Signs and symptoms of black, hairy tongue include:

  • Black, yellow or brown discoloration of the tongue
  • A hairy or furry appearance of the tongue
  • Altered taste or metallic taste in mouth
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Gagging sensation in some people

When to see a doctor

Though unattractive, black, hairy tongue is usually a temporary, harmless condition. See your doctor if:

  • You're concerned about the appearance of your tongue
  • Your signs and symptoms persist for more than 10 days
Apr. 22, 2011