This is a condition characterized by the hypertrophy of the filiform papillae of the tongue as well as desquamation of the area where this occurs.
If the papillae become stained with tobacco, they appear black in color and look like hair on the tongue. The tongue could also appear yellowish-white if foodstuff is trapped within these papillae. Anemia and gastric troubles are said to have a significant bearing on the development of this condition. Antibiotics like penicillin and Aureomycin are also responsible for the staining of the papillae. Smoking remains the biggest cause for the occurrence of the condition. Sometimes, head and neck irradiation after cancer may also produce this condition. The only treatment of the condition is to keep the tongue as clean as possible by using a toothbrush.