Black Spots on Tongue

Finding black spots on tongue can be an alarming experience. However, not always the spots lead to something life threatening. If you want to know whether the spots are dangerous to health, you need to go through a thorough assessment. The assessment will also help you understand whether you need to go through treatment for the spots.


What does the spot look like?

The shape or the depth of the black spots may differ based on reason that is causing the spots. In most cases they are nothing more than some spots across the tongue. In some other cases, these black spots begin appearing at the side of the tongue and then spread across the area. It is noticed that the darkness of the marks vary person to person as well. On some cases, the spots are gray and light in shade. Some experience darker spot on their tongues. In some cases, these spots feel slightly raised. However, it does not create any type discomfort for the patient.

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In some very rare cases, these spots hurt. The pain is not a good sign. This might be symptom that the spots are caused by some serious infection. This might even be a sign of tongue cancer.


What does it mean to have black spot on the tongue?

There are two aspects of having a black tongue.  Commonly, it could be a manifestation of an infection or simply, a birth mark. However, some people are pretty superstitious about the spots. They think the spot means bad luck. In some countries, it is believed that those who have black spots on their tongue can manifest their words. However, these are baseless belief and are considered to be nothing more than superstition.

Causes of black tongue

Most of the cases these spots and marks are associated with hygiene. In some cases, the dentists or physicians need to be contacted to find out the real cause of the posts on tongue. In some cases, biopsy might be needed to determine the real cause.

black spots on tongue

Hairy Tongue

Hairy tongue can be a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Fungal infection can also cause this symptom. Soft diet or excessive use of tobacco can cause hairy tongue as well.

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Steady growth of fungus creates the dark marks on the tongue. Along with the hairy tongue, discoloration of tongue or soft tissues inside the mouth can occur. The use of some medication including iron salt or bismuth subsalicylate can create dark spots in the tongue. There are certain food items and drinks like tea or coffee that can give birth to the dark marks on your tongue.

In such cases, discontinuation of food habit might be required.



This is one of the major causes of black spot on tongue. Hyper pigmentation can cause dark spots that spread across the tongue. The pigmentation can occur by itself. However, most of the time it can happen due to genetic traits. These traits resurface time and again. These can be a simple problem. However, these can be associated with some severe health issues. In most cases the spots are small in shape. The spots appear on the surface of the tongue. In some cases, they appear in underside of the tongue as well.


Oral Fibroma

Oral fibroma appears on the tongue as raised tissue. It can appear as a lump as well. The color of the lump in most cases appears as the same color as the tongue. However, in case of bleeding the spots may appear as dark. These spots are not cancerous. Most of the times, these are caused by biting. The scar tissues are the results of repeated injury on the tongue. The scars can be caused over the period of months or years.

There is no special symptom of fibroma. The only way to detect this is by appearance. Also, the feel can be a way of detecting it.


Oral Cancer

Someone with oral cancer will experience lumps or bumps in the oral cavities. These lumps don’t go away. Sometimes these lumps appear with pigmentation. These pigmentations appear as dark spots.

However, dark spots are not the only symptoms of oral cancer. There are other symptoms as well. Bleeding inside the mouth or swelling around the gum, pain, sore throat or weight loss are the other symptoms of cancer.


Tongue Piercing

Piercing can be the cause of dark spot as well. Some experience the presence of a dark spot on the tongue area after the piercing takes place. The dark spot occurs because, the pigmentation that provides the tongue its color loses the effect.



If the cause of dark spot is not life threatening, you can get rid of them by changing your oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps fighting the fungal infection. However, in case of pain or bleeding with other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor.


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