Orange Tongue (Coating & Spots): Causes – STD, Acid Reflux, Thrush

HomeConditionsOrange Tongue (Coating & Spots): Causes – STD, Acid Reflux, Thrush

An orange tongue can easily be missed, given that your tongue will often change its color depending on the kind of food you are eating. As such, some people overlook a change in the tongue color, although it could be an indication that a person has an underlying disease or condition.

Apart from diseases, an orange coating on the tongue can also be caused by failure to practice proper oral hygiene, such as not cleaning or brushing your tongue as often as you should.

When this is the case, you will find that the tongue changing its color will be very hard to miss, and maybe a complication related to specific health issues.

Why is my tongue orange? Causes

What makes my tongue turn orange? When a tongue changes its color, it begins to look more like a map, which is, in some cases, referred to as a geographic tongue.

With this kind of tongue, each bump, color, and wrinkle present can assist you in identifying the cause of the orange color present on the tongue.

Below is a detailed synopsis on what causes the tongue to become orange in color with a coating or just yellowish-orange spots:

1. Acid reflux

Acid indigestion, also known as heartburn, is one of the primary causes of this condition. Chronic reflux or GERD may cause the acid present in the gut to start returning to your oral cavity, which is very close to the tongue.

To ensure that this does not happen again, you will need to make tremendous changes to your diet. For this, ensure that you do away with acidic foods, or start consuming a diet that is low on acid like foods.

Health experts recommend trying out something similar to The Fat Burning Furnace, or The Gracie diet. However, ensure you consult your primary health care provider before you go on such a diet. Additionally, it will be important to keep a food journal to assist you in keeping track of all the food items that you are ingesting.

2. HIV and STDs can cause an orange film on the tongue

One of the rare symptoms of the human immunodeficiency virus, as well as other common STD today, is an orange tongue. In the case of HIV, the film coating on the tongue is brought about by an oral infection, which is because of an immune system that has become weakened.

3. Antibiotics

orange tongue accompanied by orange saliva from antibiotics

Medication is often prescribed with the sole intention of helping a person regain their health. However, certain medications have been known to cause an orange tongue, such as pyridium, which is an antibiotic.

The antibiotic is used in dealing with urinary pain. If the medication has not caused any other side effect apart from an orange tongue accompanied by orange saliva, you can ride out the course of your dose.

4. Bacteria in the mouth

If you have recently noticed that your tongue is burning, itchy, or that your breath is bad, it may be because there is a bacteria overload present in the mouth. The presence of tongue thrush has been known to cause an orange tongue.

It should not cause you a lot of concern, given that it can be remedied by ingesting yogurt. Yogurt has been known to contain active cultures, which assist in killing the yeast that is growing in your mouth, and in the process, helps in promoting better oral health. You will need to ingest the yogurt each day for about one week to notice a difference in your tongue color.

5. Exposure to mold and toxins

Being exposed to airborne pollutants, molds, and toxins may cause the tongue to start taking on an orange-like hue. The condition is not life-threatening, but it is recommended that you consider taking some antifungal medication.

Additionally, you can also use grapefruit seed oil to rinse two times each day. If the condition recurs after a while, it is recommended that you consider having your environment checked for the presence of mold, as it may lead to additional health concerns.

White and orange spots on the tongue

The presence of white and orange spots on your tongue can be traced back to having a fungal infection. When the orange spots are present at the back of the tongue, the most likely explanation is that you are suffering from a fungal throat infection. Often, this kind of infection will come with a sore throat as well as a foul smell.

Baby with an orange coating on the tongue

If you notice that your baby has an orange, white, or yellow coating on the tongue, it could be because the baby has oral thrush. At times, instead of being white, the oral thrush makes the tongue turn to an orange color.


According to WebMD, several factors can cause an orange tongue, including but not limited to, scarlet fever and vitamin deficiencies. When your body lacks sufficient folic acid or vitamin B, it may cause your tongue to start becoming orange in color.

The diagnosis of an orange tongue can mean quite some things. As stated earlier, the geographic tongue has also been known to cause this condition. The condition is benign, and will often cause your tongue to begin changing colors. In many cases, the condition will not come with any other symptoms, apart from a change in tongue color.

To assist you to diagnose the actual cause of the orange coating on your tongue, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of your dentist or physician. The professional will be able to diagnose the condition accurately and provide you with the right medication.

Symptoms with orange spots on the tongue

The symptoms of an orange tongue are straightforward to detect. One of the most obvious signs is the discoloration of the tongue, which is in the form of an orange film coating. The coating will often have a strong orange color and can be found at the base of the throat and tongue area.

According to Mayo Clinic, an orange tongue is a problem that is normally temporary and harmless. In many cases, the tongue changing color could be an early sign of a condition that is known as the black hairy tongue.

