The hair grew on the tongue of a person from Kerala, the color also turned black, but why?

According to a new report published in a medical journal, a Kerala man’s tongue turned black and hair grew on him after being given pure food to eat after a stroke. The case, medically known as lingua villosa nigra, occurred three months after the stroke, leaving the patient’s left side paralyzed.

For three months, the man was fed only pure and liquid food, which caused the tongue to discolor and form a carpet-like layer of hair. Black hairy tongue or BHT can be the result of dead skin cells on the papilla of the tongue, which contains the test buds.

These papillae can be easily affected by bacteria, yeast, tobacco, food or other substances. Other possible causes of BHT include poor oral hygiene, excessive alcohol consumption, or changes in the mouth after use of antibiotics.

The patients, who were over 50, were treated with appropriate oral hygiene measures and their condition was reversed in 20 days, doctors at the Medical Trust Hospital in Kochi wrote in a journal.

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The report said, “On examination, he did not have fever and was conscious, with motor weakness on the left side. A thick black coating was visible in the dorsal aspect of his tongue, covering the medial and proximal parts. The side was yellow in colour. Dermoscopy results show thin, long, dark fibers, which take on the appearance of a hairy surface.”

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, this condition is common. An estimated 13 percent of people develop black hairy tongue at some point in their lives, although it is most common in adults over the age of 40.

It does not cause any pain or problems and generally does not require any specific treatment other than proper and regular oral hygiene and care.

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