The oral cavity reflects the overall health of an individual. The normal color of the tongue is reddish pink and has a smooth and velvety texture. Tongue plays a crucial role in naturally cleansing the oral cavity and keeping it healthy.
However, there are certain factors which can result in a greenish discoloration of the tongue, and can have a detrimental impact on the gastrointestinal health of the individual.
Causes Of Green Coloration Of Tongue
Here are some common causes which are associated with green discoloration of the tongue,
- Under normal conditions, a healthy tongue has small filiform papillae on its surface, which give it a typical velvety appearance. These papillae shed at regular intervals of time. However, in some individuals these papillae may not shed regularly which may result in elongated papillae. These papillae are more prone to bacterial infection which often contributes to dark greenish discoloration of the tongue. This condition is also referred to as the hairy tongue and is often attributed to excessive use of mouthwash, excessive smoking or poor dental hygiene.
- Oral Thrush or candidiasis is considered to be one of the most common causes of tongue discoloration. The condition is characterized by infection caused by candida albicans which is an opportunist infection and comes on when the immunity is compromised. Oral thrush is usually white in color; however ingestion of food often tends to change the color of the tongue to green.
- In addition, some of the other causes for green discoloration of the tongue include excessive smoking, overuse of mouthwash solution, poor oral hygiene, etc. Tongue piercing can also be responsible for bacterial or fungal infection, which can eventually result in green tongue.
- Certain studies have claimed that regular drug addicts also can have a greenish tinge on the tongue.
- Consuming candy with green dye can also result in green discoloration of the tongue, though in most cases, this condition is not associated with any of the other symptoms of green tongue.
Symptoms And Treatment For Green Tongue
Some of the common symptoms associated with green tongue include the following,
- Bad Breath or halitosis is one of the most common symptoms. Though in most cases, the individual may be aware of the bad breath and attempt to mask the smell with pepper mint or gum, which only complicates matters
- General discomfort which is often associated with increased pain on consuming spicy foods.
- Some patients may complaint of a metallic taste in the mouth
- Gastro-intestinal distress in the form of nausea and vomiting may also be associated with the condition.
Treatment For Green Tongue
Green Tongue can be treated effectively using the following home remedies,
- A paste of turmeric and honey are considered beneficial. Turmeric and raw honey have strong anti bacterial properties and are effective in controlling oral thrush.
- Use mint or clove to mask the bad breath. Ensure that your diet is rich in dietary fibers as they can help improve gastric motility and also help cleanse the colon.
- A good oral hygiene and cessation of smoking are beneficial.
- Increase your intake of Vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits to enhance immunity and prevent oral thrush.