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Black Spots on Tongue

Black Spots on Tongue

Some people may notice black spots on tongue due to tongue piercing, while for some, the same may be indicative of severe conditions such as oral cancer. This article elaborates on the various causes behind this condition.
Scholasticus K
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
The condition of black spots on tongue is rare but not unheard of and there is not one single cause of , but rather several of them. One of the main reasons for the appearance of such spots is a problem with pigmentation. The others have been discussed below.
The Black Hairy Tongue Phenomenon
The phenomenon of black hairy black tongue is not uncommon. Though it gives off alarm bells and is indeed disturbing, it's not serious in fact is completely natural. The surface of the tongue is covered with elongated bumps which are known as papillae. These tend to grow throughout a person's lifetime. However, there are circumstances where they tend to grow out of proportion, really tall, and start arresting bacteria, dirt and foreign. This causes the black spots to appear on the tongue.
Hyperpigmentation
These kinds of spots appear as a result of hyperpigmentation of the skin, on the surface of the tongue. The cause of hyperpigmentation in most cases, is genetic. However, there have been cases where hyperpigmentation has occurred on its own. This phenomenon is usually treated as a resurfaced genetic trait. Most of the time, these appear as small black spots on the upper or lower surface of the tongue. The dark and black spots that appear as a result of genetic traits can easily be removed with the help of laser surgery or cosmetic surgery.
Hairy Tongue
Tiny black spots on the tongue also appear as a result of the phenomenon that is known as the 'hairy tongue'. A hairy tongue basically appears as a result of excessive consumption of tobacco, either by smoking or chewing tobacco or alcohol and even antibiotics. The black spots on the tongue appear as a result of the growth of fungus on the surface of the tongue. Home remedies for black spots include curtailing the consumption of alcohol or tobacco. Using a tongue cleaner also works. If proper care is not taken on time, a secondary infection of Candida albicans, may also develop.
Oral Cancer
At times, oral cancer also causes tongue spots. The occurrence of spots due to oral cancer is pretty rare. Oral cancer which is caused as a result of growth of cancerous tissues in the oral cavity, disrupts the pigmentation of the tongue. One of the probable effects of this disruption is the occurrence of black spots on tongue. However, this effect is very rarely seen. One of the symptoms of oral cancer is that you would experience the growth of a small bump, which would be accompanied by trouble in swallowing.
Tongue Piercing
Another cause of such black spots is tongue piercing. There have been cases where the healed tongue piercings have left behind a dark mark on the surface of the tongue. The reason, as to why the black marks appear is that the pigmentation that gives the tongue its color, is lost. This causes mild black marks on the tongue. At times, these dark marks also disappear as the pigmentation of the skin on the tongue returns back to normal. Medications and surgery can be also used to remove these marks.
The best way to deal with this problem is to visit a dermatologist. Mostly, the problem of such spots can be removed by means of surgery. Also, as a measure, and in order to keep the tongue clean and maintain oral hygiene, make it a point to use a tongue cleaner every day, when you brush your teeth. Maintaining oral hygiene is the best way to keep black spots from appearing on the tongue.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.