February 12, 2018
Bacteria are sneaky little critters that seek out any crevasse to snuggle and hide in. They can be found throughout your mouth, between your teeth, on your cheeks, at the gum line and on your tongue. These intruders lodge themselves between papillae, the raised bumpy parts, and when bacteria growth has gotten out of hand, the tongue can even become coated with a white film. But your dentist says there is protection available for it. Learn about cleaning techniques and the value of oral hygiene as you continue reading.
Why is it Important to Clean Your Tongue?
As stated above, your tongue is one of the places that bacteria like to hide. And this can cause troublesome problems, including:
- Dry Mouth – The bacteria that collect on the tongue can lead to severe dryness, which makes your mouth even more attractive to harmful agents.
- Bad Breath – An abundance of bacteria and dry mouth can also lead to chronic bad breath, which is one of your body’s natural ways of warning you of impending problems.
- Tooth Decay – Because your tongue contacts every part of your mouth, it can serve as a dangerous tool for spreading bacteria, which is another reason why it’s so important to keep it clean.
Ways to Clean Your Tongue
There are three very efficient ways to clean your tongue and used in concert, can help to eliminate bacteria. They include:
- Brushing with a Toothbrush – After you have finished cleaning your teeth, you can use a moist brush to gently glide over your tongue, moving it from back to front.
- Using Mouthwash – Another option you have is to use mouthwash. It will guard against dry mouth by flushing and washing away excess food particles and bacteria. To get the maximum effect, be sure to swish it around for at least 30 seconds.
- Tongue Scraping – A final remedy you have is tongue scraping. This apparatus applies slight pressure to your tongue and gets down into the papillae, dislodging bacteria and leftover food stuff. Moving from back to front, slide the scraper gently and rinse before re-inserting into your mouth.
Other Methods of Oral Hygiene
The other methods you use to clean your teeth and gums have an effect on the condition of your tongue too. It’s because the different parts of your mouth come in contact with each other one way or another. So when you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, you are still influencing the cleanliness of your tongue. Therefore, the best approach is to care for your mouth holistically.
As a result, you’ll continue to reap the endless benefits of excellent oral health!
About the Author
A highly accomplished instructor, researcher and practicing dentist, Kevin Guze, DMD earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of British Columbia. A member of the American Dental Association and several other professional organizations, Dr. Guze practices at Common Park Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.
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