Black Hairy Tongue One of the Very Unattractive Cigarette Smoking Effects
Black hairy tongue is one of the less attractive cigarette smoking effects.
The facts show that a heavy smoker would be more likely to develop this condition.
The tongue is not a smooth organ. It's surface is really rough and covered with fingerlike projections that are
called papillae. These papillae are constantly growing.
In the normal course of everyday events, eating food and teeth brushing results in wearing away the top cells of the papillae
and that keeps their growth in check.
If this does not happen the papillae get longer and give the tongue a hairy appearance.
Also in the normal course of events the mouth is not a sterile environment and is in fact home to a number of different
microbes all of which live happily with each other in balance.
Anything that alters this balance can cause some fungi to overgrow while the other microbes get reduced in numbers.
This imbalance leads to an overgrowth of fungus that can result in a furry like texture on the tongue surface,
most often located more towards the back.
Another one of the unattractive cigarette smoking effects is smoker's teeth.
This condition is more common in smokers than non-smokers because of the effects of the cigarette smoke and tar on
the oral environment. The hot smoke and the toxins can change the delicate balance so that some of the fungi start to grow more vigorously.
Smokers also develop a weakens immune system which allows
bacteria and fungus to grow at an accelerated rate.
If you are a smoker and you are taking antibiotics your risk of developing a hairy black tongue increases because the
antibiotics will also upset the delicate microbial balance in your mouth.
So it is called hairy tongue but it is not really hair it just looks like hair. The blackness comes from the staining from cigarette tar or
from the type of fungus that is growing there. Not all cases of hairy tongue have a distinctive black color like that in the photo.
Think about it - yellow teeth and a black tongue. Now there is a technicolor mouth!
Doesn't it just make you want to rush right out and kiss a
The purpose of the information provided here is to help you cooperate with your doctor and other
health practitioners. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice and you are encouraged to
discuss health concerns with your physician or a professional health care provider who is
familiar with you and your unique personal health context.
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