Tongue problems are mostly about swelling, pain, and change in color of the tongue. There are variegated reasons behind each of these tongue problems. Tongue is made up of muscles, and it is covered with a mucous membrane. A healthy tongue is one which is pink in color and has small bump-like structures called papillae.
The taste buds are set in between the papillae. In some abnormal conditions, problem of black tongue is encountered by many people. People then undergo severe tongue discoloration, and their tongues turn either totally black or brown, or in some cases, grayish in color.
Black tongue symptoms are primarily accompanied with a dry mouth, bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, this condition is not indicative of some serious underlying ailment most of the time. There is often a simple explanation for the symptoms. At times, the papillae that grow and turn in outward direction, leave the tongue with a furry coating. This condition is caused due to abnormal accumulation of keratin, an essential protein that is found in hair. This is also the reason why people suffer with black and hairy tongue. Let's have a look at the causes.
There are a number of causes that lead to a black tongue. It is not a very serious condition, apart from the fact that it looks really disgusting. It is not an outcome of cancer, canker sores, or yeast infection. A black tongue disease is simply related to the growth of the papillae of the tongue. In many conditions, the causes are just unknown and mysterious to even the doctors. However, there are a few possibilities that may be responsible for black color on the tongue.
People who are undergoing some antibiotic treatment can face this problem, as antibiotics can cause black tongue conditions. Basically, antibiotics alter the condition of the flora that reside in the oral cavity. This flora is nothing but bacteria and fungi that are present there in colonies. Stopping the antibiotics can solve the problem effectively.
Poor oral hygiene can also cause a blackish appearance on the tongue. Lack of proper attention towards dental care and tongue can cause bacterial accumulation on the upper surface of your tongue. Habits like, smoking, alcohol consumption, chewing tobacco, etc., can also cause a discolored tongue with bumps that are painful at times.
Poor nutritional intake, lack of coarse food, fibers, fruits, cereals, and vegetables, in the diet, can ultimately lead to overgrowth or undergrowth of the papillae. Malnutrition and unhealthiness often shows its first effects on the tongue.
There is nothing serious about having a discolored tongue. However, medical intervention is necessary to treat the condition. Most of the time, people who are immunocompromised, elderly, or malnourished, suffer from this problem, along with several other issues like, a numb and bleeding tongue.
Physical examination by the doctor is very important and sufficient for deciding the root cause of the discoloration. Sometimes, culture swabs can be taken by the doctor, so as to make sure that the black color is due to the above-mentioned reasons. Stopping antibiotic treatment, consuming balanced and healthy diet, and maintaining oral hygiene, are a few things that can be done to keep the blackening of tongue at bay.
There is a simple technique that is an effective home remedy, to get rid of the black-colored tongue. Take small pieces of a thinly sliced pineapple, and slowly absorb the juice of each piece by placing it at the back of the tongue. Place it there for about 40 seconds and then chew it. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the pieces, twice daily for one week. It is an effective way of curing the discoloration of your tongue.
As I said repeatedly, this is not a serious medical condition, so there is nothing to worry about. Also, lifestyle management is the best way to cure and prevent this problem.