Tongue cleaning is the process of scraping or brushing the tongue with a special device or toothbrush to eliminate bacteria and debris. The tongue serves several purposes. These include chewing, swallowing, and speech. It contains taste buds that allow you to taste sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. The tongue also has numerous nerves that detect and transmit taste signals to the brain. For these reasons and more, tongue cleaning is highly important.
Improve Your Sense of Taste
Research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology reports that using a tongue scraper two times a day to clean the tongue may improve a person’s sense of taste. When food particles, bacteria, and debris are not clogging the taste buds, the tongue is better able to distinguish between different taste sensations.
Remove Harmful Bacteria
A clinical study published in Odonto-Stomatologie Tropicale Journal found that cleaning the tongue with a scraper twice a day for a period of seven days helped to reduce the amount of Mutans streptococci Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria contribute to dental decay and bad breath.
Enhance the Appearance of the Tongue
When food particles, bacteria, and debris are allowed to build up in the mouth, the tongue can take on a whitish appearance. This white coating can appear unsightly when you laugh or open your mouth. By brushing or scraping your tongue on a daily basis, you can remove this coating and prevent it from returning.
Reduce Amount of Plaque
Plaque is a colorless, sticky film that is constantly forming on the surface of your teeth. While plaque is fairly easy to remove when it’s still soft, it can become highly challenging to remove when it has hardened to tartar. Tongue cleaning can help aid in the removal of harmful plaque which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Achieve Fresher Breath
Odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth are usually responsible for bad breath. Failing to brush and floss on a regular basis can cause these bacteria to accumulate. It’s the sulfur compounds released by these bacteria that makes your breath smell bad. Tongue cleaning helps to reduce the germs that cause bad breath and keep them to a minimum.
Decrease the Risk of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal, or gum disease, occurs when the gums become infected due to the formation of deep pockets between the gums and teeth. Periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease, progresses without treatment. Tongue cleaning helps to remove the bacteria responsible for the inflammation or infection of the gums.
Prevent a Case of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a common infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. When bad bacteria in the mouth continues to build up over time, it can create white patches on the tongue known as thrush. Regular tongue brushing, in combination with an antifungal medication, can cure oral thrush and help prevent it from coming back.
Boost Your Immunity and Digestive Health
Many people do not realize that the tongue plays an important role in both the immune and digestive systems. It acts as a layer of defense, preventing harmful toxins from being absorbed into the body. Brushing or scraping your tongue on a regular basis helps to keep these harmful bacteria at bay which can boost your immune and digestive health.
How to Properly Clean Your Tongue
Cleaning your tongue is a simple process that takes just a couple minutes a day to complete. After brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing like you normally would in the morning and night, run a scraper across the entire surface of the tongue. Start at the back of the tongue and go forward, applying gentle pressure. It should not hurt at all.
Alternatively, you can use a standard toothbrush to clean your tongue. Apply a dab of toothpaste to the brush and gently scrub the surface of the tongue and spit out any excess toothpaste into the sink. If you need assistance with tongue cleaning, ask your Melbourne, Florida dentist.
Schedule a Dental Teeth Cleaning
Routine dental cleanings, along with proper hygiene habits established at home, can help keep the mouth healthy. Reach out to our experts at Artistic Touch Dentistry today and schedule an appointment in our Melbourne, Florida office.