Like having a yellow tongue, oral health, bacteria, and other infections all play a role in why the roof of your mouth might be yellow.
Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. When these bacteria multiply, it can change the color of the inside of the mouth. This may cause the roof of your mouth and your tongue to turn yellow.
Other common symptoms of poor oral hygiene are bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and pain while chewing.
Dry mouth or mouth breathing
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is caused when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva. There can be a medical reason for this, including excessive mouth breathing.
One of the roles of saliva is to protect the mouth from the buildup of bacteria. Without enough saliva, bacteria can grow and turn the roof of your mouth yellow.
Other symptoms of dry mouth include bad breath, sticky saliva, and dry throat and tongue.
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Oral thrush is an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. It can cause yellow patches and bumps on the roof of the mouth. Other symptoms of oral thrush include a burning mouth, cracked corners of the lips, and a lack of taste.
While oral thrush is not generally a dangerous condition, it can cause complications if it spreads to other parts of the body.
Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that appear inside of the mouth, including on the roof of the mouth. Canker sores may appear red or yellow in color. If canker sores appear on the roof of your mouth, they may cause this area to look yellow.
The symptoms of canker sores are generally mild, and sores heal within a few weeks. Canker sores that do not heal within a few weeks should be checked out by a dentist or doctor.
Oral herpes is a herpes outbreak caused by the HSV-1 virus. These herpes sores can appear on the inside or outside of the mouth. Herpes sores on the roof of the mouth may appear yellow with pus.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most common symptom before an outbreak is a tingling, itching sensation at the site of the outbreak.
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Jaundice is a serious condition caused by the buildup of a yellow pigment called bilirubin. This buildup is most commonly caused by liver or gallbladder dysfunction. When bilirubin builds up in the blood, it may cause the roof of your mouth to turn yellow.
The most common symptoms of jaundice are yellow skin, yellow whites of the eyes, and flu-like symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
Medications with bismuth
Bismuth subsalicylate is a medication used to treat an upset stomach. Pepto Bismol is a common bismuth-containing medication. According to research, the use of bismuth-containing medications can turn your tongue colors ranging from yellow to black. It may also cause the roof of your mouth to appear yellow.
Mouthwashes with oxidizing agents
There are a variety of different mouthwashes on the market. Some mouthwash formulations contain oxidizing ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide. Using these types of mouthwash may cause your tongue and the roof of your mouth to turn yellow.
Tobacco smoke is a risk factor for poor oral hygiene, among other conditions. Smoking is a potential cause of black hairy tongue, which cause the roof of your mouth to appear yellow.
Smoking is also a risk factor for oral thrush. Oral thrush patches can cause the roof of your mouth to appear yellow.
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