A man in Ohio was diagnosed recently with a condition that is as straightforward – and nightmarish – as it sounds. It’s called “hairy tongue syndrome” and presents as a carpet of green fibers blanketing the tongue. Docs tried to treat the 64-year-old’s problem with antifungal meds, but it didn’t seem to stop his mouth from looking like a neon shag carpet.
How did the guy end up with this problem? Experts have no clue. However, this problem, which is uncommon and dates back to the 1500s, seems to appear more in men and is associated with older age, smoking, alcohol use, excessive coffee or black tea, poor oral hygiene, certain cancers, and the use of certain medications like antibiotics. Luckily for this patient, however, his tongue tangles cleared up after brushing them multiple times a day to help the cells slough off.