Black Spots on Tongue [Causes, Cures and Prevention]
Today you will Discover the Causes, Treatment and Prevention of ” Black Spot on Tongue “.
The primary function of our tongue is to taste the food and help us talk. The tongue’s slate will indicate whether the tongue is healthy or not.
Generally, the tongue has a pink color. However, some conditions affect the tongue that makes this color change.
For instance, having black spots on the tongue is one of the issues that is caused by various conditions including daily habits or worse, oral cancer.
10 Causes of Black Spots on Tongue
Checking your tongue regularly is the best step to ensure that the tongue is healthy. Today we are going to discuss some of the common causes of black spots on the tongue. Some may clear soon after lifestyle change while others require medical intervention. Below are the common causes of black spots on tongue.
This condition occurs when there is excessive melanin. In non-professional’s language, melanin is a naturally occurring pigment that makes the skin, fur, or hair to have a dark. This condition does not only affect the skin but can also affect the state of the tongue, making it dark in some parts or as a whole.
In most cases, the hyperpigmentation(1) causes the occurrence of dark dots on the tip of the tongue, sides, and back of the tongue. Although this condition may look scary, you shouldn’t be too concerned about it since it is harmless and doesn’t have any serious problems with your health.
Despite the fact that this condition is painless, some people especially women are not comfortable with these spots on the tongue. To get rid of these spots, you can talk to your doctor to schedule laser surgery. Besides, some foods can help lighten the dark spots on the tongue. These include; lemon juice, cucumber, rosehip oil, soy milk, aloe vera, kojic acid potato juice, and cucumber juice
2. Hairy Black Tongue
This is another common cause of black spot on the tongue. The tongue usually has fur on the pink side of the tongue. Sometimes, the fur turns into a dark color, which makes the tongue to have a black color. This condition is not dangerous. Some of the causes of this condition include;
- Using antibiotics excessively
- Consumption of soft diet only
- Drinking of too much alcohol
- Poor oral hygiene
- Excessive smoking
As mentioned earlier, the back fur on the tongue is not a serious condition, so it doesn’t need intense treatment. However, making simple changes that lead to its development may help reduce the black color. Therefore, you should stop smoking, reduce intake of alcohol and maintain oral hygiene.
3. Tongue Cancer
Individuals diagnosed with oral cancer(2) tend to have black spots on the tongue that do not clear despite trying various treatment methods. This cancer may lead to the development of these spots on different parts of the tongue and mouth including the back of the tongue, sides, or the whole tongue. In most scenarios, this condition is accompanied by other symptoms including bleeding especially when cleaning the tongue while brushing your teeth.
According to medical research, we have some habits that increase the chances of getting this cancer. This includes excessive alcohol consumption as well as smoking. Additionally, if your family has a history of oral cancer, you are also at a higher risk. This is a serious condition and may cause death, although it is curable when you catch it at early stages. Some of the other causes of the tongue cancer include:
- Consuming old betel
- Repeated trauma to the tongue, for example, the tongue is often bitten
- Chewing tobacco
The main treatment of this condition is amputation of the tongue. Although this may sound scary, it is the only way to prevent the cancerous cells from spreading to other areas of the body.
Preventing Tongue Cancer
Prevention is always a better alternative to cure. The following tips may help you to reduce the instances of tongue cancer
Maintain good oral hygiene
Avoid chewing tobacco or any other food that causes mouth irritation. Consult your doctor when your tongue hurt. Early detection helps avert the imminent danger.
4. Fungal Infections
Oral fungal infections also referred as the Candida albicans oral(3) are fungal infections that are caused by the growth of the fungus on the tongue. The main cause of the mold appearance on the tongue is poor hygiene, drinking of alcohol, irregular toothbrush use, and smoking.
Treating this condition involves changing the bad habits such as excessive smoking and alcohol consumption. You also need to ensure proper hygiene by cleaning your tongue regularly and by use of the recommended toothbrushes and paste. This will remove the excess germs, bacteria, and fungi that lead to this condition in the first place.
5. Oral Fibroma
Although most people believe that an Oral fibroma is a form of cancer, it is not. On the centrally, the Oral fibroma is a conical tongue tissue found on the top part of the tongue that leads to the development of bumps which are often black.
The development of these conditions is often because of trauma that results after biting the tongue repeatedly for a long time. Although this condition doesn’t lead to any pain the tongue usually, have an unattractive appearance.
