

Accumulation of debris on the tongue from foods and drinks can cause orange tongue. The coating can be cleaned by brushing the tongue or using a tongue scrapper. This will also make the breath fresher.

2. Overgrowth of a Yeast or Bacteria

If there is bad breath or burning sensation on the tongue, it can be caused due to overgrowth of yeast or bacteria. Eating yoghurt containing live culture daily for a week should bring down the growth. If there is no change or the severity of burning increases, doctor should be consulted.

3. Acid Indigestion or Heartburn

Heartburn or acid indigestion is usually the main cause of an orange tongue.

Treatments:The simplest remedy for an orange tongue caused due to these reasons is to take antacids like Maalox, Alka-Seltzer, Tums or Pepto-Bismol. Brushing along with antacids should resolve the problem.

Prevention: Reducing the intake of acidic foods or starting a low-acid diet like—The Gracie diet, The Fat Burning Furnace or The Truth about Abs – can be beneficial. However, a doctor should be consulted before starting any such regime. Keeping a close watch on diet and maintaining a food journal is also helpful.

4. Mold in the Environment

Orange tongue can also be caused due to the presence of mold in the environment at home or at work. Taking anti-fungal medication may not be very effective and it is important to get rid of the mold from the environment. Grapefruit seed extract taken orally or used as throat gargle is very effective in getting rid of orange tongue.

5. Antibiotic Related Cause

In normal conditions, there is normal flora of microorganisms that thrives in the mouth. Antibiotics can cause an imbalance in this natural flora and cause orange tongue. Doctor should be consulted to make proper diagnosis in case the cause is not common.

Treatment: The treatment for orange tongue caused due to use of antibiotics involves restoring the balance of the healthy oral flora. It involves monitoring the diet and including supplements in the diet. Some other treatment measures are given below:

Treatment Options

What You Should Do

Take probiotic

Probiotics taken twice daily with food should prove beneficial, as they help in the growth of new colonies in the mouth and the gut. Eating yoghurt every day also helps in regulating the good flora.

Take anti-fungal herbs

Consumption of anti-fungal herbs helps in keeping bacterial level in balance. Anti-fungal herbs would include garlic and oregano and keep yeasts, fungus and virus under control. Amino acid L-lysine is also good in this condition.

Herbal tea

Lemongrass-containing herbal tea can be taken in between meals to help restore the balance in the mouth. Leaving it in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing is also helpful. Ensure that you do not add honey, milk or sugar in the tea.

Tips and Precautions on Orange Tongue

It is important to relieve the physical symptoms of orange tongue. This can be done by brushing the tongue towards the front of the mouth, away from the throat many times in a day. Mouth should be rinsed with cool water mouthwash. This will help in restoring the balance of the flora.


Foods which contain sugar and yeast like coffee, candy, colas, fruits, alcohol, wheat enriched breads, etc. are very bad for orange tongue. The organisms thrive in the presence of sugar and yeasts and keep the tongue orange for longer time. Sweets and carbohydrates should be restricted except bananas, potatoes, yucca, oatmeal and plantains. Dairy products except yoghurt, kafir or skyr should also be restricted.

 
 
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