Additional symptoms that may accompany the orange color are the presence of a dry tongue, as well as having an unpleasant taste in your mouth. If you can brush off the orange color on your tongue, and it does not return upon consuming food items that do not have the orange color, then this means that the condition is temporary, and was brought about by something that you had taken.

Sore throat

Apart from being a symptom, it has also been seen that the bacteria that cause a sore throat or strep throat may also cause an orange tongue. In addition to the tongue turning orange, additional symptoms will include

  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes and
  • Pain when swallowing.

Home remedies for tongue discoloration

In the body, the tongue happens to be the strongest muscle present. It allows you to taste food, talk, as well as swallow. When your tongue is healthy, it will be pink in color and should be covered with small nodules that are known as papillae.

However, there are times that the tongue may become covered with an orange-like coating. The problem is quite common, and it can lead to a person experiencing bitter taste, as well as having bad breath. You can treat the condition with the following home remedies:


Table salt is one of the best remedies that can be used to deal with an orange-coated tongue

Table salt is one of the best remedies that can be used to deal with an orange-coated tongue. Salt is naturally coarse, which means that it works well as a tongue scraper, helping remove all the dead cells as well as debris. Additionally, it comes with antiseptic properties, which are vital in killing bacteria known to cause bad breath in the mouth.

What to do at home

  1. Take a few pinches of salt and gently sprinkle them on your orange-coated tongue, and then use your toothbrush to scrub it gently for a few minutes. Once this is done, you should use warm water to rinse your mouth. Make sure to repeat the process at least two times each day, and within no time, you should start to notice a difference.
  2. Alternatively, combine a single teaspoon of salt with warm water and use it to rinse. You have to ensure that you rinse thoroughly before spitting the water out. You will need to repeat the process a few times each day until satisfactory results are recorded.


They are considered to be a great remedy for an orange coating that has been caused by candida. The probiotics contain B, lactic cultures as well as L. acidophilus cultures, which are vital in assisting your body control the growth of fungi and bacteria that is present in your mouth.

What to do at home

  1. Take the powder from a single capsule of probiotics and combine it with a small amount of water. After your meals, brush your teeth as you normally do, and then take this solution and use it as a mouthwash, ensuring that you swish around before swallowing. Once this is done, make sure to consume a single glass of water. You will need to repeat this treatment at least once a day for the next week.
  2. Consider including yogurt with live cultures into your diet.
  3. You may also start taking probiotic supplements at least three times each day for the next few weeks.

We recommend Organic Probiotic Supplements from by Kaya Biotics (Check price on Amazon)

Vegetable glycerin

This remedy is not only popular, but it has also been widely tested, and seen to be effective in dealing with an orange-coated tongue. It comes in handy when the cause has been identified as dry mouth. In addition to eliminating the orange coating, it will also assist you in dealing with bad breath. You can find the vegetable glycerin at your local health food stores.

What to do at home

  1. Scoop a small amount of vegetable glycerin and place it on the tongue
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your tongue lightly
  3. Use warm water to rinse the mouth thoroughly
  4. It is recommended that you repeat the process at least two times each day until the tongue gets back its pink color

Oil pulling

Oil pulling is an age-old Ayurvedic practice that has been used for many years to treat orange-coated tongues that have been caused by oral thrush. The process assists in eliminating the yeast that has been caused by oral thrush, and will in the process, eliminate these toxins from your body.

What to do at home

  1. Before you can brush your teeth in the morning, take a single teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil and place it on your mouth
  2. Swish the oil around your mouth, ensuring that it gets between your teeth, as well as below the tongue.
  3. You should do this for around fifteen minutes or until you notice the oil starts to become milky inc color.
  4. Once this happens, you will need to spit out the milky oil, and then use warm water to rinse your mouth.
  5. For overall health, you should consider repeating the process once each day.

Important to note: You should not swallow or gargle the oil. When spitting it out, ensure that you do so in the trash. Spitting it in the drain may lead to it becoming clogged.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide contains strong antibacterial properties, which assist in killing the bacteria that has accumulated on your tongue surface. In turn, this will assist in treating the orange-coated tongue. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide has been known to assist in making the teeth become white. To ensure that no harm comes to you, only use three percent hydrogen peroxide.

What to do at home

  1. Take two parts of water and a single part of hydrogen peroxide and use it to prepare a blend
  2. Take a soft toothbrush and dip it into the mixture, before using the toothbrush to scrape the tongue gently
  3. Ensure you spit out the peroxide and then rinse your mouth thoroughly using warm water
  4. It is recommended that you follow the reedy at least three times each day

Important to note: You should never swallow hydrogen peroxide

Aloe vera juice

Aloe vera for orange tongue

Aloe vera juice has, for many years, been used to treat oral problems thanks to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Given that it is an antimicrobial, it assists in killing bacteria, which has been known to cause tongue discoloration, as well as causing bad breath.

