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Purple tongue: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The tongue is an indicator of what is going on inside the body. It is the visible part of the digestive system and according to ancient medicines, such as Ayurveda, the tongue can provide us with information about the entire organism.

Changes in its coloration, deposit of remains on it and injuries to it can say a lot. If the tongue turns purple, poor oral hygiene, smoking, an unhealthy diet, use of mouthwashes, and possible chronic diseases can be considered.

If you are interested in learning more about the causes of purple tongue, its symptoms and treatment , we invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHeal .

Hairy black tongue

The hairy black tongue is a benign condition, but it can really get to worry about their appearance. The tongue becomes very dark and appears frayed, only part or all of the tongue may be affected.

It doesn’t usually hurt, but it can be a bit uncomfortable. If the villi have grown too large, the discomfort may be more severe and cause tingling or nausea.

Among the reasons that cause this change in tongue appearance are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad habits like smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or too much coffee.
  • Frequent use of mouthwashes.


Although its appearance is very striking, it really is a harmless problem. Treatment should be aimed at eliminating the causes that generated it:

  • Improve oral hygiene: brush the teeth and clean the tongue with a scraper or spoon.
  • Avoid irritants like mouthwashes.
  • Eliminate alcohol and coffee from the diet.
  • Give up smoking.
  • Improve the diet: incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains are some of the premises.


There are some medications prescribed by professionals that can cause the tongue to become darker, between black and purple . The most frequent is bismuth and causes a condition known as “hairy black pseudo-tongue” due to its similarity to the problem we have already described in the previous section. This whitish cream that is used in case of profuse diarrhea has the ability to turn the mucous membranes of that color, especially the tongue. On the other hand, stool can also take on a similar hue.


Obviously, the suspension of this drug will cause the tongue to return to its normal color over time, but in the meantime, cleaning can be done from the base of the tongue forward. A tongue scraper or a simple spoon can be used. An attempt is made to drag the accumulated discharge out of the mouth.

This procedure is convenient to perform every morning when getting up together with tooth washing, but not only in this case, but as a daily practice that we should all do. This is to remove secretions that build up overnight.

Leucoplasia vellosa lingual

While hairy leukoplakia most of the time presents as white patches (as the name implies), sometimes it can manifest as darker grayish plaques that can give a purple tongue appearance.

This type of problem appears when there is a chronic irritation of the area. It can appear on the gums, tongue, or other areas of the mouth.

Most of the time it is a benign problem, but the lesions may turn malignant. That is why it is so important to check with a doctor or medical professional.


A brushing of the lesion and analysis of the sample is usually carried out. Thus, you can keep your peace of mind knowing what type of injury you suffer.

If the lesion is small and there is no suspicion of malignancy, a change in habits is usually enough to make it disappear: improve diet, stop smoking, alcohol and other irritants.

If the stain is very large, a biopsy may be required. And if malignancy is suspected or confirmed, the lesion must be removed.

When are purple spots on the tongue normal?

The area below the tongue or sublingual area is lined with veins , which in some people are very noticeable and violaceous. In that case, the purple-colored tongue is normal, but only in that area.

In the event that you feel any discomfort, pain or inflammation, you should consult a professional doctor.

What ancient medicines say about the dark tongue

According to different medical currents, the tongue is a great reflection of general health. This change in coloration is attributed to problems such as:

  • Metabolic diseases: diabetes (still undiagnosed), insulin resistance, increased cholesterol and other vascular problems.
  • Lack of normal oxygenation: diseases such as chronic bronchitis or heart problems.
  • Lack of adequate nutrients: especially those that contain group B vitamins.
  • Low defenses.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Purple tongue: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Teeth and mouth .

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