The only way to get rid of this condition is through surgery. Even if this is the only way to do this, the surgery focuses on the removal of the lump. However, this doesn’t guarantee that it will not reoccur. Nevertheless, if it is not removed, the lump will continue to grow and expand, and this may result in other health problems.
You can prevent the occurrence of this condition by being careful not to bite your tongue. Additionally, treating it in early stages will also eradicate it. You can do this by eating food that is rich in vitamin C as well as cleaning your tongue diligently.
Some women may develop dark spots on the tongue when taking birth control pills or during pregnancy. Since pregnancy and use of contraceptives cause hormonal changes, it may influence the endocrine system resulting in hyperpigmentation of the tongue. There is no treatment needed since the condition will clear itself after you stop taking the medications or after delivery.
7. Tongue Piercing
Today very many people are piercing the tongue as part remaining classy in the fashion world. When a tongue is pierced, black spots may develop as the piercings heal. This is usually caused by the pigmentation of the pierced region.
In most cases, black spots because of piercing usually disappear naturally, so no serious treatment is necessary. However, there are extreme cases where these spots do not go away. In this case, you may need to consult a doctor to advise you on the way forward.
Besides, tongue piercing may also increase the risk of fungal infections. For this reason, ensure that you visit competent Spas, and the piercings are done safely using the recommended apparatus.
8. Allergy and Reactions to Certain Drugs
The black spots on the tongue may also develop because of reactions or allergies to some medications or drugs. In most cases, drugs that are known to cause these black stops are those that contain bismuth salicylate, anti-depressant, an asthma drug, as well as some types of antibiotics.
As mentioned, the black spots appear because of your body reacting to certain drugs. The tongue gets to normal condition when you stop taking these medications.
9. Cancer Treatments
When undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, you may experience nail and tongue pigmentation. This may result in dark spots on the tongue. Using some home remedies may help to restore the normal color of the tongue after the chemotherapy treatment.
10. Anemic Condition
People suffering from anemia are also likely to experience dark spots on the tongue. These spots are usually clustered on one part of the tongue or scattered all over. In most cases, individuals with this condition also tend to have a pale tongue.
11. Other Causes
Besides the above ten main causes, there are other causes that can lead to black spots on the tongue. However, these conditions are rare. They include;
- Appearance of black spot on tongue because of consumption of certain beverages and foods such as tea and coffee
- Certain medications that contain iron salts may also lead to dark spots
- People suffering from HIV or children who are allergic to their mother’s milk may also have black spots on the tongue
How Prevent Black Spot on the Tongue
Maintain proper oral hygiene. Oral hygiene is the primary factor that should help you in preventing the dark spots on your tongue. All the black spots that are caused by the fungus and the bacteria in the month can be prevented if you keep your mouth in pristine conditions. You can maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing using the right toothbrush and using the germ-killing mouthwash.
Improve your Lifestyle
If you are accustomed to smoking and drinking excessive alcohol, you should consider stopping these habits. Additionally consuming too much of coffee or tea may also contribute to black spots on the tongue. If you are dieting, you should also make sure that you consume enough water.
Follow Doctor’s Directions
If you have already black spots on the tongue, you should consult a medical expert. When do you should follow doctor advice and take the medications you get from the doctor. The doctor should also be able to recommend foods to consume, those to avoid and lifestyle changes to adhere to in order to maintain oral hygiene.
Cleaning Tongue with Antiseptic
Cleaning your tongue with an antiseptic will also do a great job in keeping your mouth and tongue free of bacteria and fungus. This will also prevent tooth decay, tartar as well as other problems that arise from poor oral hygiene.
Gargle Garlic and Coconut Solution
As mentioned earlier, there are various home remedies that can help get rid of the black spots on the tongue. One of the most effective products is a mixture of garlic and coconut solution. Mash a paste of garlic and add some coconut oil to make a solution. Gargle this solution at least three times a day. This solution is effective because of the antifungal properties found in both the coconut and garlic.
Last few words. As you can see, maintaining a clean tongue will improve the health of the tongue entirely. As mentioned earlier the main cause of black spots on the tongue is the bacteria and germs. When these bacteria are left to settle on the tongue for long, they will prevent the development of these spots as well as other conditions such as bad breath.
Besides keeping your tongue clean, you should also be watchful of the other conditions that contribute to the development of these spots. If you are sure you maintain proper oral hygiene and still see the dark spot, you should visit your doctor immediately to address the issue. All the best!