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Dark Spots on Tongue

Dark Spots on Tongue

Dark or black spots anywhere on the body can be quite alarming, especially if they are on the tongue. According to medical practitioners of dental and oral health, such spots can appear due to many different causes.
Scholasticus K
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
There are several myths regarding dark spots appearing on the tongue. Dark spots are basically black or brown colored spots that appear on the upper or lower surfaces of the tongue. These types of spots are pretty rare, and in may cases, occur as a result of genetic reasons. Apart from being genetically handed down, dark spots on the tongue can also appear, as a result of fungal growth and infection on the tongue.
Causes of Dark Spots on Tongue
Hairy Tongue
One of the most common reasons that cause dark spots on the tongue is the phenomenon of hairy tongue. The hairy tongue is also, known as the black hairy tongue. The hairy tongue is caused as a result of fungal growth on top of the tongue's surface. This phenomenon is, seen in people, who either indulge in smoking or chewing tobacco. There are several other causes of hairy tongue, like inadequate oral hygiene, or extensive use of antibiotics, spanning over a long period of time. These black spots may also turn white or pink, due to the use of mouthwashes and breath mints. There is, also, a strong chance of Candida albicans, occurring as a secondary infection. This phenomenon is usually triggered by the occurrence of papillae elongation on the tongue. Papillae are bumps on the surface of the tongue. There are some cases where they naturally start getting elongated, due to which they arrest bacteria, dirt and foreign particles, which result into the dark spots. Using a good tongue cleaner and maintaining proper oral hygiene is the appropriate measure against the dark spots.
These two infections can be treated with appropriate medications, in case the fungal growth is very prominent. However, very simple home remedies can, also, be used to treat these dark spots. Cure, mainly, revolves around maintaining very good oral hygiene, using a tongue scraper or cleaner and brushing properly everyday and at periodic intervals. It would, also, be advisable to visit a dentist or a medical practitioner, before taking any medication. If the fungal growth has occurred as a result of the prolonged use of antibiotics, then dark spots automatically reduce after treatment.
Tongue Piercing
Tongue piercing, also, results in growth of fungus on the surface of the tongue, due to which dark spots tend to appear on the tongue. The healed piercings (with the jewelry removed), also, leaves behind dark spots. These spots can be removed, with the help of medication and surgery.
Oral Cancer
The lump that occurs as a result of oral cancer is, also, sometimes seen in the form of dark spots on the surface of the tongue. These signs of oral cancer are seen, either on the upper surface or the lower surface of the tongue. Other symptoms, such as difficultly in swallowing and troubled speech follow. Dark spots occurring on the surface of the tongue are rare, especially when it comes to oral cancer. In maximum cases of oral cancer, white spots appear on the tongue.
Oral Fibroma
Due to oral fibroma, extremely small spots can appear on the surface of the tongue. The dark spots are basically active pigment cells, which localize on the tongue. A similar condition is, also, seen as a result of pigmentation by harmless bacteria, causing dark spots which can be removed surgically. Spots that appear as a result of fibroma are hereditary.
Sometimes, dark and brown spots on tongue occur, as a result of poor oral hygiene and vices such as smoking, eating tobacco or constant consumption of alcohol. If you notice tongue spots, it is advisable that you visit a physician immediately because the underlying cause may be serious.