We all know that it’s important to brush our teeth at least twice a day! Most of us, especially at the Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, even floss twice a day, but did you know if you’re not brushing your tongue you’re missing an important part of proper oral health? There are bacteria living on your tongue and if you don’t eradicate them, they can lead to a whole host of problems!
It’s true that your tongue doesn’t face the same risks as your teeth. It can’t develop cavities, for example, but think about it: when you drink coffee at your favorite cafe in Charlotte, the tongue turns brown. When you slurp a Slurpee, the tongue turns blue or red. The tongue, as it turns out, is a big target for nasty bacteria, just like the teeth, which means it needs the same type of consideration and care.
Think of the tongue this way: the tongue is a sponge and there are more than 700 different types of bacteria that live in the mouth. Although not all of these tiny microbes are dangerous, harmful bacteria can set up house in any of the small bumps or crevices found on the tongue, leading to some real problems.
At the Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Broome and his staff are proud to offer a truly comfortable dental experience and outstanding oral hygiene care. During your visit, Dr. Broome will evaluate your unique dental needs and provide you with the best treatment options available. Not only will you be able to enjoy a soothing, spa-like experience, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art technology to treat all your dental needs. When it comes to your dental care, don’t settle for less than the best. Contact us today to learn more about your cosmetic dentistry options in North Carolina.
When you neglect your tongue, you’re setting yourself up for some problems, which run the gamut from gross or inconvenient to downright unhealthy.
5 Top Issues that May Arise if You Don’t Clean Your Tongue
Halitosis (aka Bad Breath): Bad breath is embarrassing and it’s the number one issue related to not brushing your tongue. Here’s what happens: you forget to brush your tongue, then a nasty overgrowth of bacteria decides to grow and develop, mainly at the back of the tongue, giving off a foul-smelling stink. Luckily, you’ll be able to eradicate the funky smell once you brush your entire tongue.
Loss of Taste: Sad but true, not brushing your tongue can lead to a diminished sense of taste. When you don’t brush your tongue, not only is the tongue coated in the aforementioned nasty bacteria, it also becomes covered in food particles and a biofilm that coats the taste buds and leads to less taste sensation when you’re eating your favorite pizza. However, once you get rid of the bacteria with a thorough brushing, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite pizza again.
Black Hairy Tongue: Black hairy tongue might sound like a Scooby Doo mystery but unfortunately is a real issue. Black hairy tongue is caused by the papillae found on your tongue becoming stained from any food or drink particles left behind, such as after sipping coffee or tea. If these particles aren’t brushed away and remain on the tongue, they can stain it, giving it a dark and furry appearance. While harmless, this can lead to some embarrassing encounters until you start brushing your tongue!
Oral Thrush: In case you didn’t know, oral thrush is a yeast infection…in your mouth. Oral thrush can occur when bacteria levels in your mouth overgrow, which in turn causes any naturally-occurring yeast to grow out of control. The result is a yeast infection in the mouth that appears as white patches on the tongue. Once this occurs, a good anti-fungal medication is needed to cure it, while regular tongue brushing can keep it from returning.
Periodontal Disease: We saved the best (or should we say worst) problem caused by neglecting the tongue for last: periodontal disease. We’ve talked a lot about the bacteria that can build up on the tongue and the problems it can cause locally, but these bacteria can also spread to the teeth. Once there, these bacteria can lead to a condition called gingivitis, which is characterized by red, inflamed, and swollen gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can continue to spread and progress to full-blown periodontal disease. In severe cases, the gums can start to pull away from the teeth, the space between the teeth can become infected, or the teeth can even fall out!
Read more about periodontitis at Wikipedia.org.
Proactive Total Health Dentistry
Before oral bacteria can get bad enough to cause inflammatory diseases, such as gingivitis, gum disease, or periodontitis, it is crucial to practice thorough daily dental hygiene and attend regular check-ups with your dentist. Dr. Broome and his staff offer comprehensive and personalized dental care at their Charlotte dental facility and can identify and eradicate common risks to your oral health, including poor brushing and flossing habits, harmful bacteria, and other dental issues.
Using state-of-the-art digital dentistry technology, Dr. Broome and his team can offer expert preventative care as well as effective treatments for infections in the mouth. Our practice also offers oral bacteria testing to create a custom, tailored treatment for each patient’s unique oral health concerns.
Brush Your Tongue Clean
To thoroughly brush the tongue, start at the back of the tongue and gently brush with your toothbrush towards the front. Then brush side-to-side. You can easily integrate brushing your tongue with your regular teeth brushing and flossing routine every day.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Consultation in Charlotte Today!
In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine (complete with tongue brushing), make sure to schedule your next visit at the Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. Our mission is to provide expert services and cutting-edge technology and techniques in a comfortable, relaxing environment. Come experience what our patients rave about for yourself! Contact the dental experts at Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule your consultation!
Next, read about 5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Dental Routine.