Hairy Tongue

Hairy tongue is a dental condition that is exactly as it sounds. People with hairy tongue do in fact have a tongue that seems hairy. Thankfully, there are treatments for hairy tongue, available from our Placerville dentists.

Signs of Hairy Tongue

Symptoms of hairy tongue include:

  • discoloration of the tongue that may appear yellow, brown or black;
  • a furry or hairy look to the tongue;
  • bad breath;
  • a metallic taste in the mouth;
  • a recurrent gagging sensation.

Is having hairy tongue a sign of dental disaster? No, but having this condition gives patients a good shock to be sure. Hairy tongue is fortunately a temporary and harmless condition.

Causes of Hairy Tongue

If you were to look at your tongue under a microscope, you would see thousands of tiny papillae or finger-like projections. When these projections grow longer than normal, the result is hairy tongue. These extra long papillae can be discolored and resemble hair. If you have this condition, it’s pretty likely that it is because of at least one of the following reasons:

  • excessive mouth breathing;
  • poor oral hygiene;
  • normal bacteria have been disrupted by antibiotics;
  • use of medications with bismuth, like Pepto-Bismol®;
  • heavy tobacco use;
  • use of mouthwashes with peroxide or astringents.

Hairy tongue is curable at home. Start by brushing and flossing twice a day, including the tongue, even using a tongue cleaner to be extra thorough. And quit any habits that might aggravate your tongue, such as those mentioned above. If these suggestions don’t cure your tongue, make an appointment with your professional dental team at the Placerville Dental Group to ensure you don’t have a more serious condition.

Get help for hairy tongue


  1. Felicia

    If I did everything but hairy tongue still there, can I have surgery to get it cure completely? Thx

    • Placerville Dental Group

      If you have persistent hairy tongue, as suggested in this article we recommend that you make an appointment with us to have it examined professionally. We can provide options for successful treatment.

  2. Serena bal

    If you have done everything for hairy tongue and it still remains, is there any surgical procedures that can be carried out to remove it



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