The Importance of a Clean Tongue
More than often, people forget that oral hygiene and health does not only involve the teeth. A healthy mouth must also have a healthy clean tongue, and here’s why it’s necessary:
Your tongue is covered with bacteria
Coffee turns it brown, red wine turns it red. The truth is, your tongue is just as much of a target for bacteria as your teeth are, even if it is not at risk for developing cavities itself.
So, what is this buildup? It’s not just harmless saliva, says Kling. It’s a biofilm, or a group of microorganisms, that stick together on the surface of the tongue just like a sponge & unfortunately, getting rid of it isn’t as simple as drinking water or using mouthwash.
“It’s difficult to kill the bacteria in the biofilm because, for example, when mouth rinses are used, only the outer cells of the biofilm are destroyed,” says Kling. “The cells beneath the surface still thrive.”
These bacteria can lead to bad breath and even tooth damage because of this you physically have to remove the bacteria off your tongue by scrapping the biofilm with a tongue scrapper.
Why Should We Clean Our Tongues?
The tongue is one of the softest organs in our mouth that harbour the most bacteria as it doesn’t just have taste buds on it, it also has crevices, elevations, and all sorts of tiny structures that capture the bacteria unless physically removed. Letting all this
bacteria sit and multiply can cause bad breath or halitosis, as well as tooth decay on the inner surfaces of the teeth. This is why it’s so important to regularly clean our tongues — so we can get rid of all the unwanted bacterial buildup! Another benefit to removing the bacteria from our tongues is that it clears the way for our tastebuds to do their jobs effectively. A bacteria-free tongue not just help taste food much more effectively it also makes the first stage of the digestive process more effective too, which means improving our digestive health!
Keeping it clean
Underlying conditions aside, just how important is it to clean your tongue as part of your daily routine? According to dentist Dr Richard Marques, it's just as important as cleaning any other part of your mouth.
"Your tongue is like a sponge where bacteria and food particles get trapped and build up throughout the day and whilst you sleep," he explains.
"Leaving them there to multiply can lead to all sorts of unpleasant results, ranging from bad breath and a furry tongue, all the way to tooth decay and gum disease when the bacteria spread to other parts of your mouth."
Note that your diet also plays a large part in tongue hygiene.
"If you eat a lot of 'roughage', such as raw vegetables, your tongue will be naturally clean. However, most of us don't - so tongue cleaning as part of your daily oral health regimen twice a day is a good idea," he suggests.
How is tongue scraping beneficial?
Debris, bacteria, and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health & your confidence.
Using a tongue scraper can help remove this buildup, as well as:
Improve your sense of taste.
Older research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice daily can improve your sense of taste. Your tongue may be able to better distinguish between bitter, sweet, salty, and sour sensations along with the temperatures of your food & beverage intakes.
Improve the appearance of your tongue. Buildup of excess debris can cause your tongue to take on a white, coated appearance. Daily scraping can help remove this coating and prevent it from returning.
Remove bacteria. Researchers in one 2005 study Trusted Source found that using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days reduced the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria types are known to cause bad breath and dental decay.
Improve overall health. Removing bacteria from your tongue plays is key role in preventing cavities, gum disease, and other conditions that affect the mouth. Tongue scraping can help clear Trusted Source these bacteria from the mouth, improving your tongue’s appearance and overall sensation.
Reduce bad breath. Although tongue scraping can’t replace brushing your teeth, scraping may do some things better. Researchers in one 2004 study found that scraping was more effective than brushing at removing odor-causing bacteria.