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Smoker’s tongue sprouts green hair after years of smoking cigarettes

He tastes like salt and hair.

The tongue of a man from Ohio became green and covered in hair after a suspected response to smoking tobacco while also undergoing antibiotic treatment.

A research report describing the patient’s fuzzy green-looking sensory organ was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Based on the study report, the unnamed age 64 tobacco user visited the physician some weeks later, complaining that his candy sucker had altered in hue and grown hair resembling a transformation similar to that of a tongue-dwelling werewolf mythical creature.

Physicians identified him with a fuzzy tongue, “an irregular layer” of skin cells that emerges on the tongue when the filiform papillae, small cone-shaped protusions that house taste buds, enlarge and change color as a result of an accumulation of bacteria and waste.

This grants them the look of furry hair, which have the potential to extend up to almost an inch if the tongue is not frequently cleansed.

According to the Daily Mail, these substances have the ability to ensnare other materials such as microorganisms, food, and fungi, resembling a mouth-based fishing net.

The American Academy of Oral Medicine noted that “hairy tongue may appear brown, white, green, or pink, depending upon the specific cause and other factors, such as mouthwashes or even candy.”

The pictures of the condition display the gentleman’s tongue, which appears scraggy and green looking as though he had tasted the mythical creature Sasquatch on the Irish holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Usually triggered by inadequate mouth cleanliness, the ailment, which commonly impacts individuals above 40 years old (and is more prevalent in males), can be intensified by tobacco use, leading to the buildup of bacteria and plaque on the tongue.

Smoker’s tongue sprouts green hair after years of smoking cigarettes
The individual’s tongue appeared a green color and furry, resembling the colonization of mildew or algae that grows in freshwater. (The New England Journal of Medicine)

The physicians did not disclose the amount of time the man from Ohio had been smoking cigarettes, though.

This specific patient’s tongue of hair might have had an alternative reason: The physicians later discovered that the gentleman had recently completed a course of the antibiotic clindamycin for an infection on his gums.

Based on information provided by WebMD, the usage of antibiotics can disturb the balance of microorganisms in the mouth by changing the quantity and varieties of bacteria, leading them to accumulate on the food chomper’s tasters.

Physicians didn’t indicate whether the victim’s condition was triggered by smoking, usage of antibiotics, or a blend of both.

Fortunately, this usually fleeting state is seen as harmless, with its most severe symptom being a sensation that burns the taste bud organ.

Thankfully, individuals can remove this layer of buildup in the mouth by brushing it away with a toothbrush or tongue cleaner — just like the situation with the man from Ohio, who was advised to delicately scrub his tongue using a toothbrush four times each day.

Doctors also offered him the advice to stop smoking the cancer sticks.

Following six months, his furry tongue situation had entirely diminished, despite his continuous smoking habit.

In order to prevent the growth of a short beard on the tongue, medical professionals recommend maintaining proper hygeine,

“Brushing the top of the tongue with a toothbrush should be part of regular daily oral hygiene activities. Many individuals are sensitive and have a tendency to ‘gag’ when accomplishing this procedure,” AAOM said.

AAOM added that “using a small brush and gradually going backward tends to lessen this problem.”

This is especially crucial considering that fuzzy mouth, even though surreal, is a remarkably prevalent condition with 13% of grown-ups encountering it at least once during their existence.

During 2022, a peculiar incident occurred involving a gentleman from India whose tongue became covered in furry black, which happened to be the commonly known type, subsequent to experiencing a stroke.

Doctors believed that his infestation of fur on the tongue was likely due to the patient’s consumption of soft and fluid foods, a prescribed antibiotic routine due to his gums ailment, which fails to scrape the tongue’s outer layer as effectively as its solid alternatives.

For a bunch more reasons to switch to nicotine vaping, check out our article: FDA destroys U.S. Vape Industry… except Big Tobacco. A vape education.

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.


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