Black Tongue: Causes and Countermeasures

Black Tongue: Causes and Countermeasures

Black tongue is a harmless and temporary oral disease. Despite its name, a black tongue does not always cause the tongue to turn black. In fact, the main symptom is the appearance of hair on the tongue and obvious growth.

Black tongue is usually caused by the accumulation of keratin on the surface of the tongue.

However, excessive growth of bacteria or fungi in the mouth can also cause the tongue to turn black. Black tongue is temporary and can heal easily without treatment.

Read on to learn more about the causes of black tongue disease. We have also identified some home remedies that may help clean and prevent black tongue.

The reason

There are two main types of black hairy tongues: black hairy tongues and black hairy tongues. Each has different reasons, which I will describe in detail in the following sections.

Black hairy tongue

The accumulation of keratin may cause black tongue.

The skin of the tongue is covered with a protein called keratin.

Usually, keratin is shed when skin cells are shed. But sometimes keratin accumulates on the tongue. This can cause the tongue to appear black and discolored. The doctor calls this black hairy tongue.

The following factors increase the risk of keratin accumulation on the tongue:

  • Poor oral hygiene, which may be caused by irregular tooth brushing or tongue scraping
  • Drink coffee or black tea
  • Smoking and other forms of tobacco use
  • Recent or long-term use of antibiotics
  • A weakened immune system due to a medical condition (such as diabetes or HIV)
  • A disease called trigeminal neuralgia that affects the facial nerve
  • Radiation Therapy

Black hairy tongue

Some people’s tongues may be black. This indicates a black, hairy tongue caused by fungal infections, bacterial infections or other oral diseases.

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Depending on the underlying cause, a black tongue may cause different symptoms.

Blackening the tongue does not always make the tongue black. Instead, the main symptom is that the tongue is hairy due to long, filamentous growth.

Usually, people with a black tongue have no other symptoms. However, some people may encounter the following situations:

  • The tongue color changes to black, brown, gray or yellow
  • Confused or sticky tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Bad breath
  • Burning sensation
  • Mute
  • Family therapy

Black tongue is harmless. However, this may indicate that a person is at risk of developing oral health problems.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can help clean the black tongue. People can try:

  • Brush your tongue regularly with fluoride toothpaste
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove plaque, bacteria and other debris on the tongue
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water and salt to improve hygiene and reduce bad taste and smell
  • Brush your tongue after each meal and do not eat after brushing your teeth at night
  • Put baking soda or hydrogen peroxide on your tongue
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain oral hygiene

Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, which can help clear the tongue

Treatment or treatment

If the black tongue cannot clear itself within a few days, a person should seek medical treatment.

A doctor or dentist may recommend the following treatments for people with black tongues:

Antibiotics: These drugs help treat bacterial infections of the tongue.

Changing medicines: People who have a black tongue due to antibiotics may need to change antibiotics.

Black Tongue: Causes and Countermeasures

Antifungal treatment: These drugs can help treat the fungus that causes black-tongue disease.

Other drugs and supplements: Anecdotal evidence suggests that certain drugs-including salicylic acid, retinoids, and B-complex vitamins-can relieve symptoms of black-tongue. However, people should not use these treatments without first consulting a doctor.

Surgical treatment: If other treatments are not effective, the doctor or dentist may perform surgery to remove long, linear growths on the tongue. The cutting process is safe and effective. However, the black-tongue may come back after the operation.

When to see the doctor

Black-tongue may irritate people, but this is not a medical emergency.

It is safe to wait a few days and try some home remedies before going to the doctor or dentist. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, people should seek help from a healthcare provider.

Sometimes, black-tongue appears with other symptoms of oral health problems, such as:

  • Gum pain
  • Oral infection
  • Tooth infection
  • Broken tooth

If a black-tongue is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, people should see a doctor or dentist as soon as possible:

  • Pain
  • swelling
  • The teeth are clearly damaged


Note that a black tongue may be annoying, but it is not a sign of serious illness. However, in some cases, it may indicate that a person needs to improve their oral hygiene.

Generally, it is safe to wait a few days before receiving blacktongue treatment. At the same time, people can try home remedies, such as brushing their teeth or scraping the tongue and rinsing with salt water.

If symptoms persist or worsen, or are accompanied by pain and swelling, you should see a doctor or dentist. The doctor or dentist will work hard to diagnose the cause of the blacktongue and provide appropriate treatment.