Dark tongue refers to having small or tiny black dots on different parts of your tongue, i.e. tip of your tongue, sides, back, under or entire surface of your tongue. Their color varies from dark to light grey pigment.
In some cases, the dark patches usually starts from the sides and spreads to the center of your tongue. The appearance of the dark dots usually varies depending with the cause, some may be slightly bumpy or raised above the tongue surface.
Why do I have Black Spots on Tongue?
Here are some of the causes:
Hyperpigmentation is a condition that occurs as a result of excessive melanin. Melanin is a natural occurring pigment that gives the skin, hair or fur the dark color. It can therefore cause darkening of your skin as well as part of your tongue or the whole tongue.
Hyperpigmentation may cause the dark dots to appear on the sides of your tongue, tip of your tongue, back or the whole tongue. You don’t need to worry when your dark dots as a result of hyperpigmentation. It is a condition that is harmless and does not cause any serious problem to your health.
However, some people especially women may not like this condition for cosmetic purposes. It can therefore be removed using various treatments including laser or other cosmetic surgeries, use of over the counter products that contains, kojic acid, hydroquinone or calcium among others. There are also various home remedies that can effectively fade away the dark spots.
- Oral fibroma
This condition also causes smooth and tiny black spots on tongue. The spots may be slightly elevated above the tongue surface. Oral fibroma is non-cancerous and they can develop on different parts of your mouth including inside the cheeks, on roof of your mouth and under the tongue.
This condition results from repeated trauma or injuries to the tongue that may be caused by habits like biting your tongue or taking very hot, spicy and salty foods or beverages for a long period of time. Some people believe that this condition is hereditary and you can inherit it from other members of your family.
Oral fibroma can be treated using surgery but this doesn’t guarantee you a permanent treatment if you don’t stop injuring your tongue frequently. It may also reoccur and can lead to other oral conditions or diseases. It is therefore good to take good care of your tongue including avoiding injuries.
- Tongue piercing
Tongue piercing is a trending fashion among some women and men but it may also come a long with some challenges including black dot on tongue around the piercing site. Dark dots usually occurs because the original pigment is lost at the piercing area.
Poor tongue piercing aftercare practices can also result to various infections like fungal that can leads to dark spots. It is therefore recommended to follow the instructions given strictly after piercing to avoid such conditions.
Black spots on tongue as a result of piercing usually disappears on its own upon healing of your piercing. Visit your doctor or your professional tongue piercer for treatment if the black spots fails to fade away upon healing of your tongue piercing.
- Oral cancer
Oral cancer is another condition that can causes black dots on your tongue. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, you are likely to experience black spots on your tongue that doesn’t go away easily even after trying some of the home remedies treatments.
The black spots may develop on different parts of your tongue and mouth including the sides of our tongue and mouth, tip or back of your tongue or the entire tongue. It may be accompanied with other symptoms like bleeding especially when brushing your teeth and cleaning your tongue.
There are various habits that increases your chances of getting oral cancer like excessive smoking and alcohol consumption. The risk of getting this condition also increases if your family members has a history of oral cancer.
- Excessive intake of alcohol and smoking
Excessive intake of alcohol and tobacco smoking are the major causes of black tongue. It also increases the risk of developing fungal and bacterial infections on your tongue that also causes the black spots to appear on your tongue
To treat this condition, you have to quit smoking and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. You should also visit your doctors for treatment of the existing dark dots. He or she may also advice you on the proper tongue hygiene that will help to get rid of your condition.
- Poor oral hygiene
Dark spots may also develop on your tongue due to poor oral hygiene of your tongue. Unhygienic tongue harbors various germs like bacteria and fungi that results to various infections that causes tiny black spots on tongue.
Cleaning the tongue properly using a brush or a tongue scraper helps to prevent new spots from developing on your tongue as well as healing the existing ones. When cleaning the tongue, ensure you brush the teeth twice a day and floss regularly.
In some cases, women may develop dark spots on the tongue during pregnancy or when taking birth control pills. Pregnancy and contraceptives causes hormonal changes in your body that may influence your endocrine system that may result to hyperpigmentation of your tongue. This condition normally resolves on its own after delivery or when you stop taking the contraceptives.
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy
If you are under cancer treatments like chemotherapy, you may experience black tongue and other symptoms that includes like nail pigmentation. You may use some of the home remedy treatments to restore your tongue back to its color after chemotherapy treatments.
- Trauma or injuries
Tongue injuries that results from tongue biting, very hot, spicy or salty foods may be another cause of black spots on your tongue. Injuries can also be a companied with other symptoms like irritation, inflammation or swelling.
Body allergic reactions to different allergens in food, medication and dental care products can cause black spots on tongue and other parts of your body including the skin. Taking over-the-counter medication like antihistamine can help to fix your condition. However, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if the symptoms persists.
Black dots can develop on your tongue when taking certain medicines like antibiotics. This condition occurs when the medicines interacts with your tongue. However, not all antibiotics causes black tongue. Those containing bismuth salicylate, asthma inhalers and anti-depressant are among the drugs that can cause this condition.
- Anemic condition
If you are having anemia, you are likely to experience dark dots on your tongue. The spots may be clustered on different parts on your tongue or scattered all over your tongue surface. This condition is commonly accompanied with a pale tongue.
- Hairy tongue
This is a condition that causes the whole tongue to develop black spots. It causes tiny black spots on tongue including the tip, side, center, back and under. Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption and intake of antibiotics are major causes of this condition.
