Black hairy tongue
* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
- Hairy tongue
- Lingua villosa
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.
On this page
Although black hairy tongue normally resolves on its own, patients are encouraged to avoid the factors that have been shown to bring about hairy tongue. Treatment usually involves gentle cleaning of the tongue with a soft toothbrush. Medication is rarely prescribed for hairy tongue; however, in severe cases, antifungals, retinoids or mouthwashes may be used. If treatment fails, the affected portion of the tongue called the papillae (finger-like projections) may be clipped or removed using techniques such as carbon dioxide laser burning or electrodesiccation (a procedure in which an electrical current is used to seal of the affected area).
Last updated: 5/19/2016
- Mcgrath EE, Bardsley P, Basran G. Black hairy tongue: What is your call?. Canadian Medical Association Journal. April 2008;
- Gary L Stafford. Hairy Tongue. Medscape. October 22, 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1075886-overview.