What to do at home

  1. Take a single teaspoon of aloe vera juice and place it on your mouth
  2. Ensure you swish the juice around for a few minutes before proceeding to spit it out
  3. You will then need to drink a single teaspoon of aloe vera juice
  4. Ensure you repeat this remedy at least three times each day for the next two weeks.


It is yet another ideal remedy for use when dealing with an orange-coated tongue. It comes with strong antibacterial properties, which have been known to prevent the growth of bacteria on your tongue.

What to do at home

  1. Combine a single teaspoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of lemon juice to come up with a thick paste. Take this paste and scrub it on your tongue for a few minutes at a time. Use warm water to rinse your mouth. Ensure you repeat this process each day for at least one week.
  2. Alternatively, consider combining a single teaspoon of turmeric powder in a single glass of water. Take this solution and use it to rinse at least two times each day to get a healthy tongue.

Baking soda

It is a remedy that is inexpensive, but one that is highly effective when one wants to get rid of the orange coating. It has an exfoliating property that is used to eliminate any residue that is sticking on the tongue. Additionally, it helps maintain good pH levels in your mouth by neutralizing all the acids that are present.

What to do at home

  1. Take a little baking soda and mix it with lemon juice to come up with a paste. Take this paste and use it to brush your tongue. Use warm water when rinsing your mouth. It is recommended that you repeat this daily until you notice some results.
  2. Alternatively, dissolve a single teaspoon of baking soda in one glass of water. You can use it as an effective mouth rinse two times each day to deal with bad breath and an orange coating.


The cure for an orange-coated tongue can be classified into the following categories:

Treat acid reflux

When the orange discoloration present on your tongue has been brought about by heartburn or acid indigestion, the best thing you can do to deal with it will be to take an antacid such as Tums or Maalox. Taking the antacid and ensuring you brush regularly will help deal with this problem, as well as all the accompanying symptoms.

Cure for antibiotic-related problems

When the orange tongue has been caused by a balance of the microorganisms present on your tongue due to taking antibiotics, all you will need to do is restore the normal balance.

You can restore the balance by ensuring that you closely monitor your diet, as well as include additional supplements in the diet, which will assist in encouraging a rebalance of the bacteria that are beneficial to your body.

Chinese remedies

An orange coating on your tongue is often used as an indication for wind-heat or wind-cold that is transforming into wind-heat. Besides, the coating may also be an indication of a yang deficiency. Nevertheless, you will find that various Chinese remedies can be used to remedy this condition.

Often, the Chinese herbal remedies will assist you in treating the root cause of the orange-coated tongue. It is always a good idea to ensure that you consult with a Chinese herbalist or medical doctor to assist you in selecting the best remedy for the orange tongue.

Common Chinese herbs for an orange-coated tongue include:

  1. Licorice root
  2. Alisma
  3. Plantago
  4. Bupleurum
  5. Rhubarb
  6. Gardenia

How to reduce the orange coating naturally

Apart from using Chinese herbs, there are a few natural methods that you can use at home to completely get rid of this condition, especially when it can be caused by a bacterial overgrowth or tongue thrush.

For instance, the best way to treat the orange-coated tongue will be to deal with its root cause. You can achieve this by making a few changes to your lifestyle.

Dental hygiene and tongue scraper

Dental hygiene and tongue scraper for orange tongue color

It is recommended that you brush your gums and teeth at least two times each day, and always ensure that you brush after each meal. Once you are done brushing, you will need to use a tongue scraper, preferably one that has been made from metal or copper.

The tongue scraper assists in removing the yellow film, in addition to removing the bacteria that could be present on your tongue. Additionally, health experts recommend that you utilize a mouthwash that contains antibacterial essentials such as peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and thyme oil.

What products do we recommend?

Dietary changes

Taking on the wrong diet allows you to feed the yeast and the bacteria that are present on your tongue. It is recommended that you stay away from food items such as dairy products, processed foods, alcohol, as well as wheat and gluten. Additionally, do not take too many sugary foods.

A good diet is one that comprises of food items such as raw and steamed vegetables, sea vegetables such as kombu, noi, and wakame, and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and miso. You will need to eat lots of vegetables, as well as some organic meat for you to treat the orange-coated tongue.

When to see your doctor

If you had the orange-coated tongue for some days, and the various remedies and treatments you have tried are not working, you should make an appointment with your physician. It could be an indication that something serious is taking place, and the guidance of a medical doctor will, therefore, come in handy.

It is always a good idea to consult with the physician to obtain further advice, as well as uncover what is causing the orange-coated tongue. If you begin to show jaundice signs, such as when the white parts of your eyes begin to turn yellow, make sure you see your physician as soon as possible.




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