Black Hairy Tongue – What is It?

Have you ever wondered what a Black Hairy Tongue is? We’ve got the answers you need.
What is a Black Hairy Tongue?
Black hairy tongue is just a temporary condition that is normally harmless. It is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria found in your mouth. Certain types of these bacteria tend to accumulate on the papillae of the tongue. When this happens, they create red blood cell pigments which make the tongue appear to be black.
If the normal shedding of the outermost layer of tongue cells is inhibited, then the papillae become enlarged and the tongue appears hairy.
Black Hairy Tongue Causes
There’s not enough evidence to prove one cause over another, but research has suggested that it is caused by any change of the bacteria. Sometimes this is the result of antibiotic use or taking any product that contains bismuth.
Another possible cause could be related to smoking, drinking alcohol or drinking too much tea or coffee. Those who fail to adhere to a regular oral care routine also tend to suffer from this ailment.
Certain mouthwashes may also put you at risk. Anything containing astringent such as witch hazel or menthol can put you at risk for a black hairy tongue. The same goes for a full-strength oxidizing agent like peroxide.
Black Hairy Tongue Treatment
Thankfully, black hairy tongue often resolves on its own if you take care of your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day and then brush your tongue as well. It is actually a good idea to always brush your tongue as part of your regular oral care regimen. This will help to prevent black hair tongue from coming back. 
You can also dilute a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and five parts of water to rinse your mouth with. When you are finished with that, rinse your mouth again but this time with plain water.
As usual, if any strange symptoms occur in your mouth for an extended period of time, it is always wise to seek counsel from your Chicago dentist. Prevention is always a better option than treatment from something that wasn’t caught early enough.
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