Shocking photo shows man green and HAIRY tongue after years of smoking | The Sun

SMOKING gave a man a shockingly green, hairy tongue, pictures reveal.

The 64-year-old from Ohio suffered the embarrassing condition for two weeks before he went to hospital.

Doctors at Wright-Patterson Medical Center found the thick carpet of dead skin and bacteria developed after he was put on a course of antibiotics.

Dr Eric Karr said: “Risk factors include smoking, dehydration, poor oral hygiene, and antimicrobial use. 

“Although the tongue discoloration is frequently black, brown, yellow, or green discoloration is possible, as well.”

Hairy tongue, known medically as lingua villosa, is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells on the part of the tongue covered in taste buds.

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Woman left with black and HAIRY tongue after reaction to common antibiotic

Tiny bumps on the surface of the tongue, called the papillae, become clogged with bacteria.

Although it is not harmful, the condition is unsightly and linked to poor oral health.

Smoking can increase your chances of seeing bacteria and plaque build up in the mouth.

Antibiotics also have an effect on the mouth’s microbiome, allowing bacteria to accumulate on the tongue.

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The latest case was documented in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The man had completed a course of clindamycin for a gum infection 21 days before he went to hospital for hairy tongue.

His tongue started to change colour two weeks before he went and doctors initially thought he was suffering a fungal infection in his mouth.

But after he was examined at hospital, doctors found he had developed long papillae— a symptom of hairy tongue.

They diagnosed him with the condition and advised him on treatment.

Dr Karr said: “The patient was advised to gently scrub the surface of his tongue with a toothbrush four times daily and was counselled on smoking cessation. 

“At six-month follow-up, the tongue appearance had returned to normal despite the patient continuing to smoke.”

What are other causes of BHT?

Hairy tongue often stems from poor oral hygiene, so can usually be avoided by brushing the top of the tongue with a toothbrush or scraper.

According to Web MD, other causes include:

  • smoking tobacco
  • drinking a lot of coffee or tea
  • using antibiotics (which may disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the mouth)
  • being dehydrated
  • taking medications that contain the chemical bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol)
  • not producing enough saliva
  • regularly using mouthwash that contains peroxide, witch hazel or menthol
  • getting radiation therapy to the head and neck

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It may also develop in people with no teeth, because their soft food diet doesn't aid in the normal shedding of the papillae.

If you suffer from persistent hairy tongue, consult your dentist.

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