Black Hairy Tongue

Black hair tongue is a benign oral condition that gives a furry black or dark brown appearance to your tongue. This a temporary condition that may not cause any problems to your health and it may settle without any medical aid.

Causes of Black Hairy Tongue

The surface of tongue consists of finger like projections called papillae. Normally when these papillae elongate the top portion shed but in black hairy tongue these papillae won’t get shed. This gives a hairy appearance to the tongue and these hairy papillae collect the dirt, debris, bacteria and other micro organisms in between. The accumulation foreign matters give yellow, brown or black color to the tongue.

Lack of proper oral hygiene paves the way for black hairy tongue. People who breathe through their mouth are also prone to develop this disease. Other conditions that trigger the development of black hairy tongue include the use of antibiotics which changes the normal yeast and bacteria present in the mouth, medications that contain bismuth, chain smoking of tobacco etc.

Even the regular use of astringent or peroxide containing mouth wash like menthol, witch hazel may cause this problem. Radiation in mouth, uncontrolled diabetes and regular use of antacid may also leads to black hairy tongue. People who use too much of coffee or tea may also suffer from this problem.

Symptoms of Black Hairy Tongue

In the initial stage there will be a furry or hairy appearance on your tongue and later it develops a color ranging from white, green, yellow, brown and black. There may be altered taste in the mouth and the patient may even experience metallic taste in his mouth. It may also accompany with bad breath. Black hairy tongue may even make people embarrassed and then creates a gagging sensation.

Usually the symptoms may subside in two weeks time. If you note any discoloration on your tongue then take more care on your oral hygiene and brush your teeth and tongue daily before and after having food. If it persists more than two weeks then you have to consult a dentist.