Spotting a black hairy tongue in the mirror can give you quite a shock, but the condition is harmless. Also, it’s temporary! However, you can easily prevent this unsightly condition by practicing some basic oral hygiene and visiting your general dentist.
Black Hairy Tongue
Despite being a temporary condition, black hairy tongue can be distressing. However, with good oral hygiene, your tongue should return to normal quickly.
The papillae (tiny bumps) on your tongue sometimes accumulate a build-up of dead skin cells. This is what gives your tongue a black, furry appearance.
Some of the other symptoms you may experience include:
- Altered taste or a metallic taste
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- A gagging or tickling sensation
- A furry texture
Getting black hairy tongue does nothing for your self-esteem, but the good news is, by brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day, the condition should clear up.
Causes of black tongue staining include poor oral hygiene, antibiotics, tobacco, alcohol, and other foods.
If you are eating a soft diet due to dental or digestive issues, this can cause black hairy tongue. A soft diet doesn’t help scrub away dead skin cells from the surface of your tongue; therefore, soft foods can cause black hairy tongue.
Oral Hygiene Tips to Help Avoid Black Hairy Tongue
The best source of advice on oral hygiene is your dentist. You should have a full dental examination at least once a year and attend regular hygiene appointments for cleaning.
There are lots of things you can do at home to improve your oral hygiene too. For instance, your basic dental hygiene routine should include brushing twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush, and flossing after meals. Remember to brush your tongue too. You can buy tongue scrapers from your dentist’s office.
You may also want to rinse your mouth twice-daily with mouthwash. Mouthwash can help kill bacteria, freshen breath, and even keep your tongue clean. However, rinsing is not a substitute for brushing, no matter how good the mouthwash is.
Another good way to care for your oral health is to check your mouth regularly. Pay attention to any painful areas or swelling. You can also look in the mirror for redness, cankers, and tooth coloration. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right, call your dentist and make an appointment straight away.
Make sure you aren’t damaging your teeth with sugary or acidic foods and drinks, and keep an eye on how much coffee, tea, and wine you’re drinking. Coffee, for instance, causes a lot of tooth discoloration and staining.
Your dental health is essential to your overall health, as well as your self-esteem and your confidence. For some extra self-love, consider booking yourself in for a teeth whitening. It will give you a confidence boost, as well as improving your dental health.
Improve Your Dental Health at Lovett Dental Pasadena Today
At Lovett Dental Pasadena, we value your dental health. Our highly-skilled, friendly dental staff want nothing more than to help you take care of your smile.
We offer full sedation dentist services for anxious patients, so there’s no need to put off vital dental care. Our staff fully understand how nerve-wracking dental appointments can be, and we are here to help you through it.
Our Lovett Dental Pasadena services include:
- Teeth whitening services
- Dental fillings and sealants
- Emergency dental services
- Fluoride treatments
- Dental braces
- Dental bonding
We also offer pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and more. Whatever you or your family need, Lovett Dental Pasadena can help.
Don’t put your oral health at risk; if you want to talk to someone about black hairy tongue, or any other dental concern, contact Lovett Dental Pasadena on 281-998-8800.