Feb 08, 2012

Yes, it is a very common question “Why does my tongue look funny?” So this is part 2 of giving some feedback on some of the most common reasons for your tongue not looking right.

Fissured Tongue

 Fissured tongue is another tongue condition that may appear worrisome.  As the name implies, the tongue appears to have deep lines or fissures on the top surface and may look rough or “bumpy”.  This is a normal, thought to be hereditary, condition that is also not harmful. Although it looks really funky it is most often not a big deal.

Black, Hairy Tongue

Black, Hairy Tongue is a temporary, harmless condition that gives the tongue a dark furry appearance, resembling hair growing on the center and back portions of the tongue.  It is usually the result of an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. Again, the condition may look alarming, but it is not associated with serious infection or cancer.  It is however, associated with bacteria, so controlling oral bacteria is important.  The tongue often looks black, but can also appear to be deep yellow or brown and rough or furry. Some persons report that they have an altered taste or metallic taste in the mouth and sometimes, bad breath.  Black, Hairy Tongue is believed to be caused from the filiform papillae (the bumps that contain your taste buds) growing longer, making them collectors of bacteria. What causes the overgrowth in a particular person may not ever be determined, however it has been associated with changes in normal bacteria or yeast content of the mouth following a course of antibiotics, poor oral hygiene, medications containing bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol) and regular use of peroxide or menthol mouthwashes.  It is also related to heavy tobacco use.

Black Hairy Tongue usually doesn’t require medical treatment, but eliminating the possible sources of the condition may help, such as discontinuing the use of a bismuth medicine.  Also regular and complete home care is vital.  Brushing the teeth, brushing the top of the tongue with a toothbrush, using a tongue scraper to remove debris and bacteria, and flossing can take care of the condition.

So there you have it. The most common answers to the most common causes of a different looking tongue. Grove City Dental would love to answer any additional questions you may have so feel free to give us a call .  We are always happy to help! Call 614-808-1708


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