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Treating a Black or Coated Tongue

Topic Overview

Home treatment may be all that is needed for a black or coated tongue.

  • Brush your tongue daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste or a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water.
  • Scrape the tongue with an upside-down teaspoon to remove the "furry" coating on the tongue.
  • Do not use tobacco products.

Bismuth products, such as Pepto-Bismol, can turn your tongue black. The black appearance will go away after you stop taking the medicine.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
David Messenger, MD
Last Revised July 20, 2012

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