Do I Need To Brush My Tongue?
By Roger B. Parkes, DMD on January 08, 2016
The surface of the tongue is covered with many little tissue projections, called papillae, which serve various functions such as detecting taste. Papillae also provide protection for bacterial colonies.
The bacteria that cause gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay live in groups, called colonies. One problem caused by bacterial colonization is the production of foul odors. Since foul odors originate from bacteria, an unclean tongue is a major source of bad breath, or halitosis.
Brushing the tongue is a great way to manage these bacterial colonies making them much less destructive when their groups are mechanically broken up with a toothbrush.It also reduces overall amount of germs in the mouth to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Some dentists also advocate scraping the tongue routinely with special tools as treatment for halitosis. Probably the most effective time for brushing and/or scraping the tongue for the management of halitosis is when brushing the teeth in the morning.
Some general brushing tips:
- Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from gumline.
- Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
- Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
You can visit animated-teeth for more information on brushing your tongue.
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