The disease of the black hairy tongue: a rare and surprising infection

The disease of the hairy black tongue is as amazing as its name suggests. A study released Tuesday (September 4th) reports a case in a 55-year-old woman in the United States. The opportunity to discover this disease.

After the disease of the blue tongue in animals, here is that of the black and hairy tongue in humans. It is a rare infection that affects between 0.6% and 13% of the population depending on the region. For Dr. Yasir Hamad, an assistant professor at a medical school in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, this is his first ten-year career. He relates this story in the New England Journal of Medicine.

An antibiotic involved

The unlucky woman is 55 years old. After a serious car accident that caused serious injuries to both legs, an infection developed. She started to follow an antibiotic treatment. One week after the start of this treatment, the patient complained of nausea and a bad taste in her mouth. In addition to what, his language has become black.

According to Dr. Hamad, these symptoms are due to minocycline, an antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics associated with the disease. This is characterized by an "abnormal growth of papillae that dot the organ". Taste buds that are between 12 and 18 millimeters long, compared to less than a millimeter usually. These taste buds then pick up microscopic food particles that result in overgrowth of bacteria and abnormal staining of the tongue.

A minor illness

On the positive side, the disease of the black hairy tongue is not painful and benign. In addition, it has no long-term sequelae if it is treated quickly. Here, the patient found normal staining of her tongue after four weeks and a change of medication.

Antibiotics are not the only reasons for this disease. Other factors may include poor oral hygiene, smoking or irritating mouthwashes.

Video: Black hairy tongue: What causes it? - TomoNews (December 2019).