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Mouth Diseases

Orange Throat

09/15/2010

Question:

Hi for a while now (over a month) I`ve had the feeling like a hair is stuck at the back of my throat. When I try cough and gag to get it up a sticky, stinging small amount of orange subtance comes up. I`ve started to notice a thick layer of the same colour orange on my tongue. I scrape it off but it doesn`t come off completely. I am around soldering metal for 8 hours a day, would that have anything to do with it? Or is it something else? Thank you.

Answer:

Orange Spit, may be the result of foods or beverages you have consumed, medications you have taken and or bacterial or fungal over colonization.

Have you been on antibiotics or have you taken some form of over the counter medication for the “dry hairy throat?” There have been a number of discussions on various oral medicine sites that have witnessed “orange” discoloration of the tongue, and associated saliva or phlegm. The cause could be related to specific dyes in foods or medications that stain the tongue and throat (Orange Crush, orange popsicles etc. can do this) as can chromogenic bacteria or fungi (Rhodotorula sp.). Some patient after being on a course of antibiotics can develop orange/red discoloration of the tongue and the throat also.

Eating large amounts of carrots or food stuffs containing beta carotene can also cause orange discoloration as can systemic diseases like Addison’s disease, Cirrhosis or Hepatitis. (Liver disease and associated symptoms related to jaundice)

My concern is what kind of solder you are using, what type of flux or core material is in the solder, and what kind of ventilation are you working under. I would strongly suggest you see you physician or primary care provider and evaluate your symptoms more thoroughly.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University