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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes tongue discoloration?

My 5 month old grand daughter has a discoloration of black towards the back of her tongue. She has no sores in her mouth, and exhibits no signs of cold or flu. She has not had access to anything black to eat. She is on soy formula and has been eating baby food for about 4 weeks. She is a healthy 21 lbs. Should I be concerned?
Fri, 25 Nov 2016
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Dentist 's  Response

I have gone through your query and can understand your concerns..

As per your complain it seems that blackish discolouration on the tongue of 5 month old is most commonly due to poor oral hygiene maintenance that leads to abundant deposits of food debris and also bacteria and fungal overgrowth over the tongue leading to formation of a dark coating over the tongue..
It is a condition called Black Hairy Tongue..

It is however harmless and can be gradually removed if proper oral hygiene and cleaning of tongue is done..

You should start cleaning her tongue using a soft toothbrush..
Give her solid foods to eat..
Use a tongue scraper to gently clean her tongue..
Feed with plenty of water..

If she tugs and pulls her ear again and again then there must be probably infection still present in ear and for this consult a Paediatrician and get evaluated and get a proper ear examination done so that she can be advised antibiotics oral as well as ear drops along with pain relievers..

Hope this information helps..

Thanks and regards.
Dr.Honey Nandwani Arora.
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