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TheGermDoctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1747
Experience:  17 years as a physician, Board Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine.
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I have black dots on the tip of my tongue and some along the

Customer Question

I have black dots on the tip of my tongue and some along the sides, but mainly on the tip of my tongue. I also have what looks like a strawberry tongue with white coating. I have the black dots on the tip of my tongue for many years and the strawberry appearance to my tongue for many years as well. I would like to know what it is from. Some people said an STD or HIV. What causes the black dots on the tip of the tongue and the strawberry appearance?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  TheGermDoctor replied 8 years ago.

Hello tami-

Black discoloration on the tongue could be from several causes: Some include medications that have bismuth ( like Peptobismol) or other antacids.

This is more common in smokers, or poor oral hygiene, but can occur for no known reason. It can be from certain antibiotics, radiation, and sometimes associated with fungal infections of the mouth.

The most common cause is just "idiopathic"- for no known reason there is just extra build up of keratin in the papillae- it has no medical significance at all in this case.

It is not suggestive of an STD, although it is more commonly seen in HIV infected men.

treatment involves optimizing oral hygiene, a tongue scraper, and antifungals if this is thought to be a fungal infection.

The "strawberry " tongue as well, if you have had it for many years is not likely to be an acute infection, but related to you individual papillae.

Always ask if you need clarification/more information.

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