Tongue Looking Like It Has A Fur Coat On? 3 Things You Should Know About Black Hairy Tongues

Does your tongue suddenly look black and hairy? If it does, there's no reason to panic. While it probably is disconcerting to see a black film on the surface of your tongue, it isn't something that will cause you any health problems. Before you let your black tongue cause you anymore stress, here's some information that will help you understand the condition.

What Is Black Hairy Tongue?

The black hairy film on your tongue is probably causing you some emotional distress right now. However, it's a harmless condition that will go away with proper treatment. The condition is actually caused by an increase in bacteria or yeast in your system. Your tongue is covered in tiny round objects called papillae. As the bacteria build up, it attaches itself to the papillae.

Ordinarily the papillae shed, but when excess bacteria are present, they stay on your tongue and grow. As they grow, they get dark and start to look like long black hairs. Eventually, your entire tongue may be covered with the black hairy substance.

What Causes the Condition?

Black hairy tongue is more common in men, but women can also develop the condition. There are certain things that will make you more prone to developing the black hairy tongue. Some of the things that can increase your chances of experiencing the condition include:

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Drinking coffee or tea

  • Inadequate consumption of water

What Are the Treatments?

The best way to treat black hairy tongue is to brush your teeth more often. In addition, you should also be brushing your tongue. It's a good idea to use one brush for your teeth and another one for your tongue. This will ensure that you don't transfer the bacteria from your tongue onto your gums. A tongue scraper will also scrape away the papillae and help expose the healthy tissue that's underneath.

You should also be sure that you're drinking plenty of water to ensure proper hydration. If these steps don't eliminate the problem, you should talk to your dentist. They may need to prescribe antibiotics to help control the condition. Finally, if you smoke, you might want to consider a smoking cessation program to prevent the condition from returning.

You don't want a black hairy tongue. Luckily, there are things you can do to get rid of the problem and keep it from returning. If the black hairs continue to bother you, be sure to speak to your dentist. To learn more about dentistry, visit a website like