Black hairy tongue

Like few hours ago, my mind was scarred because of a disturbing image.
i won’t add the pictures here because….HELL NO!!!
It’s not a life threatening condition and is in fact quite common. It is a transient condition that does appear alarming. The tongue usually appears black and furry. The cause of a black hairy tongue is usually due to an overgrowth of bacterial organisms in the mouth.

so they break up the stats that way( that’s how i understood ):

In most cases, there are no symptoms except for discoloration of the tongue but some individuals may develop bad breath. Other individuals may also complain of altered or a metallic taste. A gagging sensation is often a delayed complaint because of the hairy projections.

Black hairy tongue appears hairy because of growth of small projections from the tongue surface. These papillae grow longer than normal. Normally papillae shed off every few weeks. The reason for overgrowth of papillae is because bacteria, and other organisms that reside in the mouth start to grow on the tongue surface. Over time, the papillae change color and start to appear dark yellow, brown or black.

In some people, the cause of black hairy tongue is never found. However, potential causes of this problem may be due to

Poor oral hygiene is one of the most common causes of black hairy tongue

Individuals who breathe through their mouth often develop black hairy tongue

Frequent use of medications containing bismuth (eg pepto bismol) can also cause darkening of the tongue

Regular use of mouth washes containing agents like hydrogen peroxide is a common cause of black hairy tongue. Today, many individuals who use hydrogen peroxide for mouth washes and teeth whitening often develop blackish discoloration of tongue.

Frequent use of mouth washes containing astringent agents like menthol or witch hazel. These substances cause excessive drying of the oral cavity and lead to overgrowth of certain bacteria

Prolonged use of oral antibiotics is associated with overgrowth of many organisms in the mouth, many of which can lead to changes in tongue discoloration.

Individuals who smoke often develop discoloration of their teeth and tongue


There is no specific treatment for black hairy tongue. It is completely harmless.

The best way to prevent it is maintaining good oral hygiene, flossing teeth and brushing regularly. One should discontinue smoking or medications containing bismuth

Before seeking help from physician, one should try home remedies such as

– Brushing each time after eating
– Rinsing the mouth after each meal
– Flossing teeth at least 1-2 times a day
– Brush your tongue if possible with a tongue scrapper

While a regular visit to the dentist is recommended, this is not a must. Simple home remedies will clear up black hairy tongue and save you lots of money.


Dentists target smoking dangers

White patches in the mouth can be an early warning
Dental teams at two Scottish universities are to be trained to try to help smokers quit the habit.

The move is part of a project aimed at tackling the serious oral health risks linked with smoking, such as cancer and gum disease.

Glasgow and Dundee dental hospitals have received £83,000 between them to give dental hygienists special training.

Rates of oral cancer have doubled in the last 15 years and smoking is linked with 90% of cases.

Research has also suggested that giving up smoking does more to cure gum disease than regular brushing.

(While this particular project is taking place in the dental hospitals, our work will have implications for general dental practice
Viv Binnie Glasgow Dental School)

As part of a pilot project, the universities of Glasgow and Dundee will help patients to quit the habit.

This project has been funded by the new Partnership Action on Tobacco and Health (Path) project.

Path is managed by the national anti-tobacco organisation Ash Scotland.

Most patients will be referred from their dentist because they are already a high risk, such as those with potentially malignant spots.

Smokers can develop a condition called black hairy tongue

Patients will then be randomly allocated to one of two groups for smoking treatment, which include either nicotine replacement therapy, or behaviour change counselling.

When the study is complete, the dentists hope to discover what motivates people with mouth lesions to stop smoking.

Viv Binnie, of the dental public health unit at Glasgow University, said: “At the end of the project, we hope to understand how effective these two different types of smoking cessation advice are.

“While this particular project is taking place in the dental hospitals, our work will have implications for general dental practice.”

If the pilot is successful it is hoped that more hygienists across the UK could receive similar training.

So it says it’s harmless. I shouldn’t worry – so you would think? But tell me, if your tongue turned out like the one in the picture, would you say to yourself, “Oh well, it’s completely harmless,” and then saunter off to work with your business suit and your black hairy tongue. I think not.

It may be physically harmless but nobody wants to be known as the Black Hairy Tongue Girl. Can you imagine how many of your friends would no longer let you taste any of their food because they can’t get that visual out of their mind? It’s social suicide I tell you. On the other hand, it would make a great Halloween prop.

Hum… sucks to be you…


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