You probably pay close attention to your teeth and gums during your oral hygiene routine. Your tongue plays an important role in the health of your mouth. Do you know that your tongue is your body’s strongest muscle? It helps you to speak clearly and to eat properly, but your tongue can also be home to many of the harmful germs that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues. To help make the most out of your dental hygiene routine, cleaning your tongue may be a beneficial added step.

Bacteria on Your Tongue

At any given second, there are approximately 10-15 billion bacteria in your mouth. A lot of the bacteria that live in your mouth is good bacteria that helps balance the flora and protect you against the harmful bacteria. The most destructive oral health issues start merely as a buildup of bad bacteria. When harmful bacteria bands together, it forms a sticky extracellular substance, known as plaque. Plaque helps the bacteria to adhere to the surfaces of your teeth and can calcify into tartar. Bacteria can cause acidic attacks on your teeth and irritation to your gums. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day helps to control the bacterial population on your teeth and gums, but half of those billions of bacteria in your mouth reside on your tongue.

Methods to Clean It

Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush can help you to keep your tongue clean. However, your toothbrush was designed to clean the solid, sturdy surfaces of your teeth. Since your tongue is not solid, a toothbrush is limited to how much it can clean from the spongy surface of your tongue. A tongue scraper is designed specifically for cleaning saliva, food debris, and oral bacteria from your tongue. One of the most immediate benefits of cleaning your tongue can be fresher breath because bacterial buildup is often responsible for foul-smelling breath.

A clean tongue can help protect your smile

Cleaning your tongue can be a beneficial addition to your hygiene. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield, TX and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.