You’re probably brushing at least twice daily, and hopefully, flossing at least once per day. However, the secret to a healthy mouth also entails caring for your tongue. At Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants, we recommend you add tongue cleaning into your normal routine, and here’s why.
Your tongue has small crevices that are ideal homes for bacteria growth. These crannies are formed by your taste buds, and they’re excellent places for bacteria to form. If you aren’t cleaning your tongue regularly, this bacteria will remain there. Surprisingly one study showed out of 21 subjects, all 21 had the presence of three types of bacteria: Streptococcus, Rothia, and Actinomyces.
The bacteria on your tongue won’t wash away with your saliva alone, nor will rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash kill all the microorganisms on it. The bacteria on your tongue clings to the surface of it. So, when you’re using mouthwash, drinking water, or swallowing the saliva in your mouth, you’re only eliminating the bacteria on the surface while some of it is still thriving underneath.
As bacteria remains on your tongue, it can cause you to have bad breath. It may contribute to tooth decay, and bacteria that remain close to your gum line can lead to gum disease.
Besides bacteria, you also have to worry about fungus accumulating. Plus, bacteria and fungi are known to coincide.
Oral thrush is one example. It’s an infection caused by the overgrowth of the yeast, Candida albicans, and it’s more common when you have bacteria in your mouth. With this issue, you may develop white lesions on your inner cheeks, tongue, the roof of your mouth, gums, and even tonsils. It’s known to cause burning and soreness that can interfere with chewing and swallowing. You may also notice cracking and redness in the corner of your mouth.
Improves the Taste of Food
If you notice your food hasn’t been tasting as flavorful as it once was or has a peculiar taste, it may stem from plaque build-up on your tongue. When you remove the plaque, you’ll improve and enhance the flavor of the food you consume.
Reduces Toxin Exposure
One place toxins may enter your body is through your tongue. These toxins can affect various parts of your body, including your digestive tract and immune system. You prevent your tongue from having a great deal of time to absorb the toxins when you clean it regularly.
How to Clean Your Tongue Properly
It’s vital to clean your tongue at least twice per day, but you must do it carefully and use the proper tools, either a toothbrush or scraper.
After you finish brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to clean all areas of your tongue. Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Not only will it prevent you from damaging the enamel on your teeth, but this will also protect your tongue from a cut. Always gently brush your tongue, just as you do your teeth. This further reduces your risk of hurting your tongue while still getting it clean.
Once you brush your teeth, stick out your tongue and let it hang down, not pointing it. Apply your scraper furthest in the back of your mouth. Don’t go too far back, though. You don’t want to cause yourself to gag. Keep in mind that you can gradually increase how far back you place the scraper as you adjust to this process.
Continuously place the scraper in the back of your mouth and then pull it forward. Gentle pressure is all you need. After every scrape, rinse the scraper off.
Cleaning your tongue is an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy. It’s just as important as brushing and flossing. And once you get used to doing it, you’ll get into the habit, as you have with the rest of your oral care.
Contact us today for an appointment by calling 321-610-7868 or using our contact form.