Black, Hairy Tongue

A black, coated tongue is a temporary, harmless condition typically resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria and sometimes yeast in the mouth. These organisms accumulate on the tiny projections of the tongue — called papillae — and cause discoloration. Certain types of bacteria and yeast make red blood cell pigments (porphyrins), which can give the tongue a black appearance. In some cases, the tongue may also appear “hairy” due to more rapid growth of papillae or an interruption of the normal shedding of cells by the tongue.

In some cases, the cause of black, coated tongue can’t be determined. However, some potential causes include:

  • Changes in the normal bacteria or yeast content of the mouth following antibiotic treatment
  • Poor oral hygiene

There you have it – BRUSH YOUR TEETH

You can read the rest of the article here.


Maybe I should have just provided a link instead of the picture?

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22 Responses to Black, Hairy Tongue

  1. TXsharon says:

    Yee Gad, man! Issue a warning! I was eating breakfast.


  2. moldinasia says:

    Dude…that is so effing gross!

  3. Jackie says:

    Beware! My dughter has just had this as a side-effect of Glandular Fever.
    Very scary!!
    Peaked at ts worst after about 4 days of growth and, a week later, is now looking just a whitish growth with some pink tongue showing through.

  4. Toni says:

    dude that looks like cockroach eggs or something..

  5. alex says:

    its all actually fake. its just government propagand to keep people from smoking. think about have you ever seen someone with hairy tongue??

  6. Amy says:

    I am soon to be an RN, and trust me, Mr. Alex, a hairy tongue is not fake! Well, it is not exactly hairy, but rather resembles the appearance of being hairy. A lot of people who develop oral thrush, also called Candidiasis, a fungal/yeast infection, can have this as a symptom. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to look further into this matter through exploring credible sources (ie., credible websites, health care professionals knowledgeable in this area, etc.)

  7. Stefanie says:

    In response to Alex’s comment. I am a dental hygienist and I have actually seen this and worse. It is not fake! this does happen from smoking. Do some research and you will see.

  8. sashikanth says:

    One of my roommate is having the same, is it communicable. Can i continue to stay with him. kindly someone advice.

  9. Z says:

    am i the only one noticing that his teeth are very very white and clean…

  10. Morgan Richards says:

    Wow my tongue hurts so bad. i Cant beleive i have this. Would it help to shave this? My girl friend is getting tired of getting hair stuck in her teeth. I feel for her….

  11. Mike says:

    Z, as the article said black hairy tongue (also known as parasytic glossitis) can occur from antibiotic therapy, and anything that might affect the balance of mouth flora, such as some diseases – glandular fever being one of them so having good mouth hygiene might not be a factor.
    Sashikanth: No it’s not communicable

    Btw – I’m a pharmacist and I’ve seen much worse than this – it;s not fake.

  12. Mike says:

    Oh dear Lord. I hope to God I don’t ever get this to happen to me. Also Richards it wouldn’t help to shave since that isn’t hair its your tongue actually.

  13. Kelly says:

    Its not really hair. I’ts over grown papillae whick are small raised projections on the dorsal (top) surface of the tongue and causes it to look like hair but it really is’nt. I’t smells really bad and looks bad. and it is real!!! I’m a dental assistant and i’ve it many times..

  14. Derrik Zoolander says:

    Cough, cough… I think I’ve got the black tongue, pop.

  15. meria phlipeen says:

    why are the teeth so white I mean there absoulty perfict!

  16. muzickid92 says:

    my guess as to why the teeth are white is after seeing his tongue turn black he’s been brushing alot more.

  17. vanessa says:

    absolutely!! see it in the ER associated with malnutrition and alcoholism!

  18. jjlem says:

    Enter text right here!how gross, how disgusting, how pig, brush your toungue dude!!!

  19. omwahttttt says:


  20. David says:

    What about a centre parting? If you got a hairy tongue why not make the most of it?
    Experiment with different styles etc… Go crazy…backcomb on a saturday night etc.

    PS. you really ought to get that seen to by the way, it is probably the most distgusting thing I've ever seen & that includes seeing a dog with his head stuck up a dead cow's arse in India a few years back.

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