black hairy tongue

What is black hairy tongue?

  • over growth of tiny rounded projections called filliform papillae on the top surface of the tongue, giving hair-like appearance. Instead of shedding as they normally do, papillae start to grow and lengthen, creating hair like projections.
  • This elongated papillae develop discolouration due to growth of pigment producing bacteria and staining from food. Hence the term black hairy tongue, although hairy tongue may also be discoloured yellow or brown.
  • may be associated with bad taste and mal odour.

What causes it?

  • heavy smoking
  • drinkings lots of coffee or tea
  • poor oral hygiene
  • dry mouth and possibly due to fungal infection

what is the treatment?

  • simply brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scrapper is sufficient to remove the elongated papillae.
  • in most of the cases medications are not necessary but topical antifungal medications can be used when the condition is symptomatic