Langue pileuse

Three Months After Having A Stroke, This Man’s Tongue Turned ‘Hairy’ And Black

There are sequelae of disease that are rarely encountered. Having hair on the tongue falls into this category. In India, a man in his 50s presented to doctors three months after suffering a stroke. His problem ? His tongue turned black and hairy.

Reportedly, since his stroke, the patient suffered from left-sided weakness and had to be put on a mash diet. Three months later, a thick black coating covered most of her tongue for about two weeks, sparing the sides and middle part, however.

The diagnosis made by the doctors was a hairy tongue, or lingua villosa nigra. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, although the appearance is quite impressive, it is a benign condition. Hairy tongue affects about 13% of the population.

The causes of the disease

According to the Indian dermatologists who treated the patient, hairy tongue is more likely to appear in people on a puree diet. It forms due to a lack of abrasion or stimulation at the top of the tongue, which results in a buildup of a protein called keratin. Thus, the conical projections covering the tongue, called filiform papillae, elongate and produce a hairy appearance on the top of the tongue.

Other factors can also promote the development of this disease, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, oxidizing mouthwashes, oral antibiotics, excessive consumption of coffee or tea, and diseases affecting the immune system, like HIV or cancer.

The appropriate treatment

According to the National Institutes of Health, hairy tongue can occur at any age, but it’s more common in older people. The tongue can turn brown, yellow, green or black depending on the bacteria and fungi that proliferate on the altered surface. There are also other anaerobic bacteria that ferment food particles trapped in the taste buds. It is precisely these anaerobic bacteria that give the tongue its black appearance.

Generally, hairy tongue is treated with good oral hygiene, in particular by brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper. In the case of the Indian patient, thanks to proper hygiene, his symptoms subsided after 20 days.

SOURCE: sciencealert

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