Dental & Oral Health: Why You Should Not Neglect To Clean Your Tongue Too | Dr. Alex Midtown NYC Cosmetic Dentist

Dental & Oral Health: Why You Should Not Neglect To Clean Your Tongue Too

Forgetting to clean your tongue is something that many people do after brushing their teeth. This element of oral health is essential and should be addressed. Failing to clean your tongue after brushing your teeth could cause several problems.

Physiology is partly why it’s essential to clean your tongue when brushing your teeth. When sleeping, the digestive system detoxifies itself. Many of the toxins resulting from this process are deposited on the surface of the tongue. This is why most people have bad breath in the morning. It also accounts for the coating on the tongue commonly noticed when one first wakes up in the morning. This film can be used as a proxy to determine how your body functions.

Here are some common reasons why you need to pay attention to cleaning your tongue.

It’s A Common Cause of Halitosis

Having bad breath can be embarrassing and is considered a social faux pas. Neglecting to clean your tongue contributes to bad breath considerably, especially in the morning. The mechanism for this is simple. The bacteria on the tongue feed on food matter on the tongue’s surface and, in the process, can release noxious gases. These gases and food debris on the tongue cause bad breath. Cleaning your tongue, especially before going to bed, can drastically reduce the intensity of bad breath.

The process does not require any unique products. Simply brushing your tongue gently after brushing your teeth will eliminate the bacteria and food debris on the tongue’s surface. In the morning, you should brush your tongue gently to get rid of the toxins. Ideally, brushing your teeth and tongue after eating would be best. You can also buy tongue cleaners if you don’t want to use your toothbrush to clean your tongue. These cost around the same as a regular toothbrush and can be slightly more effective at reducing food matter and bacteria on the tongue’s surface.

It Can Affect Your Overall Health

Bacteria and toxins are deposited on the surface of your tongue as you sleep. If they are not removed, the toxins are reabsorbed into the body and can cause systemic illnesses. Common conditions resulting from these include a weakened immune system, digestive system anomalies, and respiratory diseases. When your tongue is not cleaned correctly, the bacteria on its surface flourish and can cause upper respiratory tract infections, such as a sore throat.

It Increases Plaque Formation

The bacteria on the tongue’s surface can move to the surface of the teeth and form a film on them. Plaque is simply an accumulation of bacteria and food matter. It takes roughly 24 hours for plaque to develop. This is why it is recommended that you brush your teeth a minimum of twice every day. However, neglecting to clean your tongue could transfer bacteria from the tongue to the teeth and still cause plaque or cavity formation. Preventing this requires physically scraping the bacteria and food matter off the tongue’s surface.

As you can see, dental and oral health is essential and should be done correctly. Another aspect of proper oral health is visiting a dentist at least twice a year. They will inspect your teeth for emerging anomalies or illnesses and treat them before they become severe. You can also contact a trusted dental clinic for more information on oral health.

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