If black, hairy tongue persists despite brushing your teeth and tongue twice daily, make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. Here's information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor or dentist.
What you can do
Consider preparing a list of questions to ask your doctor or dentist. Some questions you may want to discuss include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- What is the best course of action?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Can I wait to see if the condition clears up on its own?
- What kind of follow-up, if any, should I expect?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor or dentist
Your doctor or dentist may ask you questions about your symptoms and dental care practices. He or she may ask:
Apr. 22, 2011
- When did you first notice the symptoms?
- Is the condition bothersome?
- Are your symptoms occasional or continuous?
- How often do you brush your teeth or clean your dentures?
- How often do you floss?
- What kind of mouthwash do you use?
- How much coffee or tea do you drink?
- Do you use tobacco products?
- What medications do you take?
- Do you breathe through your mouth?
- Goldstein B, et al. Oral lesions. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2011.
- Images in clinical medicine: Black hairy tongue. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2006;354:67.
- Cleaning your teeth & gums. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/2624.aspx. Accessed Jan. 28, 2011.