3 Reasons Your Tongue Just Grew A Fuzzy Layer

Posted on: 13 November 2015


You start to brush your teeth one morning and suddenly discover that your tongue has sprouted a new fuzzy layer on its surface. No, you're not turning into a werewolf from the inside out. Fuzzy tongues aren't uncommon and the causes tend to be both benign and easy to treat.                                                                                                      

Here are a few of the reasons your tongue could have grown a fuzzy layer. 

Hairy Tongue

Hairy tongue is one of the few causes of darker colored tongue fuzz. The condition occurs due to poor oral hygiene, which can occur even if you brush your teeth regularly if you don't also floss and brush your soft tissue. The fuzz can become quite long, which provides the "hairy" part of the name.

Treating hairy tongue is as simple as improving your oral healthcare. Visit your dentist for a deep cleaning and follow the instructions on aftercare. You will want to use a tongue scraper as part of your routine at least until the fuzz disappears.

Dry Mouth

Saliva plays several important roles in your oral health that include helping to keep your tongue cleaner and lubricated. Lack of saliva due to illness, medicinal reaction, or a blocked salivary gland can cause your tongue to become overly dry and irritated. The surface of your tongue can then form a white fuzz.

Cure the fuzz by curing the cause of the dry mouth. Ask your doctor for a different medication, if possible, or seek treatment for a blocked gland. Your dentist can usually unplug a blocked gland easily in one office visit. If the cause of the dry mouth can't be corrected, request a prescription for artificial saliva drops that can help moisturize your tongue enough to calm the inflammation and the resulting fuzz.


Thrush is an oral yeast infection that causes a white fuzzy layer on your tongue. Thrush is most common in those with systemic illnesses or compromised immune systems. Diabetics and those with H.I.V. are particularly vulnerable, but some common medications can also cause thrush as a side effect.

How can you tell thrush from the symptoms of dry mouth? Thrush's white discoloration tends to show up in rounded lesion-shaped growths that are fuzzy on the surface. So some of your natural tongue might still be visible between the lesions.

Thrush is treated with a regimen of antifungal medications. Proper oral healthcare and eating yogurt can help reduce the chance of thrush recurring.

Contact  a local dentist, such as one found through http://www.fortcollinsdentist.com, for further assistance.