Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tongue Hygiene

Most people know that to keep your teeth for a lifetime, we must brush and floss regularly. Even then, only about 5% of the population flosses on a regular basis. Even fewer people maintain good tongue hygiene!

I could write an entire book on the tongue alone. So, for the sake of keeping things simple, we'll only talk about tongue hygiene.

Taste buds free of bacteria and debris

Let's first start with what a healthy tongue looks like. A healthy tongue is pink. A healthy tongue has healthy taste buds. A healthy tongue is not smelly. Simple enough right?

Now, let's look at a tongue that isn't well maintained. The appearance is quite variable depending on what is living on your tongue. It could be white, black, brown, yellow or anything other than pink.

Significant accumulation of bacteria
and debris is evident
White bacteria and
debris is evident

We get many people that complain about their bad breath. There are many potential sources for this condition. The tongue has an irregular surface with much surface area. It's a perfect place for bacteria to hide in and colonize. A tongue full of bacteria is a common cause for bad breath.

There are different ways you can clean your tongue. One way is to simply brush the entire surface of the tongue. You can also use a tongue scraper. The main goal is to remove foreign debris and bacteria from the surface of the tongue. It only takes a short time. Incorporate this into your daily oral hygiene regimen to maintain a healthy mouth

Tongue hygiene using a tongue scraper

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit

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