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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
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised July 20, 2012

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