- Types and the causes
- Additional symptoms
- See your doctor
What is it that you mean by have a swollen tongue?
Hairy tongue is the popular term used to describe the condition that makes your tongue appear “hairy.” While the name and appearance might make you think hair grows around your mouth, the condition is nothing to be related to the actual growth of hair, tongue scraper bad breath.
The hairy tongue is caused by you notice that the filiformpapillae (FP) that are on the tongue are not shed like they ought to. They are cone-shaped projections that cover the tongue’s surface. They’re typically around 1-millimeter (mm) in length. Similar to skin cells, tissues on your tongue are subject to an innate life cycle that permits to expand fulfill their purpose, then disappear.
For those with a an elongated tongue The FP grows instead of dropping off. They can grow at least 18 millimeters. As they get bigger they will see the FP begin to collect debris, such as bacteria and food items. Foods you consume and the items you put in your mouth can cause coloration to the FP.
When this happens, the lengthened FP begin to appear as hair. This is the reason why the term “hairy tongue” comes from. The condition is usually temporary , and is usually harmless.
The hairy tongue is also frequent. It is estimated that thirteen percent of people will suffer from a particular type of hairy tongue at least one time during their lives.
Hairy tongues are more prevalent in older adults, but it can occur at any time. It is also more prevalent in males.
Types and their causes
A variety of tongue hairy exists, and each one has distinct traits. All have distinct reasons. Knowing what type of condition you are suffering from and what is causing it will aid you in treating it.
It’s unclear the causes of a hairy tongue however certain elements could increase the risk of becoming affected. For instance the lack of stimulation at the top of the tongue may cause a delay in the proper shed. Someone who is eating food that is soft may not get enough stimulation in their diet to trigger enough scratching.
Other factors can also increase the likelihood of developing a hairy tongue. This includes:
- Certain medications are prescribed use of certain medications, including antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (used to combat acid reflux)
- Poor oral hygiene (not cleaning your teeth frequently or properly)
- radiation therapy, specifically for neck and head
- drinking excessively
- the use of cocaine
- Dry oral ( xerostomia)
- over-consumption of tea or coffee
- smoking, chewing or drinking tobacco
The tongue is black and hairy
The black hairy tongue has many of the same causes as the other tongues that have hair, but certain factors contribute to this condition and give it the distinct “black” appearance.
The irregular FP that forms that forms on the tongue’s surface grow over time, these cells could get stained by the foods and drinks you drink along with the products you utilize. They include:
- tobacco (smoking tobacco, dipping or chewing)
- black tea or coffee
- mouthwashes containing the whitening or oxidizing ingredient, like peroxide
- mouthwashes that have astringent ingredients such as menthol and witch hazel
Additionally, certain substances such as yeast and bacteria can cause discoloration of the FP. As the FP gets more extensive, these chemicals can be caught in the hair-like structures. This can cause more discoloration.
The tongue is white and hairy.
The appearance of white tongues is caused by the hairy leukoplakia. This condition is characterized by smallwhite patches with a hair-like appearance. These patches may eventually extend across the entire tongue.
Contrary to the black hairy tongue hairy leukoplakia is characterized by particular reasons. This is due to two major circumstances:
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV): This virus is extremely common. It can lead to mononucleosis infective that is also known as mono, and other diseases. The majority of people will experience at least one experience with EBV throughout their lives. When you are exposed to EBV, the infection is left within your body. It is possible for the virus to reactivate when you’re suffering from an insufficient immune system. If the virus is active, it could create a variety of symptoms and conditions like hairy leukoplakia.
HIV/AIDS people suffering from HIV or AIDS are more likely to develop a swollen, white tongue. For some the appearance of a hairy tongue could be the first indication that they have the presence of an HIV disease. The majority of treatments are used to treat HIV and AIDS prevent hairy leukoplakia from occurring However, should the condition return it could be an early sign that your medications aren’t working as they should.
