Black hairy tongue: Causes, symptoms

Black hairy tongue can make many people feel scared because of the name but it is actually a harmless condition. Black hair on the tongue is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi in the mouth. Black hair on the tongue is easily remedied by regular oral hygiene.

1. What causes the tongue to grow black hairs?

Black hairy tongue is caused by too much bacteria or yeast growing in the mouth. The bacteria accumulate on small, round spikes, called papillae. These papillae are located along the surface of the tongue. Instead of shedding and renewing at regular intervals, papillae begin to grow and lengthen, creating hair-like hairs. They can grow up to 15 times their usual length.
Black hairy tongue can also be due to increased keratin production or decreased demyelination (shedding of surface epithelial cells). A diet of whole soft foods also prevents the papillae on the tongue from wearing out naturally, which results in them becoming longer.
In a healthy human tongue, the papillae will be pinkish-white. But as they grow, pigments from food, drink, and possibly bacteria or yeast get caught in the papillae, staining the tongue a different color. The most common is black, hence the name black feathered tongue. However, the tongue can also turn brown, yellow, green, or a variety of other colors. Color is the result of the food, drink or products you consume.
Lưỡi lông đen
Lưỡi lông đen báo hiệu sự tích tụ của nhiều vi khuẩn, nấm

Certain habits and lifestyles can facilitate the development of a black hairy tongue, including:
Poor oral hygiene Niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency Using antibiotics (which can upset the balance of bacteria in the gut) oral cavity) Dehydration, dry mouth Not producing enough saliva Regularly using mouthwash containing peroxide (hydrogen), witch hazel extract or menthol Conduct radiation therapy to the head and neck After a stem cell transplant Discoloration of the surface of the tongue and other soft tissues in the mouth can also occur in the absence of long hairs on the tongue. Causes include:
Smoking Chewing betel nut or licorice Drinking a lot of coffee or tea Taking medicine containing the chemical bismuth (eg Pepto-Bismol for indigestion) Certain other drugs (eg chlorhexidine, Iron salts)
Mệt mỏi trong người sau khi uống cà phê
Uống cà phê là một trong những nguyên nahan thay đổi màu sắc bề mặt lưỡi

Black hairy tongue is more common in men over 40 (with a history of poor oral hygiene, smoking, and antibiotic use), as well as those on intravenous medication or HIV positive. .
Black hairy tongue is uncommon in infants and, if present, is more likely due to bacterial and fungal colonization, rather than infection or antibiotic use, or a family history of a medical syndrome. Black hairy tongue in children usually subsides on its own and goes away after a few weeks.

2. Symptoms of a black hairy tongue

Except for the unusual appearance of the tongue, most people with black hairy tongue do not experience any other unpleasant symptoms. But in cases where too much Candida albicans yeast grows, it can cause a burning or stinging sensation on the tongue, known as glossopyrosis.
Some people may experience:
A tickling sensation on the back of the palate due to excessive hair growth. Feeling a bad smell in your mouth or feeling nauseous. Changes in taste caused by hairs growing so long that they cover the taste buds, preventing the ability to taste food properly. More seriously, black hair on the tongue can lead to a feeling of tightness in the throat, especially when swallowing. Sometimes, food trapped inside papillae too long can also cause bad breath. Bacteria or yeast growth can also cause odors. In this case, using mouthwash to get rid of the smell made the problem worse.
hôi miệng
Người bệnh lưỡi lông đen có thể bị hôi miệng do thức ăn bị mắc bên trong các nhú

3. How is black hairy tongue treated?

Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to treat black hairy tongue. Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. In addition, do not forget to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper to ensure a complete cleaning of the oral cavity. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help keep your mouth clean.
Other tips include:
Quit smoking if you are a smoker Add more foods with fiber to your diet. Soft foods will not clean the tongue effectively Increases moisture in the mouth and saliva production (eg chewing gum, eating pineapple)
Chất xơ giúp làm giảm cholesterol trong máu
Bổ sung chất xơ trong chế độ ăn uống sẽ giúp ích cho việc làm sạch lưỡi

See a doctor or dentist if the condition of the black hairy tongue does not get better. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications to get rid of the bacteria or yeast. Topical medications, such as tretinoin (Retin-A) or salicylic acid, are also sometimes prescribed. If the problem remains unresolved, the last resort is laser papillomatosis or electrocautery.
In a nutshell, black hairy tongue is a painless, benign condition characterized by an unusual brownish-black coating on the surface of the tongue. The pathogenesis is thought to be related to the fibrous papillary hypertrophy of the tongue, combined with the action of several substances. Symptoms include nausea, bad breath and changes in taste... The black hairy tongue can go away after a few weeks or persist for years. Response to treatment depends on the underlying condition and the patient's ability to comply.
Customers can directly go to Vinmec Health system nationwide to visit or contact the hotline here for support.
Reference source:
Bài viết này được viết cho người đọc tại Sài Gòn, Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh, Phú Quốc, Nha Trang, Hạ Long, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng.

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