What Drug Causes Yellow Tongue?

What are some of the first things you notice about someone else? What’s the first thing they notice about you? More often than not, people might say they notice someone’s eyes or their smile. This holds true virtually, as well, as a study done regarding first impressions on dating profiles noted that 76% of people noticed someone’s smile first. Many people work to keep their dental hygiene up because of this, but what do you do when your tongue changes color? Can this occur because of substance use? If so – what drug causes yellow tongue?

Every aspect of your health is important, whether you’re in recovery or not, and we understand that here at Pinnacle Peak. In fact, oftentimes those who are going through recovery might have neglected aspects of self-care due to their substance use. Relearning these skills is just as important as other aspects of substance use treatment. Education is always important, so let’s look at yellow tongue and its causes.

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What Does it Mean if My Tongue is Yellow? 

The most common cause of yellow tongue is actually a condition called black hairy tongue. Yellow tongue can be a precursor to this. It’s a harmless condition that is caused by an overgrowth of dead skin cells on your tongue. Because of this overgrowth, the papillae, or the small bumps on your tongue, will grow larger as well. This causes things such as bacteria, dirt, food, and other substances to collect on your tongue which can change its color.

Hairy tongue is something that can develop on its own, with the main reason being poor oral hygiene. There are other factors, however, that can contribute to the development of this condition such as smoking, regular alcohol consumption, excessive coffee consumption, dry mouth, and taking certain antibiotics such as tetracyclines. 

Are There Other Symptoms of Yellow Tongue?

While yellow tongue is generally considered harmless, there are other symptoms you might experience alongside it. These include an altered sense of taste, bad breath, a burning sensation on your tongue, or a tickling sensation in the back of your mouth. 

In addition, the source of your yellow tongue could also come with its own list of symptoms. Long-term alcohol use can contribute to yellow tongue. This is only one of many side effects that can occur with an alcohol use disorderYou might also experience side effects such as depression, nausea, tremors, and potential impacts on your relationships.

Another common source is tobacco consumption. The presence of tobacco, and the smoke that comes from cigarettes, in your mouth on a regular basis can stain not only your tongue but also your teeth a yellowish color. 

Dry Mouth and Substance Use

Dry mouth is a common side effect of several substances like alcohol, meth, and cocaine. Did you know that over 10% of Arizona residents over the age of 12 have a dependence on alcohol? Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable but in combination with other side effects of substance use, like lowered drive to care for yourself, it can cause not only a yellow tongue but also potentially lead to tooth rot and loss.

There are ways to combat dry mouth, but first, it’s important to know the symptoms of it:

  • Thick saliva
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Cracked lips
  • Dry, rough tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • A sticky sensation in your mouth
  • A burning sensation in your mouth or throat
  • Difficulty speaking for long periods of time

In order to combat dry mouth there are certain things you must do. Firstly, it’s important to not partake in things that could make your mouth worse. Drinks like coffee and alcohol can dry out your mouth further. Staying hydrated can help bring some of the natural fluids back to your mouth. Additionally, chewing gum is known to help as well as the act of chewing encourages the production of saliva.

Should I See a Doctor for Yellow Tongue?

Yellow tongue is not inherently life-threatening or concerning on its own. If you are noticing that it might stem from substance use, and you’re unable to cut back by yourself, seeking professional help can be a good idea.

If you notice any symptoms like fever, vomiting, easy bruising, or a yellowing of your skin or eyes, you should seek help from a doctor. 

Overall, if you’re concerned about your dental and oral hygiene and have noticed the signs of yellow tongue, there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from a medical professional to make sure it can be properly taken care of.  

How to Treat Yellow Tongue

Yellow tongue can be combatted with proper oral hygiene. Some suggest a 1:5 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to brush your tongue each day. Afterward, it’s important to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

When looking to treat a condition like yellow tongue, however, knowing the source can play a big role. If it stems from tobacco use, for example, and you don’t cut back on your tobacco use, it will keep coming back. 

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Getting Treatment for Substance Use

Here at Pinnacle Peak Recovery, we offer treatment options for all branches of substance use, from alcohol to meth, and we make sure you can find the healing you’re looking for. Our drug detox services can be utilized to help minimize discomfort and ensure your safety as you migrate away from substance use and toward recovery.

We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatments which can ensure that you find a treatment plan that works best for you specifically. These can even be combined to ensure a long-term recovery plan. 

If you have any questions about our treatment programs or how to get started here, feel free to give us a call anytime at 866-377-4761 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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