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7 Possible Reasons Why There Are Dark Spots On Your Tongue

Tongue can be an important indicator of our overall health. Here's why you can see dark spots on your tongue.

7 Possible Reasons Why There Are Dark Spots On Your Tongue

Spots on tongue can be because of poor living habits


  1. A healthy tongue will be pink in colour
  2. The colour of the tongue is an important indicator of our overall health
  3. Cigarettes and alcohol can cause spots on the tongue

One of the vital organs to talk and taste food, tongue can be an important indicator or our overall health. A healthy tongue usually will be pink in colour. And if the body is facing any other problem related to health, the tongue might be of a different colour. For instance, a mild fever might make the tongue appear a light shade of white. In other cases, our tongue's colour can also turn black. This is totally dependent on the daily habits of people and can also be a symptom of oral cancer.

Here are the common spots on tongue and their causes:

1. Black hairy tongue

A black hairy tongue is a condition where there are brown, black or grey patches on the skin that appear as if there is hair growing on the tongue. It usually occurs because of dead skin cells that fail to shed. Poor oral habits, medicines and consumption of tobacco can be the reasons for this. The condition, which is more common in men than women, tends to increase with age.

Mostly, one can get rid of black hairy tongue by using a tooth brush and tooth scraper regularly. If that too is ineffective, dentists or doctors use special tools to scrape your tongue.

Also read: Did You Know: Your Tongue Is Always Young!​

2. Geographic tongue

A geographic tongue is one in which there develops smooth red spots on the side or top of the tongue. The cause for such spots is unknown. They are harmless and usually vanish away on their own. However, they may make one feel certain sensations while eating spicy, salty, hot or cold food items.

3. Leukoplakia

This is a condition which leads to white spots on the tongue. They are usually caused because of smoking, consumption of tobacco, alcohol and repetitive trauma to the tongue because of dentures. While the condition is mostly harmless, they might sometimes contain cancerous cells and hence medical consultation is suggested during leukoplakia.

4. Lie bumps

This is a condition which causes tiny white and red spots and causes bumps on the tongue. What causes them is unknown and they usually heal on their own over a certain period of time.

Also read: Good News! Tongue Ultrasounds For Speech Therapy Developed

5. Tongue piercing

People with tongue piercing are also prone to having black spots on the tongue. They occur because of the loss of pigmentation that gives the tongue its natural colour. The tongue should regain the pigmentation over a period of time, and if it doesn't, you might need medical help.

6. Cancer of the tongue

The most common form of tongue cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. It usually appears like an ulcer or a scab that doesn't heal. It can develop on any part of the tongue and may bleed if you touch it or otherwise traumatise it. A pain in the tongue or ears, or if one experiences trouble in swallowing and if there is a lump in the neck or throat, are the common symptoms of this cancer.

Also read: The Top 6 Risk Factors For Oral Cancer

7. Sedentary lifestyle

As mentioned earlier, having a sedentary lifestyle which includes smoking and drinking alcohol, or little or no consumption of healthy foods can be a reason for people having dark spots on their tongue. Consumption of fruits and drinking enough water are other crucial dos for a healthy mouth and preventing oral cancer. 


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