Bad Breath and your TongueFriday, June 4th, 2010, 1:40 pm
Patients sometimes complain that their tongue is sometimes a different color – white, yellow or even black. The reason for the color change is something known as Geographic Tongue. This description simply means a tongue that has lots of grooves and fissures in it. This “geography” gives lots of hiding places for anaerobic bacteria to live and breed. These bacteria cause bad breath. A geographic tongue does not mean something is wrong with your tongue, it simply means your body is shaped that way. The fix for the problem of bad breath and a funny colored tongue is simple – keep your tongue as clean as possible
Most patients brush their teeth, floss and they are done. But tongue scraping or cleaning is also necessary. This process is something that the majority of people in the United States don’t do on a daily basis but it is vital to keeping your breath fresh. You don’t need an expensive piece of plastic or special mouth rinses, all you really need is a simple tongue scraper (your neighborhood drug store or dollar store has inexpensive versions) .
Starting at the base of your tongue scrape in slow, sweeping strokes from back to front. Don’t go so far back that you gag but try to get as far back on the base as possible. You don’t have to press hard, but use several strokes to cover your whole tongue. Following this you can also spread a small dot of toothpaste on your tongue. Hold it there while you brush your teeth and then spit – don’t swallow the toothpaste.
Make tongue cleaning a regular part of your daily dental cleaning routine and enjoy fresher breath and a healthier mouth. For more information on geographic tongue and bad breath contact us at 706-886-9439. Wilbanks Smile Center is a full-service dental practice including orthodontics, root canals, dentures, implants and sedation dentistry. We love to pamper our patients!