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Symptoms of Black Tongue

The following features are indicative of Black Tongue:
  • black discoloration of the tongue
  • hairy or furry appearance of the tongue
  • altered taste or metallic taste in mouth
  • bad breath
  • gagging or tickling sensation
It is possible that Black Tongue shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Black Tongue

The following are the most common causes of Black Tongue:
  • changes in the normal bacteria or yeast content of the mouth after antibiotics use
  • poor oral hygiene
  • dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • regular use of mouthwashes containing irritating oxidizing agents, such as peroxide
  • tobacco use
  • drinking excessive amounts of coffee or black tea
  • excessive alcohol use

Risk Factors for Black Tongue

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Black Tongue:
  • poor oral hygiene
  • dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • regular use of mouthwashes containing irritating oxidizing agents, such as peroxide
  • tobacco use
  • drinking excessive amounts of coffee or black tea
  • excessive alcohol use

Prevention of Black Tongue

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Black Tongue. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • practicing good oral hygiene
  • use tongue cleaning devices
  • avoid smoking

Occurrence of Black Tongue

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Black Tongue cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Extremely rare less than 1000 cases

Common Age Group

Black Tongue can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Black Tongue can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Black Tongue

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Black Tongue:
  • Physical examination: To check fungal or viral infections, blackened tongue and normal variations in tongue color

Doctor for Diagnosis of Black Tongue

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Black Tongue:
  • Dentists

Complications of Black Tongue if untreated

Yes, Black Tongue causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Black Tongue is left untreated:
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • halitosis
  • nausea
  • gagging
  • dysgeusia

Self-care for Black Tongue

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Black Tongue:
  • Brushing the tongue with a soft toothbrush: To remove dead cells, bacteria and food debris
  • Brush after eating: Brush the teeth at least twice a day after every meal, using fluoride toothpaste to keep tongue clean
  • Regular dentist visit: Helps to prevent oral problems or spots
  • Maintain good nutrition: Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet to stay healthy

Time for Treatment of Black Tongue

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Black Tongue to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Black Tongue.

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