What Happens When You Skip Out on Brushing Your Tongue?
At night when you grab your toothbrush and are prepared to brush your teeth, are you ensuring you brush your tongue too? You should be!
Discover what could happen to your teeth, gums, and mouth when you don’t brush your tongue.
Your Mouth is a Breeding Ground for Bacteria
Not many people realize just how much bacteria is in the mouth. Scientists and researchers believe that there are over 700 different types of bacteria in the mouth.
Not all the bacteria that is found in the mouth is bad. Some of it is good and helps with your overall health, but a lot of it can be harmful. Brushing your tongue on a daily basis allows you to remove the harmful bacteria from your mouth before it can cause any problems.
Think of Your Tongue as a Sponge
When it comes to bacteria and your tongue, think of your tongue as a sponge. It absorbs the bacteria in the mouth. If the bad bacteria is left on the tongue, it can breed and multiply, which can cause numerous health and dental problems.
PROBLEM #1 — BAD BREATH
The most common problem that you will start to experience if you do not brush your tongue is bad breath. The bad bacteria in the mouth can start to give off a very foul smell and fight against keeping your breath fresh.
PROBLEM #2 — INABILITY TO PROPERLY TASTE FOOD AND DRINKS
If you leave the bacteria on your tongue, it will eventually start to form something that is known as a biofilm. That biofilm can block your taste buds which will dramatically alter how food and drink tastes.
PROBLEM #3 — TONGUE CAN DEVELOP A BLACK HAIRY APPEARANCE
Bacteria on the tongue is extremely sticky. Food and drink particles can get stuck on the bacteria. If it isn’t removed your tongue may start to develop a discolored appearance and look hairy.
PROBLEM #4 — YEAST INFECTION
A condition known as oral thrush, or a yeast infection, can develop when the bacteria in the mouth are left to multiple. The only way to treat a yeast infection on the tongue is to get a prescription for an antifungal medication from your doctor or dentist in Clermont, FL.
PROBLEM #5 — ADVANCED GUM DISEASE
Gum disease, both minor and severe, is caused by the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria can cause your gums to appear swollen, red, and irritated.
How to Brush Your Tongue
You have two options when it comes to brushing your tongue. The easiest solution is to use a dental tool known as a tongue scraper. This tiny handheld tool is like dental floss for your tongue. You take the tool, push it to the back of your tongue, then gently pull it forward through the mouth. This will remove any bacteria and biofilm that is forming on the tongue.
The other solution is to use your toothbrush. However, if you do choose to use your toothbrush, it is important that you follow a few simple rules so that you don’t spread the bacteria throughout your mouth.
Dentists recommend doing the following if you wish to use a toothbrush to brush your tongue:
- Rinse your toothbrush under warm water before brushing your tongue, especially if you brush your teeth first.
- Start from the back of your tongue and work your way forward
- Brush your tongue gently so you don’t cause any injury to your tongue
- Avoid hitting your teeth or gums with your toothbrush
- Don’t vigorously rub your tongue with your toothbrush
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any loose bacteria that may not have been properly removed by brushing
Your Dentist Will Be Able to Tell If You Skip Out On Brushing Your Tongue
During your next routine examination with your dentist, ask him or her to show you how to properly brush your tongue.
Looking for a new dentist? Hancock Village Dental offers a wide variety of family dentistry services, ranging from routine dental care to restorative and cosmetic dental services. We would love to welcome you to our dental family!