The health of the oral cavity is very important since any disorder which happens in this area usually indicates certain infection present in the oral cavity only, or spread throughout the body. One of the disorders that can occur in the mouth is green tongue.
In a healthy person, the normal color of the tongue is reddish pink, and besides that, the tongue is also smooth and velvety in texture. However, in case when the tongue is affected by some disorder, such as tongue infection, or when sores emerge on the tongue, it tends to change the texture and the color. Sometimes, the tongue from reddish pick color turns green. Green tongue is not a serious condition and can be easily cured by getting rid of the underlying cause.
Causes of green tongue
The two most common causes for the occurrence of green tongue are hairy tongue syndrome and oral candidiasis.
When hairy tongue syndrome occurs, it does not mean that hair starts to grow on the tongue. The dorsal surface of the tongue is covered with papillae which give the tongue its softness, although they tend to shed over time. In hairy tongue syndrome, the papillae grow and the cells do not shed, and as consequence, the papillae grow into long strands on the dorsal surface of the tongue. When they are stained, the green tongue or black tongue appears. Excessive smoking, poor dental health and excessive use of mouthwash are the main causes for the occurrence of hairy tongue syndrome, which is why the treatment of this condition includes the elimination of the responsible cause.
Another cause for the appearance of green tongue is oral thrush, which is actually oral infection caused by the fungus Candida Albicans. This infection usually occurs in people with weak immune system, as well as in those who have ill-fitting dentures. Candidiasis usually causes white tongue, but the color changes after consummation of foods or after using antibiotics. Apart from green tongue, the most common accompanying symptoms of this condition are bad breath, burning sensation and pain when the infected person eats spicy foods. The treatment of the oral thrush includes the use of antifungal medications and rinsing the mouth with several home remedies.
Green tongue may also be caused due to several other reasons, such as sore throat, upper respiratory tract infections, consummation of antibiotics, weeds and drugs. There are also mouthwashes and toothpastes that contain certain components that cause the tongue to change its color into green.