Important Notice Regarding COVID-19

The Truth About Black Hairy Tongue

Posted .

Does your tongue look black or feel a little hairy? While this is uncommon, it is actually a harmless condition referred to as black hairy tongue. Luckily, while this isn’t a pleasant experience, it isn’t typically too difficult to prevent.

You see, black hairy tongue is caused when too much yeast or bacteria grows in your mouth. On your tongue are papillae, which are tiny rounded projections. Unfortunately, bacteria can build up on your papillae, which stops them from shedding like they normally do. If this happens, your papillae can grow to fifteen times their normal length and create hair-like texture. Sadly, pigments from the foods you eat and the beverages you drink can stain your papillae, turning them black.

However, there are other conditions that make you more susceptible to the black hairy tongue. You see, poor oral hygiene, smoking, drinking lots of coffee or tea, the use of some antibiotics, dehydration, and radiation therapy can lead to this problem.

Fortunately, you can prevent this issue by simply practicing sound oral hygiene. In other words, please brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. You can also try double rinsing, which is rinsing your mouth with one part hydrogen peroxide and five parts water. Afterwards, simply rinse your mouth with water.

Do you have more questions about the black hairy tongue? Do you wonder what else you might consider doing to prevent—or reverse—this issue? Are you hoping to schedule an appointment with our team? If so, please don’t hesitate to give Magnificent Mile Family Dental a call at 312-280-0034. Dr. Olaitan Okediji-Registe and our team are eager to hear from you soon.