You use your tongue to articulate speech, taste your favorite foods, and occasionally — if you’re feeling childish — insult someone whom you don’t like. This little group of muscles is an important part of a full life, but you might take it for granted. While you’re probably diligent about cleaning your teeth and gums, are you just as careful to make sure your tongue gets the TLC it deserves? Your dentist in North Dallas is here to explain why cleaning this small organ is so important.
The Tongue Collects Bacteria
Bacteria love to take up residence on your teeth and gums. Eventually, those bacteria lead to plaque and tartar, which in turn lead to tooth decay. And even though there’s no such thing as tongue decay, bacteria still collect there. In fact, your tongue may be home to more than half of the bacteria in your mouth. Gross!
The bacteria settle between the little bumps on your tongue, which are called papillae. They can then lead to all sorts of problems you want nothing to do with. One of the most noticeable issues is bad breath — and no one wants to be the guy whose mouth exudes unpleasant odors every time he speaks. You might also notice a white film develop on your tongue.
Keep in mind that those bacteria don’t always stay settled on your tongue. Throughout the day, they can be redeposited onto your teeth and comes, increases the chances of plaque and tarter buildup.
How to Clean Your Tongue
Now that you understand why cleaning your tongue is so important, you need to know how best to vanquish those nasty bacteria. When you’re brushing your teeth, try to remember to brush your tongue as well. Start at the back and move your way forward, and then gently scrub the insides of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth as well. This method of cleaning isn’t as thorough as other techniques, but it’s a good start toward a healthier, cleaning mouth.
It’s also a good idea to buy a tongue scraper. It’s a small, handheld device that is specially designed to remove the mucus layer on top of the tongue, taking bacteria with it as it goes. You simply pull the scraper from the back of your tongue to the front. Remember not just to focus on the center of this little organ; the sides need to be cleaned as well. Be sure to give the tongue scraper a thorough cleaning after each use.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Even if, after getting into a routine of cleaning your tongue, you still struggle with bad breath or other issues, pay a visit to your dentist in North Dallas. They can examine your mouth for problems and give it a professional clean that you couldn’t achieve at home.
A clean tongue is part of a healthy mouth, so be sure to give this little organ the love it deserves.
About the Author
Dr. John Grinaldi has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years. His extensive experience and education equip him to help patients attain excellent oral health. If you have questions about how to keep your mouth clean, fresh, and well-functioning, contact Dr. Grinald’s team at 972-437-4746.