Yellow tongue — a yellow discoloration of your tongue — is usually a temporary, harmless problem. Most often, yellow tongue is an early sign of a disorder known as black hairy tongue. Rarely, yellow tongue may be a sign of jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes and skin, which sometimes indicates liver or gallbladder problems.
Self-care is usually all that's needed to treat yellow tongue, unless it's related to another medical condition.
Also, the longer-than-normal papillae can easily trap cells that have shed, which become stained by tobacco, food or other substances. Mouth breathing or dry mouth may also be linked to yellow tongue.
Other causes of a yellow tongue may include, for example:
- Black hairy tongue
- Geographic tongue
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.