Why Is My Tongue Purple - Causes Explained - Icard

Why Is My Tongue Purple? (Causes Explained)

Why is my tongue purple? If you have noticed and asked yourself this question, we’ve got an answer for you.

A purple tongue is generally harmless, but if you notice a dark purplish hue or have a bruised tongue, you should consult your dentist.

Harmless Causes of Purple Tongue

1. Bacterial Infections

Some bacterial infections can cause a purple discoloration of the tongue. Usually, this is harmless and can be caused by eating certain foods that contain bacteria or chemicals. In this case, you may need to switch up your diet and see if the color disappears after a few days.

2. Certain Medicines

Some medications can also cause a purple discoloration of the tongue. If you are taking any medicines, keep an eye on your tongue color and check with your doctor if needed.

3. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products can also result in purple tongue discoloration. Quitting smoking is always a great choice, and you may find that your tongue returns to its normal color after quitting.

4. Vitamin Deficiencies

If you are deficient in certain vitamins, this can also lead to a purplish hue on your tongue. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin B and iron in your diet.

5. Certain Foods

Certain foods, like blueberries and blackberries, can also cause a purple discoloration of the tongue. Purple-colored ice pops and candies can also stain the tongue.

6. Trauma

If you have injured your tongue, the blood vessels may have been damaged, resulting in a purplish color. In this case, the purple color should disappear after the injury has healed.

If the purple discoloration of your tongue does not go away after a few days, or if you are experiencing any other symptoms such as soreness, pain, or swelling, then you should consult your dentist at Icard and Strein Family Dentistry Harrisburg, NC.

Harmful Causes of Purple Tongue

1. Oral Cancer

If the purple discoloration of your tongue is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, bleeding, or swelling, then it could be a sign of oral cancer, and you should consult with your dentist right away. 

2. Purpura

Purpura is a condition in which patches of purple spots appear on the tongue. Several different things, including certain medications and infections, can cause this.

3. Purple Tongue in COVID-19 Patients

Recent studies have found that purple splotches or spots on the tongue may be one of the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

4. Low Oxygen

If your tongue is a deep purple color, this could be caused by low oxygen levels in the blood. If you are experiencing any other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizziness, you should seek medical attention immediately.

5. Tumors

If you have a purple lump on your tongue, then it could be a sign of a tumor. This should be evaluated by your doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment For Purple Tongue

Treatment For Purple Tongue - Icard & Strein Family Dentistry

Depending on the underlying cause, different treatments may be recommended. For example, antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection causes a purple tongue. If it’s due to dehydration, drinking plenty of fluids can help restore moisture to the tongue’s surface.

Additionally, oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing twice a day, using an antiseptic mouthwash, and scraping the tongue can help reduce bacteria and other irritants that lead to discoloration.

If purple tongue results from vitamin or mineral deficiencies, these can be addressed with dietary changes and/or supplements. In some cases, it may also be necessary to see a dermatologist for more specialized treatments, such as laser therapy. Regardless of the cause, it’s essential to speak with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.


If you notice any purple discoloration of your tongue and are unsure of the cause, then make an appointment with your dentist at Icard and Strein Family Dentistry Harrisburg, NC, to check it out. We can help determine the cause and provide you with appropriate treatment.

Our Harrisburg NC Dentist Office

To learn more about dental treatments from Icard & Strein Family Dentistry, or to schedule an appointment, call our Harrisburg, NC dental office today at 704.455.5003.