Oct 19, 1999
What is hairy tongue and how is it treated?
Response from Dr. Reznik
Hairy tongue is a condition that occurs on the dorsal surface of the tongue and is of little clinical significance. We are not sure of the causes of this condition, but it is believed that the elongation of filiform papillae which cause the "hairy" look , may be associated with the following:
food particles left on the tongue due to inadequate tongue brushing use of topical antibiotics smoking and/or use of smokeless tobacco systemic use of antibiotics anemia
Hairy tongue tends to be more common in men. This condition is usually asymptomatic the treatment we suggest for mild to moderate cases is frequent tongue brushing. We also advise our patients not to use oxidizing mouthrinses such as hydrogen peroxide, as it may make the condition worse.
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