Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are the dark spots on my tongue?"
I was just wondering what the dark spots on my tongue are. They are on the the tip of my tongue. They don't hurt and I've been telling people that they are there because I burned my tongue when I was young. I am pretty sure that isn't true but I am embarrassed. Everyone has a pink tongue, i do too, but a part (the tip) of my tongue is a little dark, or brown. I think I had it for about a long time, since I was in Elementary school. I am wondering what causes the dark spots and what they are in the first place. My taste buds work fine too. Should I be worried? Because when I showed my mom she was worried but my dad, a dentist, said there was nothing to worry about because other people had it too. I shouldn't be worried, right?
I do not think this is particularly something to worry about, especially if you have had it for a long time without any significant changes. On the other hand, if you are worried about it it would not be a bad idea to show it to your dentist or your primary care doctor and see what they think. The fact that your father, who is a dentist, is not worried about it is also a good sign! The most likely possibility is that you have spots of pigment in the tongue. These are caused by collections of pigmented cells called melanocytes, and they are really quite similar to moles and freckles that occur on the skin. Just like moles and freckles, these spots on the tongue are usually benign. There is a slight chance always that they can be a site for the growth of a serious type of cancer, called melanoma. Therefore they always bear watching. If they start to grow rapidly or if they develop an irregular border or raised appearance of if they change in colors, then these are signs that are more concerning and that should prompt you to go see your doctor for advice and evaluation.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.