While most people understand the importance of brushing their teeth and flossing, only a few bother to clean their tongues. When you forget to brush your tongue, you’re skipping a large area where all kinds of harmful bacteria gather in colonies. The best dentist in Morton, IL, confirms that these bacteria will eventually cause trouble in your mouth unless you change your ways.
Since most of the bacteria in your mouth live and breed on your tongue’s surface, don’t be surprised if you fail the sniff test when you blow into your cupped hands to check for bad breath. Unless you’re willing to let the layers of foul-smelling bacteria fester, be sure to brush your tongue.
When food particles and bacteria build up on your tongue, they cover the taste buds and cause your sense of taste to dissipate. As a result, the flavors that you once loved will taste dull. Since brushing your tongue exposes more of your taste buds, it allows you to indulge in and enjoy the richer flavors of your food.
Bacteria on the tongue can transfer to the teeth and cause the gums to become red and swollen. Unless you see a dentist, gum inflammation will eventually lead to gum disease, a condition that may cause serious health risks if left undiagnosed.
As bacteria excessively multiply on your tongue’s surface, white patches will appear on your tongue over time. These patches indicate oral thrush, an infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast in your mouth. While antifungal medication can treat this condition, regular tongue brushing can keep it from coming back.
Your tongue has tiny cone-shaped protrusions called the papillae that help grip food while you’re chewing your food. Drinking excessive amounts of dark-colored beverages such as coffee, black tea, red wine, or soda can leave stains on these structures. Without regular tongue brushing, these stains can make your tongue look dark and hairy.
It would be best if you brush your tongue after brushing your teeth. Once you've rinsed off your toothbrush, start brushing at the back of your tongue before working your way toward your mouth's opening. Next, brush the entire top surface of your tongue from side to side. Lastly, rinse your mouth with water and/or mouthwash.
Since your tongue is very delicate, you won’t need to put too much pressure against it while you’re brushing. Vigorous brushing or brushing with too much pressure will cause it to become irritated or inflamed. Additionally, dental professionals recommend using a separate soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your tongue to minimize the risk of transmitting bacteria to your teeth.
Are you looking for a dental practice that takes a one-on-one approach to dentistry and delivers the highest standard of care with a small-town touch in a safe and comfortable environment? The dedicated team of professionals at Morton Dental Center is here to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Contact our office today to make an appointment.