Black Hairy Tongue

Black Hairy Tongue

Black hairy tongue is a temporary oral condition that gives black and furry appearance to the tongue due to the buildup of dead skin cells on the papillae of tongue containing taste buds. It is usually a harmless condition. These affected papilae become longer than usual resulting in the easy trapping of bacteria, yeast and other food substances.


Symptoms of this condition are as under:

  • Dark discoloration of the tongue although the color could be green, Brown or tan and green
  • Tongue will have furry appearance
  • Metallic taste
  • Bad breath or halitosis
  • If the overgrowth of the papillae become increased gagging or tickling sensation can occur

 Following are some possible causes which could result in hairy tongue appearance:

  • After antibiotic use which resulted in the disturbance of the normal biotic bacteria’s in the mouthBlack Hairy Tongue Symptoms causes Treatment
  • Poor hygiene
  • Decrease in the production of saliva resulted in dry mouth or xerothermia
  • Continue use of mouthwash having peroxide
  • Excessive tobacco or alcohol use
  • Consumption of soft diet only
  • Increase in the coffee or tea uptake

Diagnosis of this condition depend upon the detail history of the patient and general physical examination. Along with that a good examination of the tongue is done to rule out the factors causing this hairy appearance on the tongue. Other factors could mimic this condition like viral or fungal infection, pigmentation on tongue, oral lesions, pseudo hairy tongue appearance due to the consumption of bismuth products.


This condition don’t require medical treatment as it is a harmless condition. Although just avoiding the causative agent could help in reversing the furry appearance.

Home Remedies
  • Maintain oral hygiene and brush properly.
  • Do brushing after eating
  • Proper flossing at least once a day
  • Try consuming healthy organic diet.
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