Man’s Tongue Turns Green And Hairy After Reaction To Cigarettes And Antibiotics


We have been warned for a very long time about the harmful effects that smoking can have on our bodies.

Whether it is lung damage, a higher risk of cancer diagnosis among smokers, or more obvious effects like yellow fingernails.

But given that a man from the US reported a change in the colour of his tongue after taking antibiotics, this particular symptom is undoubtedly odd and unsettling.

Around two weeks after he realised his tongue had started to change colour, the unidentified 64-year-old Ohio man went to the doctor.

But his trip to the doctor’s office was made just three weeks after he finished a prescription of the antibiotic clindamycin for a gum infection.

A case study from the New England Journal of Medicine described the man’s somewhat unusual symptoms and revealed that he is a smoker.

The study’s specifics are a little hazy, though; for instance, it’s not apparent how frequently or for how long the man smokes.

Additionally, the authors failed to say if the colour change was specifically brought on by smoking, the antibiotics, or a combination of the two.

However, images included in the report show the man had a green, hairy tongue, which has actually made me skip lunch.

The individual was later determined to have a hairy tongue, which is described as “an abnormal coating” of skin cells that grows on top of the tongue and accumulates debris and microorganisms.

They, also known as papillae, accumulate on the area of the tongue where the taste buds are located.

The same protein that makes up human hair, keratin, can grow up on the top of the tongue if there is a lack of stimulation or abrasion there.

The papillae then lengthen beyond what is typical, giving the tongue a “hairy” appearance and texture.

As a result, things like germs and yeast can become trapped, resulting in very odd tongue hues like this man’s.

There is a link between smoking cigarettes and having bad dental health, according to earlier studies.

People are now well aware thanks to this research that smoking can lead to plaque and bacterial growth.

Regarding antibiotics, they may modify the microbiome of the mouth, causing bacteria to change and become able to reside on the tongue.