Friday Mar 11, 2022
A 50-year-old man visited a dermatology clinic to get his tongue checked when it gradually turned into a thick rug of black hair, Live Science reported.
Upon inspection, he was diagnosed with a shockingly common and harmless temporary medical condition called lingua villosa nigra or Black Hairy Tongue (BHT).
Not long ago, the man who developed the condition had suffered a stroke that rendered the left side of his body paralysed. His body was weak even when he visited the clinic. Having lost control of half of his body, he had been under the care of nurses and could only ingest pureed food and liquids.
As the doctors inspected his tongue, they found some "yellowish streaks as well" that were later found to be trapped food particles. The mucus samples were tested which showed no bacterial or fungal infection.
BHT is a condition that is known to happen if a natural medical process called desquamation does not occur. It is usually found in older adults. As a result of this process, tiny bumps that are developed on our tongue are shed away.
When our tongue goes through an abrasion in some way like eating hard solid foods or brushing our teeth, these bumps — called filiform papillae — shed. However, if for some reason, the abrasion does not occur, the bumps can grow up to about 0.7 inches. Thankfully, the condition is short-lived and harmless, the report said.