Man's tongue turns black and hairy from condition 13% of people get

A man in his 50s has been diagnosed with lingua villosa nigra, or black hairy tongue, after suffering a stroke months earlier.

Published Tue, Mar 15 2022 5:46 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Apr 11 2022 8:21 PM CDT

An article on the man's tongue titled "Black Hairy Tongue" has been published in Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Dermatol.

Man's tongue turns black and hairy from condition 13% of people get 02 |

A man in his 50s came to doctors in India with a black, hairy tongue after suffering a stroke three months prior. Following the stroke, the man had motor weaknesses in his left side and was put on a pureed diet. For about two weeks, a black coating covered his tongue, which doctors diagnosed as the condition of black hairy tongue, or lingua villosa nigra.

The condition occurs in about 13% of the population, according to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, and is relatively harmless. The condition results more commonly in people on pureed diets, as a lack of food that abrades or stimulates the top of the tongue leads to the build-up of the protein keratin. Consequently, the filiform papillae covering the tongue grow longer and take on a hairy appearance.

Other factors that may predispose someone to the condition include poor oral hygiene, medications, antibiotics, tobacco use, oxidizing mouthwashes, and excessive coffee or tea drinking. It is more likely to occur in older people but can occur at any age. Bacteria that grow on the altered surface of the tongue give the tongue its black appearance, though the condition can also result in brown, yellow, or green appearances. Proper cleansing returned this man's tongue to normal after twenty days.

You can read more from the article here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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