It therefore causes the tongue to get infected by fungus that is also another cause of dark patches on your tongue. The patches may spread to the whole tongue turning it black when you fail to stop the use of tobacco and alcohol.
- Other causes
Apart from what we have discussed above, the other possible causes of black tongue includes excessive body dehydration, frequent use of mouthwash that contains harsh chemicals like peroxide, menthol or witch hazel, taking coffee or tea a lot and not being able to produce enough saliva in your mouth.
What does Black Spots under Tongue mean?
It is recommended to visit your doctor right away once you notice black spots under your tongue. All the causes that are discussed above can cause this condition. It could also be concerning a certain form of mouth cancer which is life threatening and requires immediate medical tension.
In most cases melanoma is among the major causes of dark spots under your tongue. Melanoma is a type of cancer that results from pigment cells that gives your skin the color. It can occur on any part of your body including under the tongue or sides of mouth. This condition is common among smokers.
The other common cause of dark dots under tongue filling some of your teeth with silver or amalgam. In the process of amalgamation, some silver particles are thrown at a high speed and may deposit itself on the lower part of your tongue.
Tongue piercing may also leave a dark spot under your tongue upon healing. Poor tongue piercing aftercare instructions may also lead to infections that causes dark patches under the tongue.
Reasons for Small or Tiny Black Spots on Tongue
As you had read earlier, small or tiny black or dark spots on tongue are caused by various things such as poor oral hygiene, hyperpigmentation, oral cancer, injuries or trauma, allergic reactions, medical conditions, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking among other causes.
They can appear on different parts of the tongue like on the side of the tongue, sides of the tongue, back, tip or on the entire tongue. In most cases tiny dark spots can be harmless although painful and may disappear with no or little treatment.
However, it is recommended to visit your doctor when the dark bumps becomes swollen, painful, inflamed or when they bleed. You will be diagnosed to determine the exact cause before being given prescription medicines to treat the condition.
Meaning of Dark Spots on Tip of Tongue
Smoking and drinking excessive alcohol among other things may cause black spots on the tip of your tongue. If you fail to stop the habit of smoking and chewing tobacco, the spots may spread to the sides and finally to the entire tongue.
The dark spots on the tip of your tongue will disappear when you quit smoking and start practicing good oral hygiene that involves scraping your tongue, brushing your teeth twice and flossing regularly. Taking roughages may also help to clear your stained tongue.
How to Get Rid of Black Spots on Tongue
If the dark spots on your tongue is not caused by a serious condition, you can easily get rid of it by making some adjustment on your lifestyle and oral health.
However, this condition can also be caused by life threatening conditions like oral cancer and it is recommended to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment especially when experiencing bleeding, inflammation, swelling or pain. The following treatment and remedies can help to fix your condition:
- Improve your oral hygiene
Improper oral hygiene is the major cause of this tongue condition and it is therefore important to improve on it if you are intending to get rid of stains on your tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue at least once or twice a day helps to remove the dirty that harbors the fungi that causes the dark stains.
It is also important to brush your teeth twice daily and floss to remove and kill the bacteria that causes mouth infection. You may also use a mouthwash to kill the bacteria. Avoid mouthwashes that contains harsh chemicals.
- Avoid smoking and excessive intake of alcohol
Smoking tobacco stains your tongue and teeth and encourages the formation of plaque that provides favorable condition for bacterial and fungal growth. Excessive intake of alcohol may also cause excessive dehydration of soft tissues in your mouth and therefore leading to plaque formation.
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration encourages formation of plaque or stains on your tongue and teeth. Ensure that you take 8 glasses of water or more to keep your body hydrated. Drinking water regularly also helps to clean your mouth.
- Take sufficient and quality roughages
Add more and quality roughages to your diet. It helps in cleaning the black spots on tongue and hence keeping the plaque at bay. Incorporate sufficient fruits and raw vegetables in your diet.
- Gargle garlic and coconut oil solution
Mash a garlic to make a paste, add some coconut oil and some water to make a solution. Gargle the solution in your mouth 3-4 times a day. Garlic and coconut oil has anti-fungal properties that fights the fungal infections in your mouth. Coconut oil also helps in detoxing and pulling off the stains.
- Gargle with cinnamon and clove water
Cinnamon and cloves has antiseptic properties that helps in fighting various bacterial infections in your mouth that stains your tongue. This two ingredients also helps to restore some freshness in your breath. Mix equal amount cinnamon and clove in a glass of water. Boil it for 3 minutes and allow the solution to cool before gargling in your mouth.
- Use Neem
Neem solution is bitter but effective for removing stains on your tongue. To use this remedy, you simply take 6 leaves of Neem tree and boil in a glass of water. Allow to mixture to cool and gargle it twice a day daily until the dark spots vanishes.
- Visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment
It is advisable to visit your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment when having dark spots on your tongue that are bleeding, swollen or inflamed. Your doctor will perform the test and prescribe some medicine to use.
- Tongue problem basics: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tongue-problem-basics-sore-or-discolored-tongue-and-tongue-bumps?page=2
- Causes of black spots on the tongue: http://medicaltreasure.com/black-spots-on-tongue/
- Black spots on tongue: http://www.md-health.com/Black-Spots-On-Tongue.html
- Black sports on the tongue causes and treatment: http://www.wowremedies.com/black-spots-on-tongue-causes-and-treatment/
- Home remedies to get rid of stains from the tongue: http://www.ayushveda.com/magazine/home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-stains-from-the-tongue/