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Original article

The yellow hairy tongue

The yellow hairy tongue

Aryť Weinberg1,&, Andreas Eberhard Albers2


1Prosper-Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Recklinghausen, Germany, 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Berlin Institute of Health, Charitť-Universitštsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universitšt Berlin, Humboldt-Universitšt zu Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin 12200, Germany



&Corresponding author
Aryť Weinberg, Prosper-Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Recklinghausen, Germany



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A 36-year-old woman presented herself to our out-patient clinic because she noticed that her tongue turned turned partially hairy. She has been smoking 25 cigarettes a day for the last 17 years. Otherwise the patient was healthy. Clinical exam showed a soft yellowish tongue with a hairy center. The rest of the clinical exam was normal. A hairy tongue is a commen benign clinical condition caused by proliferation of the papillae facilitating the collection of bacteria and debris and finially in discoloartion. The discoloration can vary from black, brown to yellow. Contributing factors are smoking, excessive consumation of coffee, alcohol, poor oral hygienes, hyposalivation, eating a soft diet and the use of certain antibiotics such as tetracyclines. The treatment consists of the correction of the contributing factors. In our case the cessation of smoking and the improvement of oral hygiene was recommended.



Figure 1: hairy yellow tongue