We are often told to brush our teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep our teeth and gums healthy, but did anyone tell you to brush your language? Brushing your tongue can greatly improve overall oral health.
Although your tongue cannot get gingivitis or cavities, it still harbors the same bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. The tongue has a rough surface with many peaks and valleys, creating a perfect place for bacteria to accumulate quickly and can stay for a long time.
There can be up to 700 different bacteria in your mouth. Not all bacteria are bad, but bad bacteria can cause significant damage to your oral health. Here are some examples :
Halitosis (bad breath): This is the most common problem that arises from not brushing your tongue.
Reduced taste: Bacteria can coat the taste buds, making them less effective.
Black Hairy Tongue: Stains and bacteria adhere to the papillae of your tongue, giving a dark hairy appearance
Thrush: This is a fungal (yeast) infection that can start in the mouth and throat. It appears as creamy-white lesions on the tongue or the inside of the cheeks. It can be treated with antifungal medications.
Periodontal disease: Bacteria can spread throughout the mouth, causing a negative effect on gums and bones.
Brushing your tongue should be part of your oral care routine. Be sure to brush your tongue gently, brushing too vigorously can damage the delicate tissues of your tongue. When brushing your tongue with a toothbrush, use a slight downward motion as you would your hair. If you are using a tongue scraper, place it on the back of the tongue and gently scrape forward. You can repeat this step several times and rinse your mouth with water.
Ultimately, your tongue is an ideal place for bacteria to grow and grow. Following a regular oral care routine focused on good hygiene is the most effective way to fight bacteria in your mouth. In a good routine, tongue brushing should always be included.