What is Black Hairy Tongue? A black hairy tongue is a temporary and harmless condition that is often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. Certain types of bacteria accumulate on the papillae the small projections that cover the tongue and create red blood cell pigments, which can make the tongue look black.
Hairy tongue is an unusual, harmless condition characterised by a "hairy" enlargement and discolouration of the filiform papillae. The filiform papillae are tiny conical bumps found on the surface of the front two-thirds of the tongue that do not carry taste buds. Hairy tongue most often occurs in adults over 40 years of age and is rare in infants.
Special Offers. No doubt, seeing a black hairy tongue in the mirror is unsettling. You likely want to be sure it's treatable and that your health is not at serious risk. Luckily, this condition is harmless and can be easily treated, notes the Mayo Clinic.
What is black hairy tongue? What causes black hairy tongue? What treatment is available for black hairy tongue?
Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or using a tongue scraper can remove the papillae and the food debris that might be caught in them. Other oral hygiene procedures, like brushing and flossing your teeth and regularly visiting a dentist, will also help. Other ways of controlling black hairy tongue also are a matter of attacking the problem at its source:.
Hairy tongue, also known as black tongue, is a benign condition of elongation and staining of the fingerlike projections papillae on the tongue surface. This condition may be caused by overgrowth of a bacteria or yeast that produces a colored substance pigment. Anything that reduces the flow of saliva in the mouth, such as dehydration or illness, or if the person is not eating a normal diet, can lead to the condition, which typically develops over a few weeks.
A year-old man presents for evaluation of an asymptomatic black discoloration of the tongue that he noticed several days earlier. The tongue does not itch or hurt, and the patient is otherwise well, although he is concerned about potential malignancy. He has a history of hypertension, hyperuricemia, and type 2 diabetes treated with oral glucose-lowering drugs, and he has had no recent changes in his medications.
Hairy tongue results when the filiform papillae FP on your tongue do not shed as they should. FP are cone-shaped projections on the surface of your tongue. Like skin cells, the cells on your tongue have a life cycle that allows them to grow, serve their purpose, and then fall off.
Black hairy tongue is a condition of the tongue in which the small bumps on the tongue elongate with black or brown discoloration, giving a black and hairy appearance. The appearance may be alarming, but it is a harmless condition. Predisposing factors include smoking, xerostomia dry mouthsoft diet, poor oral hygiene and certain medications. Management is by improving oral hygiene, especially scraping or brushing the tongue.