Without our tongues, we could not speak, taste or swallow. It can certainly be one of your most powerful assets - and one that may get you in trouble from time to time. But how well are you caring for your tongue?
There is more bacteria in your mouth than cells in your body. A large portion of this bacteria reside on the surface of your tongue! So while you may be diligent in your brushing and flossing, if you are just cleaning your teeth, you are neglecting a major source of cavity-causing bacteria left on your tongue. The bacteria left on the rough surface and grooves of your tongue will essentially be transferred right back onto your teeth and gums within hours after you've brushed.
Not only does cleaning your tongue help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, it can cause embarrassing bad breath. Halitosis, or bad breath, is a chronic condition that differs from just having garlic breath after an Italian dinner. Bacteria left on your tongue will eventually produce a foul odor that is released every time you talk or breathe out of your mouth. If you suffer from bad breath on a daily basis, start brushing your tongue!
Now that you are convinced to start treating and caring for your tongue with a little more effort, here are some tips for proper tongue care:
• ALL surfaces! Don't just brush the top of your tongue, but be sure to also clean the sides and underneath your tongue too.
• Not too hard. Although your tongue does have a somewhat rougher surface than your smooth tooth enamel, you do not need to brush too hard. Focus more on surface area rather than force.
• Rinse. Always rinse away the loosened bacteria and food debris once you are done. Consider using a mouth rinse to support your full mouth cleaning efforts.
• Check it out. Lastly, go ahead and stick out your tongue at yourself in the mirror. Get to know your tongue so that you can detect any sudden changes in texture or color. Always tell your dentist if you notice any bumps or sores that do not go away within 10-12 days. Certain changes in the color of your tongue (pale, purple or bright red) can indicate a health problem.
Grateful Dental is dedicated to helping our patients make the most of their oral hygiene efforts. If you need help on your tongue-brushing skills, we are ready to help. Your tongue can be a very valuable tool for you, so do all you can to keep it healthy!
2000 Powers Ferry Rd, Suite 1
Marietta, GA 30067
Phone: (678) 593-2979