The signs and symptoms of black hairy tongue include:
Black discoloration on the surface of your tongue, although the color may be brown, green, yellow, pink or white depending upon the specific cause and other factors, such as mouthwashes or even a candy.
A furry appearance of the tongue
Altered sense of taste or a metallic taste in mouth
Black hairy tongue causes no harm and thus does not require medical treatment.
Although it appears unattractive, it is a temporary and harmless condition.
Maintaining good oral hygiene and getting rid of factors that are known to cause this condition — such as use of tobacco or medications containing bismuth — help manage the black hairy tongue successfully.
Discuss with your doctor or dentist before discontinuing any prescribed medication.
Most of the times, black hairy tongue may be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene measures.
While brushing your teeth, remember to clean the top surface of your tongue with a tooth brush.
Most people may experience gagging while doing this, which can be lessened by using a small brush and gradually moving towards the back of the tongue.
Various types of tongue cleaning devices or tongue scrapers are available.
7 Lifestyle and Coping
Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with black hairy tongue.
Follow these oral health tips to maintain good oral hygiene and to remove the tongue discoloration:
Brush your tongue: Gently brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth to remove food debris, dead cells, and bacteria. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a flexible tongue scraper to do this.
Brush after eating or drinking: Brush your teeth at least twice in a day and ideally after every meal, using a fluoridated toothpaste. If brushing after every meal is not feasible, try to rinse your mouth with water.
Floss at least once a day: Proper interdental flossing can remove food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth.
Visit your dentist regularly: Get professional teeth cleanings and oral examinations done once every 6 months, which can help your dentist detect problems at an early stage and treat them. Your dentist can recommend the best schedule appropriate for your condition.
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