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Hairy Tongue Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Gary L Stafford, DMD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
 
Updated: Oct 22, 2015
 
 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Gary L Stafford, DMD Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of General Dental Sciences, Marquette University School of Dentistry

Gary L Stafford, DMD is a member of the following medical societies: International Association for Dental Research, American Association for Dental Research, American Dental Education Association, Milwaukee Odontological Academy, The Dental Forum, National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, American College of Dentists, Greater Milwaukee Dental Association, Wisconsin Dental Association, Consortium of Operative Dentistry Educators, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Chicago Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, Association for Continuing Dental Education

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Denis P Lynch, DDS, PhD Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean, Marquette University School of Dentistry

Denis P Lynch, DDS, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Dental Association, International Association for Dental Research, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS Consulting Staff, Department of Dermatology, Dermatology Research Associates of Cincinnati

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Oral Medicine, American Dental Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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  15. Winzer M, Gilliar U, Ackerman AB. Hairy lesions of the oral cavity. Clinical and histopathologic differentiation of hairy leukoplakia from hairy tongue. Am J Dermatopathol. 1988 Apr. 10(2):155-9. [Medline].

  16. Rushing EC, Hoschar AP, McDonnell JK, Billings SD. Iatrogenic oral hairy leukoplakia: report of two cases. J Cutan Pathol. 2011 Mar. 38(3):275-9. [Medline].

  17. Kostka E, Wittekindt C, Guntinas-Lichius O. [Tongue coating, mouth odor, gustatory sense disorder - earlier and new treatment options by means of tongue scraper]. Laryngorhinootologie. 2008 Aug. 87(8):546-50. [Medline].

  18. Langtry JA, Carr MM, Steele MC, Ive FA. Topical tretinoin: a new treatment for black hairy tongue (lingua villosa nigra). Clin Exp Dermatol. 1992 May. 17(3):163-4. [Medline].

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  21. Sapp JP, Eversole LR, Wysocki GP. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 2nd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby-Year Book; 2004.

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Brown hairy tongue in a middle-aged woman who drinks coffee. Note how the condition is limited to the mid-dorsal part of the tongue, becoming more prominent toward the posterior part.
Brown hairy tongue in a middle-aged man who smokes cigarettes. The condition is limited to the posterior two thirds of the dorsal surface of the tongue.
Close-up view of brown hairy tongue in a middle-aged man who smokes cigarettes. The condition is limited to the posterior two thirds of the dorsal surface of the tongue.
This patient is a middle-aged woman who drank coffee and smoked cigarettes for many years. Her chief complaint was a tickling sensation in the oral pharynx during swallowing. The slight greenish cast to her tongue was due to the use of a mouthwash immediately prior to her appointment.
This male geriatric patient had smoked a pipe for many years. He was unaware of the presence of his hairy tongue until it was brought to his attention during a routine dental examination.
Male geriatric patient had smoked a pipe for many years. He was unaware of the presence of his hairy tongue until it was brought to his attention during a routine dental examination. Photo 1 month following his initial examination. While he has not decreased his pipe smoking, he has gently brushed the dorsal surface of his tongue when he brushes his teeth during the intervening 4 weeks. The hairy tongue has completely resolved.
Middle-aged woman with a hairy tongue that is brown.
 
 
 
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