Black hairy tongue sounds like something out of a story, but it is a very real and often embarrassing condition caused by an excess amount of bacteria or yeast in the mouth. Fortunately, this condition is neither dangerous nor painful, and it often responds very well to simple at-home treatments. If you have noticed a stubborn discoloration on your tongue and have not been able to reduce it through enhanced daily care, call NYC cosmetic dentists Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib at (212) 452-3344 to schedule a consultation and learn about advanced treatment options.
The papillae are small, rounded projections that line the surface of the tongue. Bacteria can cause these projections to grow up to 15x in length, allowing them to absorb colors from foods and beverages, as well as from yeast and bacteria in the mouth. The result is a brown or black patch on the tongue that – due to the elongation of the papillae – may look hairy or mossy, giving the condition the name of black hairy tongue.
Black hairy tongue is often exacerbated by tobacco use. It can also be made worse by excess consumption of coffee or tea, mouthwash with peroxide or astringent ingredients, certain medications, and chronic dry mouth. As such, lifestyle changes may be necessary to fully treat the problem. This can be discussed in greater detail during your treatment consultation at our New York City cosmetic dentistry office.
Black hairy tongue may respond well to:
- Professional tooth cleaning
- Enhanced daily care
- Tongue scraping
- Oil pulling
We will work individually with you to help you determine which of these options will best serve to reduce the appearance of black hairy tongue and restore a clean and healthy look to your smile.
If you are experiencing tongue discoloration, please contact NYC Smile Design to schedule an examination today.