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Does your tongue look black or feel a little hairy? While this is uncommon, it is actually a harmless condition referred to as black hairy tongue. Luckily, while this isn’t a pleasant experience, it isn’t typically too difficult to prevent.

As you know, bacteria grows in your mouth. While this can lead to a number of problems, it is also the main reason for the black hairy tongue. You see, papillae grow on your tongue. While this is perfectly normal, bacteria can actually grow in your papillae—which ultimately leads to the black hairy tongue. You see, when you have black hairy tongue, your papillae won’t shed like normal—which mean they can grow to fifteen time their regular length.

However, there are other conditions that make you more susceptible to the black hairy tongue. You see, poor oral hygiene, smoking, drinking lots of coffee or tea, the use of some antibiotics, dehydration, and radiation therapy can lead to this problem.

Fortunately, you can prevent this issue by simply practicing sound oral hygiene. In other words, please brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. You can also try double rinsing, which is rinsing your mouth with one part hydrogen peroxide and five parts water. Afterwards, simply rinse your mouth with water.

If you think you may have black hairy tongue syndrome, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our dentist, Dr. Obiora E. Nkwonta, and the team will assess your individual needs and offer you the best solution possible. To schedule an appointment with us, please call Lake City Way Dental Center at 206.363.1828. We are eager to receive your call.