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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My baby's tongue is yellowy brown. What is this due to?

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My baby's tongue is yellowy brown. What is this due to?
Hello from JustAnswer.
Is this a coating of the tongue?
Can it be rubbed off?
Can you get a picture of the tongue to be able to attach it?
I had asked for some further information and have not heard back.
The primary medical condition that would be a concern would be whether it is a yeast infection in the mouth, also called thrush. This would usually cause a white coating of the tongue that can be rubbed off and the underlying tongue is reddened. It is possible that the coating has absorbed color from certain foods, so that it can appear yellow-brown, but if it can be rubbed off, and then the underlying tongue can be seen and is reddened, then there would be concern about whether this is thrush. Thrush can be treated with an antifungal medicine prescribed by your doctor.
The other common reason for a yellow-brown discoloration of the surface of the tongue itself would be from overgrowth of the surface of the tongue and the normal bacteria on the tongue. This is not an actual infection, so usually does not need direct treatment. However, the issue will typically improve with increased oral hygiene. Usually, brushing the tongue is sufficient. Sometimes, using a oral rinse that is hydrogen peroxide based may help, but babies usually would have a difficult time using a mouth rinse. It would be fine to brush the tongue using the hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse.
Less commonly, a yellow discoloration of the tongue could be related to jaundice, the accumulation of bilirubin in the body. While this is more concerning, this would usually cause yellow discoloration elsewhere, such as the whites of the eyes, and if these other areas are normal, then there is no reason to be concern about this possibility.
If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.
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