If you’ve recently caught a glimpse of the roof of your mouth and noticed that it’s tinged yellow, it’s natural to question, “Why is the roof of my mouth yellow,” and then begin frantically searching online for answers. If you’ve landed here, you’re in the right place as we’re going to answer this and more.
Which Part of the Roof Of My Mouth is Yellow? Hard vs. Soft Palate
The color of your mouth, teeth, and gums can indicate a lot about your overall health and give you a clue as to whether you have viruses, diseases, or infections present. A yellow, roof of the mouth can have several causes, and these can affect both your hard palate, which is the bony part of the roof of your mouth – right behind your front, top teeth, and your soft palate, which is located behind the hard palate, higher up. It’s important to distinguish which part is being impacted and then figure out whether it’s a cause for concern. To help you better understand why the roof of your mouth is yellow, let’s dive into the potential causes:
1. Poor Oral Hygiene. Inadequate oral hygiene leads to bacteria buildup and the yellowing of the tongue and roof of the mouth. You may also experience bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and chewing discomfort.
2. Dry Mouth/Mouth Breathing. Insufficient saliva from mouth breathing or dry mouth allows bacteria to grow, resulting in a yellowish roof of the mouth.
3. Oral thrush, characterized by yellow patches and bumps on the mouth roof is caused by an overgrowth of yeast and can lead to burning sensations, cracked lips, and loss of taste.
4. Oral Herpes. Yellow lesions from oral herpes, along with symptoms like tonsil stones and dry mouth, can lead to a yellow roof of the mouth due to the HSV-1 virus.
5. Jaundice. Jaundice, characterized by the buildup of bilirubin in the body due to liver or gallbladder dysfunction, can cause a yellow roof of the mouth, yellow eyes, and skin.
6. Tobacco Use. Tobacco smoke can lead to oral health problems like yellowing of the roof of the mouth, black hairy tongue, and oral thrush.
7. Medications With Bismuth. Medications containing bismuth, like Pepto Bismol, can cause the tongue and roof of the mouth to change color, ranging from yellow to black.
When To Worry About a Yellow Roof Of Mouth?
If the roof of your mouth is yellow, and you have any of the following signs, then it’s time to contact a dental professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
1. There is persistent discoloration. If the roof of your mouth stays yellow or worsens over time, even with lifestyle changes and improved oral care, then it’s time to see a dental professional to get the underlying cause diagnosed.
2. You’re in severe discomfort/pain. If the roof of your mouth is yellow and you have severe pain, this needs prompt attention as it could be a sign of an oral health condition worsening.
3. You have difficulty eating or speaking. A roof of the mouth that’s yellow and causes problems with speech or eating warrants immediate attention. There could be an underlying condition or structural abnormalities that need to be checked out.
4. There are yellow and white patches. If the roof of your mouth develops yellow and white patches that can’t be wiped away, this is called leukoplakia. It’s very important to get these patches assessed, as they can (rarely) turn into cancerous patches. When the lesion is detected early, and the irritation (tobacco, alcohol) is eliminated, the condition clears.
5. There are red blisters and yellow pus. Red blisters on the roof of the mouth along with yellow pus, indicate an infection, and that you have oral herpes or a viral infection like hand-foot-mouth disease (coxsackievirus). Bacterial infections like strep throat, can also cause the roof of the mouth to yellow.
6. There are accompanying symptoms. If you notice additional symptoms like persistent bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, or a loss of taste, then it’s time to seek out a dental professional.
If you experience any of these signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Tampa Palms Dentistry! Early detection and treatment play a pivotal role in preventing complications and ensuring optimal oral health. Don’t wait for it to get worse – contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you get back to a pain-free smile.