Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Tongue, Hairy


Synonyms of Tongue, Hairy
  • Black Hairy Tongue
  • Black Tongue
  • Lingua Nigra
  • Lingua Villosa Nigra

Disorder Subdivisions



    General Discussion
    Hairy tongue is an uncommon, benign condition that is also known as black hairy tongue or lingua nigra. It is characterized by abnormal elongation and blackish or dark brownish discoloration or staining of the thread-like elevations (filiform papillae) that cover most of the tongue's surface (dorsum linguae). Such changes often begin at the back (posterior) region of the top of the tongue and extend toward the front (anterior) of the tongue's surface but never involve the undersurface.

    The specific underlying cause of hairy tongue is unknown. However, possible predisposing factors may include poor oral hygiene and overgrowth of pigment-producing bacteria or fungi in the mouth, treatment with certain antibiotic medications, smoking, chewing tobacco, and/or mouthwash use.
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    Organizations related to Tongue, Hairy
    • NIH/National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse
      1 NOHIC Way
      Bethesda MD 20892-3500
      Phone #: 301-402-7364
      800 #: --
      e-mail: nohic@nidcr.nih.gov
      Home page: http://www.nohic.nidcr.nih.gov
    • Smell and Taste Center
      University of Pennsylvania
      Philadelphia PA 19104
      Phone #: 215-662-6580
      800 #: --
      e-mail: helene.katz@uphs.upenn.edu
      Home page: http://www.med.upenn.edu/stc



    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html