Diagnosis

Diagnosis of black hairy tongue is based on appearance and possible causes or contributing factors. It also includes eliminating other conditions that may cause a similar appearance to the tongue, such as:

  • Normal variations in tongue color (pigment)
  • Foods or medications that have stained the tongue
  • Fungal or viral infections
  • Oral lesions that occur on the tongue, such as oral hairy leukoplakia
  • Blackened tongue (pseudo-black hairy tongue) from using products containing bismuth, such as Pepto-Bismol