Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue? | Dentist Hartington, NE

Family-Dentist-Hartington

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is hairy tongue? 

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance. 

Who is at risk of hairy tongue? 

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances. 

What causes hairy tongue? 

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae. 

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our practice at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.  

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our practice for an appointment today.

Family First Dental – Hartington
Phone: (402) 254-3969
103 West Main Street
Hartington, NE 68739
Family 1st Dental
Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Return to Blog Articles

Visit Our Hartington Dental Office

Dentist Hartington

Hartington Location

103 West Main Street,
Hartington, NE 68739

(402) 254-3969

Dentist in 68739

Our Dental News

Dentist Hartington

Unveiling the Connection Between Gum Disease and Cancer: Insights from Dentist Hartington | Dentist in 68739

Gum disease, medically termed periodontal disease, is a prevalent oral health concern impacting millions worldwide. Stemming from bacterial infection of gum tissue, it manifests through inflammation, bleeding, and potential tooth loss. While traditionally associated with oral health complications, recent research […]

Learn More

Is Your Medication Affecting Your Oral Health? | Dentist in 68739

At Family 1st Dental – Hartington, we understand the critical role medications play in managing various health conditions. However, it’s essential to recognize that certain medications may inadvertently impact your oral health. Being aware of these potential effects is crucial […]

Learn More

Protecting Your Child’s Smile: The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports | Dentist in 68739

Mouth guards are an essential piece of protective gear for children who play sports. Sports-related dental injuries can be serious, painful, and costly to treat. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are […]

Learn More