Dental Tips Blog

Jan
27

Why and How You Should Clean Your Tongue

Posted in Bad Breath

Your tongue is a very important muscle. It helps you taste, speak, chew, and swallow. But it also hides bacteria! Just like your teeth, your tongue deserves a daily cleaning.

Why Clean Your Tongue?

You may have noticed that your tongue is covered in bumps called papillae. Papillae help you sense textures and contain taste buds. They also provide the perfect hideouts for biofilm and other types of bacterial growth.

These germs give off noxious compounds that cause bad breath. Additionally, no matter how well you brush and floss, if you don’t clean your tongue, all that bacteria will come right back on your teeth within minutes after brushing.

Rinsing is not enough to clean your tongue. Antibacterial mouthwash only kills a few germs on the surface. You have to physically remove the film and food debris from off your tongue to get it really clean.

How to Clean Your Tongue?

Brushing is one method. There’s no need to be rough –  just scrub enough to loosen debris. Using a tongue scraper is another good option. A scraper is a thin flexible metal or plastic band that you pull gently over the surface of your tongue from back to front. Rinse it off after each pass.

Brush or scrape your tongue twice a day if bad breath plagues you. Stay hydrated with lots of water since dry mouth promotes bacterial growth and halitosis. Chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate a cleansing and hydrating saliva flow and to keep breath fresh.

Despite having a clean tongue, halitosis (bad breath) could indicate there’s a more serious issue such as gum disease or tooth decay. Contact your dentist for more oral hygiene tips and a dental health checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

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