Dentist Questions Smoking

Why do I have black spots on my tongue?

I'm 37 years old, and I noticed that I have black spot along the top of my tongue. I'm a heavy smoker, could this be related to that?

9 Answers

Black hairy tongue can start out as a small spot and grow to coat most of the top of the tongue. It’s a buildup of dead skin cells that fail to shed as they should. This could be due to poor oral habits, medications, or tobacco use.

You stated you are a heavy smoker. I know it is hard to stop. Patients are loosing teeth due to heavy smoking. You might try to rinse off the nicotine off your tissues. After you have a cigarette, rinse your mouth and gargle to get the nicotine off your tissues. That black on your tongue could be nicotine staining the food particles on your tongue. You should see your dentist to check things out. You may want to invest in a tongue cleaner. You can buy one or turn a teaspoon so the round side faces your palate. Place the spoon in the middle of your tongue go as far back without gagging and gently scrape forward. You will see a mass of brown slimy material. This is what has been hiding in the nooks and crannies of your tongue.
Then do the other two sides. You food should taste a lot better. Flossing and brushing your teeth should be done at least twice a day. You know the risks of smoking. Please do good mouth care and work on your smoking habit.
Only a dentist can diagnose that black spot. It could be from smoking, or fungus, or a lesion that requires biopsy.
As a self described "heavy smoker," you should get an oral cancer screening from your dentist, but it's most likely staining from your smoking.

Probably. Brush your tongue firmly often. Better yet, stop smoking for one month. If no results from above, see your dentist right away.
Yes. Any discoloration or change in the texture of the tissues in your mouth could be related to your smoking. You should see a dentist for a complete oral cancer examination.
You probably have a condition called “black hair tongue” syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The cells of our tongue grows like hair, if your not brushing it or eating abrasive food to slough off the cells, the cells will continue to grow long. The long hair-like cells of the tongue can be stained with things like smoke, coffee, wine etc. There’s no reason to be concerned, it can just cause bad breath because it holds a lot of bacteria. My recommendation is to google “black hairy tongue” to compare that your tongue looks the same and second, make sure you’re brushing your tongue morning and night.
Yes, this sounds like it could be the start of what we call, "black hairy tongue," which we typically see with smokers and people with dry mouth. The recommendation is to see your dentist to address this asap. In the meantime, using a tongue scraper (metal ones are best), drinking plenty of water, eliminate smoking with a plan from your dentist or physician, and use baking soda rinses will help. There is also a prescription mouth rinse known as NeutraSal, which will help with dry mouth if this is a contributing to the issue.
Good luck!
The black spots on your tongue could be from smoking or natural pigmentation. You should see a Dentist to have it evaluated