3 doctors weighed in:

What causes a black hairy tongue?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Overgrown papillae

The tongue is coated with taste receptors termed papillae.
These normally stay short from food chewing and constant rubbing in normal activity of the mouth. If they grow longer, they can be stained darker by food and other substances in the mouth. It is not harmful and is not pathologic. You can lessen it by brushing the tongue as well as your teeth with your toothbrush.

In brief: Overgrown papillae

The tongue is coated with taste receptors termed papillae.
These normally stay short from food chewing and constant rubbing in normal activity of the mouth. If they grow longer, they can be stained darker by food and other substances in the mouth. It is not harmful and is not pathologic. You can lessen it by brushing the tongue as well as your teeth with your toothbrush.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Thank
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Tongue papillae

The tongue is coated with taste receptors termed papillae.
These normally stay short from food chewing and constant rubbing in normal activity of the mouth. If they grow longer, they can be stained darker by food and other substances in the mouth. It is not harmful and is not pathologic. You can lessen it by brushing the tongue as well as your teeth with your toothbrush.

In brief: Tongue papillae

The tongue is coated with taste receptors termed papillae.
These normally stay short from food chewing and constant rubbing in normal activity of the mouth. If they grow longer, they can be stained darker by food and other substances in the mouth. It is not harmful and is not pathologic. You can lessen it by brushing the tongue as well as your teeth with your toothbrush.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Thank
Read more answers from doctors