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Hairy Tongue and OHL
Mar 2, 2000

What is the difference between OHL and just a case of "hairy tongue" that is not HIV related. I had seen you make references to both in answers to questions and would like to know the distinction between the two. Thank you

Response from Dr. Reznik

Oral Hairy Leukoplakia is related to the Epstein Barr virus and is usually located on the lateral borders of the tongue. This condition is seen in association with HIV-infection and other immunocompromising conditions

Hairy tongue is an overgrowth of the normal papilla found on the dorsal (top) surface of the tongue. Hairy tongue is a common reactive process that results from various factors including use of broad spectrum antibiotics and poor oral hygiene. This condition is seen more frequently in people who smoke and drink alcoholic beverages as well as use illicit drugs.

Take care,

DR


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