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WRITER FUEL: Who Knew Hairy Tongue Was a Thing?

Hairy tongue
Image credit: The New England Journal of Medicine ©2023

A 64-year-old man got a medical checkup after his tongue began sprouting green “hairs.” The bizarre-looking fuzz turned out to be caused by a fairly common and harmless condition known as hairy tongue.

The patient’s tongue had turned green about two weeks before he visited the clinic, shortly after he had completed a course of antibiotics for a gum infection. When the discoloration initially appeared, doctors suspected a case of oral thrush, a kind of fungal infection, and prescribed an antifungal treatment, but this did nothing to curtail the moss-like growths.

Upon closer inspection, physicians noticed that the man’s filiform papillae — the tiny, cone-shaped bumps that cover the surface of the tongue and give it its rough texture — were longer than what would be expected on a healthy tongue. The doctors saw no other signs of injury or disease and the patient reported no pain or change in his sense of taste.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

Full Story From Live Science

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