Causes of Black Tongue

July 1, 2007

In his recent case involving a child with a black tongue, John Harrington, MD, noted that certain types of yeast and bacteria produce porphyrins that can give the tongue a black appearance.

In his recent case involving a child with a black tongue,1 John Harrington, MD, noted that certain types of yeast and bacteria produce porphyrins that can give the tongue a black appearance. To Dr Harrington's comments, I would add that this condition can also occur after ingestion of bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). It is important to keep this in mind when obtaining a history.

- David M. Klein, MD  
  Boro Park Pediatric, PLLC  
  Brooklyn, NY

References:

REFERENCE:


1.

Harrington JW. Making the rounds: round 3.

Consultant For Pediatricians.

2007;6:157-164.