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.
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.
Black hairy tongue is caused by an overgrowth of dead skin cells, causing lengthening of the papillae, and staining from bacteria, yeast, food, tobacco or other substances in the mouth. Black hairy tongue is a temporary, harmless oral condition that gives the tongue a dark, furry appearance. The distinct look usually results from a buildup of dead skin cells on the many tiny projections papillae on the surface of the tongue that contain taste buds.
The symptoms of oral hairy leukoplakia may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Oral hairy leukoplakia patches are easy to identify.
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.
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.
Back to Health A to Z. Leukoplakia is a white patch in the mouth. A white patch in your mouth that does not go away should be checked by a dentist or GP.
Diagnosis of black hairy tongue is based on appearance and possible causes or contributing factors. It also includes eliminating other conditions that may cause a similar appearance to the tongue, such as:. Black hairy tongue typically doesn't require medical treatment.
A year-old female smoker was admitted to the hospital for fever and respiratory infection. On the day of admission, she reported lesions of the oral mucosa for the past several months. She denied taking any medications recently. Physical examination showed brownish papillary lesions spread across the dorsum of the tongue; the lesions were a darker shade proximally Figure 1leading to the diagnosis of black hairy tongue.