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.
Special Offers. Tongues consist mainly of muscles that are covered with small, raised bumps called papillae on the surface and sides of the tongue. When these papillae grow longer instead of shedding and start to trap food remnants and bacteria, it may lead to a black tongue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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 a temporary, harmless and fairly common condition in which the top of the tongue looks hairy. Little bumps on the top of the tongue, called filiform papillae, grow and collect food and bacteria, which provide the color. The shedding process is called desquamation.
Black hairy tongue is a condition of the tongue in which the small bumps on the tongue elongate with black or brown discoloration, giving a black and hairy appearance. The appearance may be alarming, but it is a harmless condition. Predisposing factors include smoking, xerostomia dry mouthsoft diet, poor oral hygiene and certain medications.
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.
Minor infections or irritations are the most common cause of tongue soreness. Injury, such as biting the tongue, can cause painful sores. Heavy smoking can irritate the tongue and make it painful.
While there is a condition called black hairy tongue lingua villosa nigrawhich is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast on the tongue, most kids with a black tongue have a much simpler explanation. Did you give your child Pepto-Bismol recently? Medications like Pepto-Bismol, or other drugs that have bismuth as an ingredient, can cause a black discoloration or staining on your tongue for a few days.