Black tongue coating can be caused by various diseases, medications or foods, while red tongue coating indicates inflammation or vitamin deficiency.
Many people are convinced that the black color is caused by liver problems, but this organ can only cause a yellow tongue.
Causes of black tongue coating
Oral hygiene Inadequate oral hygiene
can lead to black tongue coating. The bacteria can settle and spread between the taste buds and produce a black appearance.
Careful oral hygiene includes:
- brush tongue twice a day with toothpaste;
- daily clean the interdental spaces with dental floss;
- limit snacks;
- regular visits to the dentist;
- Change toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Hyperpigmentation One of the main causes of black spots on the tongue is hyperpigmentation (pronounced pigmentation
of the skin or mucous membrane). It can occur alone, but in most cases it is caused by a genetic peculiarity that keeps the color on the surface of the tongue.
The problem can be exclusively aesthetic, but sometimes there is a complex and serious disease behind it.
Usually these are smaller spots that occur on the underside of the tongue.
Therapy: rosehip oil, juice from mashed potatoes, real aloe, lemon or cucumber juice.
Over-the-counter medicines with the following ingredients can slow down melanin production and eliminate the melanin present in the skin:
- Soy milk
- Kojic acid
- Azelaic acid
The dermatologist can easily remove these spots for aesthetic reasons.
Oral cancer Patients with oral cancer usually have smaller outgrowths in the oral cavity that do not disappear.
Sometimes these growths have altered pigmentation and appear as dark spots on the bottom or top of the tongue.
Other typical signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
- unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Sensory disturbances (numbness)
- Sore throat
- significant weight loss
- Discomfort when swallowing, chewing and speaking
In oral cancer, there are a number of disease-promoting factors, such as genetic predisposition, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Treatment for oral cancer: surgical tumor removal. Subsequently, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be carried out to destroy any existing tumor cells.
Tongue piercing After a piercing
, a dark spot may remain on the surface of the tongue.
The reason for this is that the coloring pigmentation is lost at this point. When pigmentation returns, the black spot disappears; if this does not happen on its own, treatment may be necessary.
The symptoms associated with tongue piercing are exclusively aesthetic.
Therapy: If the black spot does not go away, a dermatologist must be consulted. The treatment is carried out medicamentously and surgically.
Reaction to certain medications The black tongue coating may arise in response to certain medications, such as antibiotics and medications
containing bismuth salicylate.
Antibiotics are one of the main causes of black tongue in children.
Treatment: During normal brushing of the tongue, the stains should disappear.
Mouthwash, bismuth and tobacco
Regular use of mouthwash solutions with peroxide or other oxidizing agents can turn the tongue black.
Mouthwashes containing witch hazel, menthol or other astringents can also produce this effect.
Bismuth tablets can lead to black tongue coating, as well as heavy smoking.
The reason for the color change of the tongue is that these substances change the chemical composition of the tongue.
Certain foods, such as licorice and coffee, can turn the middle tongue area brown-black.
How is a black tongue of hair formed?
The black hair tongue is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.
The bacteria accumulate on the small round papillae, which are located at the top and side of the surface of the tongue.
With excessive growth and lengthening of the papillae, they can reach a length up to 15 times as large as normal.
These structures become long like hair and can attract fungi and bacteria that color the tongue brown or black (sometimes greenish).
The black tongue of hair can also occur in newborns suffering from candidiasis.
Certain medical conditions and habits can increase the likelihood of having a black tongue of hair.
- Inadequate oral hygiene.
- High tea or coffee consumption.
- Taking antibiotics that can interfere with the normal bacterial balance in the mouth, including Augmentin and Amoxypen.
- Taking medications containing chemical bismuth (digestive agents).
- Lack of saliva production.
- Regular use of mouthwash solutions with peroxide, witch hazel or menthol.
- Radiotherapy on the head and neck.
- The black tongue of hair is mainly found in men, intravenous drug use and AIDS patients.
What are the symptoms of a black tongue of hair?
Apart from the altered appearance, the black hair tongue usually causes no other symptoms and discomfort.
An exception is the burning sensation on the tongue, which can be caused by the spread of the yeast Candida albicans.
Sometimes patients report a disturbing tickling at the back of the palate, an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth or nausea.
In more severe cases, the black tongue of hair may be accompanied by a feeling of suffocation.
Sometimes the food lying open in the long papillae causes bad breath.
How can the black hair tongue be treated?
In some cases, the condition resolves on its own, but thorough oral hygiene is the best way to fix this disorder.
Brush your teeth carefully twice a day with a soft toothbrush and brush off your tongue.
One can use a tongue scraper to carefully clean the area.
Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your mouth clean.
- quitting smoking
- a more bran-rich diet
Treatment of black tongue coating
The black tongue of hair usually does not require treatment.
Although it is unaesthetic, it is a temporary and harmless disease.
Those who take care of their mouth carefully and also avoid the triggering factors (smoking, bismuth-containing drugs) will solve the problem.
Natural home remedies for black spots on the tongue
1. Careful oral hygiene Thorough oral hygiene
is fundamental to oral health.
The use of a tongue scraper and mouthwashes (twice a day) help to prevent or eliminate the black tongue covering.
2. Healthy diet and lifestyle
A healthy diet includes fiber, fruits and vegetables.
3. Suck pineapple
Small pieces of pineapple and hold them at the base of the tongue for about 40 seconds.
Then chew the pineapple for about 8 minutes.
If this natural treatment method is carried out twice a day for 7-10 days, the black spots should disappear.
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome should not use this cure.
Red tongue coating
Possible causes of red tongue coating (the color varies between pink and red-violet):
- Deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12
- Pernicious anemia
- Plummer-Vinson syndrome
- Gluten intolerance
Various systemic diseases can provoke red hyoid coating.
- Autoimmune diseases such as Kawasaki syndrome cause a bright red tongue with swollen lips, vertical cracking, and bleeding.
- Scarlet fever often provokes redness of the tongue and red spots.
The tongue is then called the raspberry tongue.
You can also observe white spots with red outgrowths on the tongue.
- Allergies (e.g. eczema) lead to redness due to overstimulation of the tongue surface.
In this case, the red tongue is the result of bacterial infestation of the taste buds.
- Asthma can also cause red coating of the tongue; the red spots arise as a reaction of the respiratory system to the allergens.
- The red tongue may also indicate acne.
Other causes of red tongue coating
A lack of niacin (a vitamin from the B complex) can lead to a reddened tongue.
Niacin deficiency causes a disease called pellagra.
Symptoms include pain in the mouth, strawberry tongue, mental disorders and diarrhea.
The red tongue can also have very obvious reasons.
For example, it can be caused by certain foods, such as after eating strawberries or chewing gum with red food coloring.
Acidic foods can provoke redness and temporary pain in the tongue.
In Chinese medicine, a red tongue means warmth.
The tongue color may appear darker in some sections that correspond to the body organs.
The root of the tongue, for example, can indicate excessive heat in the intestine. One must regulate the heat with cooling foods, such as cucumber, watermelon, green tea.
Bright red tongue A bright red tongue is caused by vitamin deficiencies.
A lack of vitamin B12 or iron is the most common cause of a red and painful tongue; in addition, there is a bitter taste in the mouth.
Those who are deficient in vitamin B12 can suffer from pernicious anemia – a disease in which red blood cells become very large and immature.
In pernicious anemia, not enough vitamin B12 can be absorbed because of the lack of the intrinsic factor that ensures absorption in the intestine.