If you notice black under your toddler’s tongue, you may be alarmed and unsure of what to do. A black tongue may be the result of a condition known as black hairy tongue, which is caused by bacteria overgrowth. However, in most cases, there is black under your toddler’s tongue because you recently gave them Pepto-Bismol or a similar drug.

Pepto-Bismol and other common medications contain bismuth, an ingredient that has been known to cause black discoloration on the tongue for a few days. Fortunately, it will not cause any harm and should go away a few days after your child stops taking the medication.

If you’d like to prevent black under your toddler’s tongue, consider giving them pepto chewable tablets whenever they have an upset stomach, heartburn, or indigestion. Bismuth is not its main ingredient so it’s unlikely that it’ll leave your child with a black tongue.

In the event your child has not taken Pepto-Bismol or a similar medication and their black tongue does not seem to go away, it is in your best interest to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. A dentist can evaluate your toddler’s tongue and determine whether they have a pigmented nevus or whether they simply just ate or drank something with a black dye.

Schedule an Appointment at Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re concerned about the black on your child’s tongue, we encourage you to call our office at 703-542-7000 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and compassionate pediatric dentists.