Tongue brushing for better breath and better oral health.
You might think tongue brushing is a waste of time. Or perhaps you just never thought of incorporating it into your routine. After all, you can’t get cavities or tooth decay on your tongue, so what’s the point? Well, actually, tongue brushing can improve your breath and help protect your oral health. Let us discover the ways.
Just like your teeth and all surfaces of the mouth, your tongue is a warm wet environment. Furthermore, the tongue may look like a smooth, uniform surface. However, upon closer examination, it is covered in tiny bumps and crevices, also known as taste buds or papilla. Together, these conditions create the perfect environment for bacteria to propagate—the same bacteria that causes tooth decay. So, if you neglect your tongue entirely, this bacteria will naturally transfer to your freshly cleaned teeth. Instead, give your tongue a thorough yet gentle cleaning every time you brush your teeth. Additionally, you may choose to purchase a tongue scraper to assist your daily regimen. A tongue scraper is a simple plastic device to scrape the surface of your tongue, removing the smelly, bacteria-filled buildup. In this way, tongue brushing may also help improve problems with bad breath (AKA halitosis).
In addition to brushing, you should examine your tongue from time to time to look for changes and any possible problems. The tongue heals fast, so any sores or abrasions should subside within a week or two. Any wound, lesion, discoloration, or discomfort that continues longer may be a symptom of other problems.
Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to call our office!