Hairy tongues may take on various hues, like pink, gray, brown and green. In the majority of instances however, the reasons have the exact same cause as those of a black hairy tongue.
The color can be the result of drinks or foods that you consume or the products you’re making use of. For example, sweets and mouthwashes might make the FP appear darker.
Hairy tongues can lead to other signs?
A hairy tongue is nearly always painless and seldom causes any other signs or symptoms. But, there are some signs or signs of a hairy tongue may be present as the long FP.
Additional symptoms are:
- Burning of the tongue: It is possible that yeast, or the growth of bacteria can cause an itch or burning sensation.
- Tickling or gagging sensation: The extra-long FP might cause pain to the top of your mouth or the throat’s back particularly when you swallow. If you’re more sensitive to this feeling there is a possibility of gagging.
- Bad breath: yeast or bacteria growth that occurs in the FP may create an unpleasant smell. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash to eliminate the smell can increase the severity of the issue.
- Taste abnormal: The bacteria or yeast growth on your tongue could change the taste of food. The longer FP could block your taste buds and stop your taste buds from fully absorbing what you consume or drink.
What can you do to help a swollen tongue?
Hairy tongues are usually temporary and do not indicate an issue that is more severe. However there are some causes of a hairy tongue is the result of long-term behaviors, like smoking cigarettes, and it could be necessary to be proactive in attempting to treat the problem.
The most commonly used ways to treat tongue hair include these:
- Have good oral hygiene Regularly flossing, brushing and rinsing your mouth can help prevent the appearance of a hairy tongue.
- Clean your tongue It is possible to purchase special tongue scrapers that can assist you in cleaning your tongue and get rid of dead F.P.
- Stop taking the medication responsible: In some cases when you stop taking any medication, your hairy tongue will stop. Talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to stop taking the medication that you suspect could cause hairy tongue. It may be possible to locate a different medication with the help of your doctor.
- Beware of harmful habits like smoking, over drinking, and certain substances can result in a an unruly tongue. Stop or cut back to maintain the health of your mouth.
- Be aware of the food and drinks you’re drinking: Dark-colored liquids and food items can cause FP to turn yellow of your tongue. They include black tea as well as coffee. Opt for clearer liquids, such as water.
If the treatments don’t work if these treatments don’t work, talk to your physician about more vigorous treatments. This includes:
- prescription antifungal medicines
- Over-the-counter (OTC) antiseptic mouthwashes like Listerine or Orajel
- surgical procedure to cut the FP
When do you need to visit your doctor?
There’s no need to visit an expert for a problem with your tongue unless the remedies you attempt at home, like maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine and avoiding a bad breath, don’t work. If that’s the case set up appointments with your dentist or dentist to discuss the options available.
The dentist or doctor will determine the cause of your tongue hair by looking at your mouth and obtaining your medical background. In some cases it is possible to examine the skin on your tongue. If they determine that it’s necessary then your doctor might perform a biopsy or a scraping your tongue.
You and your partner will discuss options for treatment and plan a strategy to get rid of the tongue hair if the first treatments don’t work.
How to avoid hairy tongue
The best method to avoid the appearance of a hairy tongue is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Be aware of these suggestions:
- Brush your teeth at least twice every daily. Brush your teeth at the time you wake up, and before going to sleep. If you are able brush after every meal also.
- Brush the upper part on your tongue. Don’t just focus on your teeth. Make sure to brush your tongue as well. If the thought of brushing the back of your tongue causes you gag, slowly increase the distance until you’re relaxed.
- Floss your teeth well. The spaces between your teeth may conceal food particles and bacteria that could cause more problems for your gums and teeth as well as your tongue.
- Rinse your mouth with oral rinse that is antiseptic. These OTC products assist in eliminating bacteria and decrease the chance of plaque buildup on your tongue.
- Be careful with the teeth. Coffee, black tea as well as soda is all acidic liquids. They’re harmful to dental health, and could cause problems for your tongue too. Try drinking less of these drinks and drink more clear ones like green tea or water.