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How does black hairy tongue happen?

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A black hairy tongue is caused by too much bacteria or yeast growth in the mouth. The bacteria build up on tiny rounded projections called papillae. These lie along the surface of the tongue. Instead of shedding as they normally do, the papillae start to grow and lengthen, creating hair-like projections. They can grow to 15 times their normal length.

SOURCES:

eMedicine.com: "Hairy Tongue."

Korber, A, Dissemond, J. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2006; vol. 354: p. 67.

McGrath. E, Bardsley, P, Basran, G. CMAJ, 2008; vol. 178: pp. 1137-1138.

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on August 23, 2020

SOURCES:

eMedicine.com: "Hairy Tongue."

Korber, A, Dissemond, J. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2006; vol. 354: p. 67.

McGrath. E, Bardsley, P, Basran, G. CMAJ, 2008; vol. 178: pp. 1137-1138.

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on August 23, 2020

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