It’s easy to take your tongue for granted. Without it, you’d have great difficulty tasting, digesting food, and speaking clearly. Despite its versatility and usefulness, your tongue also harbors millions of bacteria. Most of the time, these bacteria are harmless. Then there are those that colonize the bumps, ridges, and folds of your tongue, emitting foul-smelling sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. You already know how important it is to brush and floss, but have you thought about the importance of cleaning your tongue each day? Dr. Newton, a Celina, TX dentist, explains the benefits of tongue scraping.
Brushing or Scraping?
Not all means of cleaning your tongue are as effective. The Journal of Periodontology published a study showing that tongue scraping decreases production of smelly sulfur by as much as 75 percent. Brushing your tongue with your toothbrush only reduces volatile sulfur compound production by 45 percent. However, specially made tongue brushes, hybrids between scrapers and toothbrushes, are comparable to tongue scrapers. These can be purchased individually, or you can find them on many toothbrushes, usually on the back of the head.
Getting More From Tongue Cleaning
To make tongue scraping more effective, follow these guidelines:
- Cleanse as far back on the tongue as you are able, then work forward. The majority of bacteria are hidden near the back of your tongue by your throat.
- Rinse your mouth out after scraping.
- Cleanse the top and sides of your tongue.
- Rinse your tongue scraper before and after you use it each time.
What If I Still Have Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth are red flags associated with periodontal disease. If you experience these problems frequently, throughout the day, and even after brushing, flossing, and scraping, it’s best to visit your Prosper, TX dentist. Other symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, loose teeth, and inflammation. Bad breath may also indicate that you have an oral infection. If so, you may need root canal therapy.
Questions about chronic bad breath? To learn more about preventive dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Newton, contact us at 214. 851. 0130. We welcome patients living in Celina, Prosper, Allen, Wylie, and the surrounding areas.