Tongue, Hairy

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Tongue, Hairy is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Hairy tongue is an uncommon, benign condition that is also known as black hairy tongue or lingua nigra. It is characterized by abnormal elongation and blackish or dark brownish discoloration or "staining" of the thread-like elevations (filiform papillae) that cover most of the tongue's surface (dorsum linguae). Such changes often begin at the back (posterior) region of the top of the tongue and extend toward the front (anterior) of the tongue's surface but never involve the undersurface.

The specific underlying cause of hairy tongue is unknown. However, possible predisposing factors may include poor oral hygiene and overgrowth of pigment-producing bacteria or fungi in the mouth, treatment with certain antibiotic medications, smoking, chewing tobacco, and/or mouthwash use.

Supporting Organizations

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Building 31, Room 2C39
31 Center Drive, MSC 2290
Bethesda, MD 20892
USA
Tel: (301)496-4261
Fax: (301)480-4098
Tel: (866)232-4528
Email: nidcrinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/

Smell and Taste Center

Smell and Taste Center
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215-662-2797
Fax: (215)349-5266
Email: Geraldine.Fischer@uphs.upenn.edu
Website: http://www.med.upenn.edu/stc/index.html

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  5/12/2008
Copyright  2003 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.