December 8, 2023

US man’s tongue turns green, hairy after smoking while on antibiotics

The tongue hairs can grow up to nearly an inch long.

A man in Ohio’s tongue has turned green and sprouted thick hair after smoking cigarettes while on antibiotics.

The 64-year-old man went to his doctor, who diagnosed him with “abnormal coating” – when skin cells that form on the tongue become enlarged and discoloured, due to a build-up of bacteria.

Experts who reported the case in The New England Journal of Medicine believe the hairy tongue could have been a reaction from smoking while taking an antibiotic, which according to doctors, the man had just finished taking for a gum infection.

“Hairy tongue may appear brown, white green or pink,” the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) reported.

“Food, bacteria, and sometimes yeast can accumulate in the hair-like mesh.”

According to AAOM experts, the appearance of tongue hairs can grow up to nearly an inch long if the skin cells are not kept clean and regularly scraped.

“Most individuals can prevent hairy tongue by practising good oral hygiene,” AAOM reported.

“Brushing the top of the tongue with a toothbrush should be part of regular daily oral hygiene activities.”

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