Black hairy tongue is a condition of the tongue in which the small bumps on the tongue elongate with black or brown discoloration, giving a black and hairy appearance. The appearance may be alarming, but it is a harmless condition. Predisposing factors include smoking, xerostomia dry mouth , soft diet , poor oral hygiene and certain medications. Management is by improving oral hygiene, especially scraping or brushing the tongue. Hairy tongue largely occurs in the central part of the dorsal tongue, just anterior in front of the circumvallate papillae , although sometimes the entire dorsal surface may be involved. The term "melanoglossia' is also used to refer to there being black discolorations on the tongue without "hairs", which are also harmless and unrelated to black hairy tongue.
While there is a condition called black hairy tongue lingua villosa nigra , which is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast on the tongue, most kids with a black tongue have a much simpler explanation. Did you give your child Pepto-Bismol recently? Medications like Pepto-Bismol, or other drugs that have bismuth as an ingredient, can cause a black discoloration or staining on your tongue for a few days. It is harmless and goes away a few days after you stop taking the medication.
Black hairy tongue BHT is a benign medical condition characterized by elongated filiform lingual papillae with typical carpet-like appearance of the dorsum of the tongue. Its prevalence varies geographically, typically ranging from 0. Clinical presentation varies but is typically asymptomatic, although aesthetic concerns are common.