What’s your Tongue got to do with it?

The tongue’s surface is the main breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can attack your teeth and gums, cause cavities and periodontal diseases, and release toxins in your mouth that produce foul-smelling odours. Brushing and flossing are important to keep your mouth healthy, but a simple scraping of your tongue can significantly reduce bad breath odours.

Brushing your teeth alone does nothing to remove the oral debris and dead cells on the tongue because the most it can do is mask the bad breath for a short while. A combination of brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning can show a huge improvement in your breath, almost immediately.

A common dental myth is that the stomach is the cause of bad breath. Research has shown that bad breath resulting from the stomach is so rare that only one in a thousand people treated for bad breath has an underlying stomach issue. Bad breath is caused by decaying food particles, periodontal disease, decayed tooth particles, debris in the mouth, and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris can produce a chemical compound that creates bad breath. Bad breath also occurs in people who suffer from systemic diseases and medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney failure, and liver malfunction.

To combat bad breath, follow these simple tongue cleaning steps:

  • Open your mouth and stick your tongue out as far as possible. Force yourself to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. Continue to focus on your breathing as you clean your tongue.
  • Place a tongue scraper on the back left side of the tongue. Press down gently on the scraper so that it causes the tongue to flatten.
  • Slowly pull the scraper forward across the surface of the tongue until you reach the tip of the tongue. Place the scraper under a stream of water to clear it of debris.
  • Place the scraper on the back middle section of the tongue. Repeat the scraping process and rinse the scraper. Place the tongue scraper in the back right corner of the tongue and repeat the process.
  • Repeat cleaning each section of the tongue until you no longer notice debris on the scraper when removed.

For more tips on combating bad breath, contact Corné Smith Dentistry in Claremont, Cape Town today.

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