There is normally a balance in the mouth between certain bacteria. Under certain circumstances these bacteria may multiply or other organisms, such as fungi, may grow. These derangements in the microorganisms of the tongue can lead to discoloration of the tongue. In addition, certain chemicals such as bismuth (found in Pepto-Bismol), smoking, chewing tobacco and certain antibiotics can discolor the tongue.
Causes of Discolored Tongue
Bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth directly affects the color of the tongue. Compounds which are in contact with tongue, such as bismuth, smoking and chewing tobacco, directly stain the surface of the tongue.
Signs and Symptoms of Discolored Tongue
Discoloration of the tongue occurs for a number of reasons, as cited above. Excessive bacteria often lead to brown or black discoloration of the tongue. Bismuth produces a black tongue. Smoking and tobacco can produce a brownish or black discolored tongue.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.