Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Black coating on tongue
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Black coating on tongue


  :
  : On three occasions over the last two months or so, I've awakened to find a coal-black colored coating on my tongue that covered the entire area and was easily came off with a toothbrush.  The coating extended down my throad and turned the bristles on the toothbrush black.
  : I am 39 years old, in good health and do not know of any stomach disorders.  I do smoke under a pack a day.
  : I'd like to know if the black coating might indicate a health problems.  Thanks for your help.
  Beth
  I had that same thing.  You're gonna laugh--
  it was caused by chewing pepto bismol
  tablets at night. I thought it was some bizarre
  fungus!
  M. King.
Dear M. King and Beth,
I am not aware of any pathological abnormality that is associated with a black coated tongue. On the other hand, I would suspect that smoking could possibly cause this. Pepto Bismol, activated charcoal and iron supplements as well as a number of food items (such as blueberries) are known to cause black stools. One way to determine whether smoking played a role in the development of a black tongue would be to quit and see if you continue to have this condition. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
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