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The tongue can grow hair? Not necessarily. Hairy tongue is a condition where an abnormal, fur-like coating develops on the surface of the tongue. Though this condition is harmless, some of us would prefer hair growth to stay on our head. Here are the causes of this condition and how it can be treated.

Causes For Hairy Tongue: Rapunzel Never Had It This Bad

The fur-like appearance of hairy tongue develops when dead tissues stay on the tongue surface rather than shed like normal. As this overgrowth gets longer, it traps bacteria and yeast which can change its color, often to black. Tongue tissue overgrowth can be caused by:

  • Poor oral hygiene practices
  • A soft food diet which cannot rub off dead tissue
  • Dry mouth
  • Care products containing oxidizing agents and astringents
  • Tobacco
  • Medicines containing bismuth
  • Caffeinated beverages

Treatments For Hairy Tongue: See A Dentist, Not A Barber

Though it doesn’t look very pretty, hairy tongue is actually a harmless condition that usually does not require treatment. But as I said, it doesn’t look very pretty. Hairy tongue often goes away on its own, but you can speed up the process by:

  • Keeping good oral hygiene
  • Avoiding factors which cause hairy tongue

See your dentist or doctor if you have any concerns about this condition or if it does not go away. They may be able to suggest other treatment options.