Most of the discussion dentistry is placed on the teeth and gums. While this is warranted and necessary for both our oral and overall health, it’s important to remember that our tongues are important too. In fact, our tongues are just as susceptible to bacterial infection as the rest of our mouths, and it is important to clean them daily as well. If you seek the peak of oral health, it is important to pay attention to your tongue.
At this Melbourne, Florida dentist practice we work hard to educated our patients on all aspects of their oral health. The health of your tongue should never be underestimated or forgotten. Here are a few things you can do to keep your tongue happy.
Brushing your Tongue
One of the pleasant side effects of brushing your teeth is fresh breath. This is because bad breath is caused by bacteria digesting sugars in our mouths. When you remove the bacteria with brushing, you are removing this foul odor. Bacteria does not just cling to our teeth and gums however. It is present on every square inch of our oral tissues – this includes the tongue and inner cheeks. By brushing these tissues you can dislodge the harmful bacteria and prevent odors from emanating from your mouth. If you look at your tongue, you will notice that it is not smooth like the surface of the tooth. It is full of taste buds, bumps and creases. All of these areas are perfect habitats for harmful bacteria. To remove this you can gently brush them away. Start by moving your brush back and forth then side to side. Follow up by rinsing your mouth out with an ADA approved mouthwash. Removing this bacteria prevents further tooth infection and can help to keep your mouth clean for the next 12 hours until you brush your teeth and tongue again. Try to incorporate gentle tongue brushing into your daily oral health routine.
Just like there are many products out there that help you take care of your teeth and gums, there are also choices when it comes to the health and maintenance of your tongue. A tongue scraper is a utensil designed to remove the bacteria-laden biofilm from your tongue. This utensil is just as efficient as brushing the tongue, however some people prefer this. To scrape your tongue you only need to place the scraper on the back of your tongue and move it forward. You can follow this practice up with a mouthrinse that will kill bacteria that was upended as a result of the scraping. These tools can also help to prevent the buildup of bacteria and resolve a case of bad breath.
The Unsung Benefits of Taking Care of your Tongue
Like tooth brushing, the benefits of tongue care go far beyond the eradication of bad breath. From the eyes of this Melbourne, Florida dentist, the removal of oral bacteria is the main concern because oral bacteria can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. However, by taking care of your tongue by brushing or scraping you are doing much more. Taking a second to examine your tongue and oral tissues during your oral routine can be the first step in the detection of unusual oral pathology. If you are well aware of what your tongue looks like on a daily basis, you can easily spot lesions or changes in color and texture that may indicate a larger issue such as oral cancer. By being aware of the health of your whole mouth, you can do your best to alert your Melbourne, Florida dentist when something is amiss. This can lead to quicker diagnosis and any necessary treatment.
When you brush your teeth for two minutes twice every day, don’t forget to take a moment to treat your tongue to some attention. Adding this small step can help you take better care of your mouth as a whole, prevent the buildup of biofilms full of bacteria, and provide you with the freshest breath you can imagine. If you have any questions about the health of your mouth and tongue, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Brazdo at your next appointment.