Take Care of Tongue Problems and Bad Breath With a Good Cleaning
You can get the white of off your tongue and the funk out of your breath.
Have you ever done that mirror check and found your tongue was white? That’s something no one wants to deal with. So what’s the big deal about a white tongue? Well, not only does it look odd, but if it’s not treated you can bet you’re going to have an issue with bad breath.
Those who’ve experienced white tongue might also have heard it called geographic tongue. Those people are also quite likely to find that their tongues have an off color later on. If one has a geographic tongue their tongues appear to be covered in creases and fissures. That topography of grooves and cracks makes for a very happy home for the type of bacteria that thrive away from oxygen and cause most bad breath and the white appearance of the tongue. Depending on the particular conditions, a geographic tongue may appear yellow or white, even black. Not only is the geographic tongue usually carrying a bacterial film, but it can become dry and crack. The best way to avoid problems like this is to be sure you keep your tongue very clean. Of course, some methods of tongue cleaning are better than others.
Tongue cleaning and scraping is not an activity that most Americans participate in on a daily basis. This is still one of the best ways to be sure you will have fresh, non-offensive breath.
There Are Many Misconceptions Concerning Cleaning a White Tongue.
Many people believe you have to use a lot of pressure to clean a white tongue. That’s completely untrue! There’s no need to scrape at your tongue until you cause damage and experience bleeding. As a rule you won’t remove more bacteria with greater force. Pressure is only required so far as it makes the cleaning instrument lay flush across the plane of the tongue. You just need to make sure that contact is as even as possible.
Another widely held belief is that tongue cleaning will free everyone from bad breath. This one’s a falsehood too! You can’t reach all of the bacteria on your tongue with a simple surface cleaning. Bacteria are always multiplying in the tiny spaces in the texture of the tongue’s surface. All cleaning can do is remove the surface build up. Of course, the mucus and debris of food is the main source of anaerobic bacteria which causes a white tongue.
There is a school of thought that says the tool you use to clean your tongue needs to cost a fortune and be a complicated do-dad. Yep, you guessed it, wrong again! In reality all you need is a pretty stiff item that can be pressed flush to the surface of the tongue covering as large an area as possible. While there are people who have problems with some tasks such as tongue cleaning and may find an electronic cleaner a help, it’s not necessary for most of us. If you have arthritis or a coordination issue you may need such a product.
Tongue cleaning is generally a very quick and easy thing to do. You can reap the rewards of clean breath with only a moment or two of minimal effort. You will return your tongue to a normal color, continue to avoid whit tongue in the future and vastly reduce your incidence of bad breath.
Follow these instructions to clean your geographical tongue.
First, beginning at the back side of your tongue lay your tongue cleaning tool flat against the surface of your tongue and move it to the front in one long slow motion. Repeat to clean the entire tongue. Start at whichever side you are most comfortable with and work your way across until you have cleaned the whole surface of your tongue. You may have to make three or four strokes depending on the width of your tongue cleaning tool.
Once you’ve removed the surface layer of film from your tongue put a little dollop of toothpaste on your tongue cleaning tool. Always be aware that if your toothpaste includes sodium lauryl sulfate in it it will dry your mouth out, avoid this if you can.
Now, continue on to coat as much of the surface of your tongue with toothpaste as you can without bringing on your gag reflex. The toothpaste will get into those tiny surface formations and help kill the anaerobic bacteria that produce the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. Whether or not you believe it the back of your tongue has more bacteria on it than the front does!
Now that you’ve coated your tongue with toothpaste, leave it that way for as long as you feel you can. If you can go ninety seconds that would be ideal. In case you start to cough or gag spit whenever you have to, it will still help.
Should you find that you can leave the toothpaste coating our tongue until you have done a complete brushing routine on your teeth you will have done an excellent job.
If you use this technique every day you will probably keep your tongue clean and not have to worry about geographical tongue again. This routine is the best method for keeping your tongue a healthy pink color and you will maintain your geographic tongue in the best fashion possible. You will find that your tongue is rarely, if ever, white and your breath will be fresh.