Stroke survivor develops 'black hairy tongue'; know all about this condition from experts
Black hairy tongue is a common condition that happens due to poor dental hygiene says experts, and it is usually harmless.
A thick black 'hairy' coat on tongue can be really scary and make anybody wonder about the root cause of the problem. A man in his 50s who suffered from stroke three months back and was on a liquid diet apart from some medications, developed this harmless condition. According to reports, the patient was taken to the hospital after his black tongue developed yellow stains as the liquid food got stuck in the coat. However, the solution to his trouble turned out to be quite simple and his tongue cleared up within 20 days. (Also read: Are you making these mistakes with your kid's dental health?)
Black hairy tongue is a common condition that happens due to poor dental hygiene says experts and it is usually harmless. It is mostly painless and is common in people above 40, those who smoke and drink, consume excessive amounts of coffee, have malignancy or are on certain medications. Usually, the condition goes away in its own, but in case it's not, one must consult an expert.
What is black hairy tongue
"Black hairy tongue is a relatively common disease that classically manifests as a black and hairy appearing lesion on the dorsum of the tongue arising from abnormally hypertrophied and elongated filiform, says Dr Sushma Yadav, MBBS, MD (DVL), Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Hair Transplant surgeon, Founder- skinologycentre, Bangalore.
What exactly happens to your tongue in this condition
"In this condition, the front 2/3rd of the tongue which has this conical projections, become enlarged in size and become brownish yellow and black. The tip of the sides of the tongue often don't have this as much. The main problem is its unsightly experience and the patients might also complain a burning or tickling sensation on the tongue, very bad breath and nausea," says Dr. Sravya C Triperni, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore.
Blackish discolouration of the tongue, dryness, halitosis or bad breath, metallic taste in mouth.
Though the condition usually recovers on its own in some time, one has to identify any drug that might be causing it.
"Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Always encourage very good oral hygiene and gentle tongue scraping with a soft toothbrush and a solution containing 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide will help apart from antiseptic mouthwash. If there is an associated fungal agent given then that also helps," says Dr Triperni.
"Treatment includes gentle debridement in the clinic, maintenance of good oral hygiene, avoiding dry mouth by keeping tongue moist in bedridden patients, appropriate use of mouthwashes. Fungal infection or Carcinoma tongue can be a differential diagnosis, so a biopsy may be done in certain patients. Smoking and alcohol use are predisposing factors," says Dr Shraddha Despande, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital.