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Tongue Care Tips

Tongue Care Tips

You probably do not think much about your tongue unless you’ve accidentally bitten it. Your gums and teeth are most likely top of mind when you think about oral health, but it’s a mistake to overlook your tongue. Your tongue has many functions, not only to help you taste. It also helps you swallow, chew, talk, and clear debris and food from your gums and teeth.

Yes, your tongue does a lot to take care of you, but are you taking care of it?

Read on for some important tongue care tips.

Why is it beneficial to keep your tongue clean

Your tongue’s surface is rough, so bacteria can easily settle in and thrive there. Because of this your tongue is a chief source of mouth bacteria, contributing to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

Make caring for your tongue an essential part of your oral health routine by cleaning it every time you brush. Do not just brush the tip; make sure that you clean the entire surface. A study conducted by the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice reveals that a tongue scraper is the most efficient tool for tongue cleaning. If you don’t own one, you can still clean your tongue with the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Cleaning your tongue regularly will help:

  • Reduce the number of mouth bacteria
  • Lessen the plaque in your teeth
  • Lower bad breath caused by bacteria
  • Enhance your sense of taste
  • Remove the chalky, white biofilm on your tongue caused by bacteria
  • Get a fresher and cleaner mouth

While you are cleaning your tongue

Regular examination of your tongue can help pinpoint mouth and tongue concerns, and this includes oral cancer. As with other health concerns, early detection of oral cancer is crucial and can save a life. With a bright light and a mirror, check for these issues:

  • Red or white patches on the tongue surface
  • A change in your tongue color (from pink to red, white, black, or yellow)
  • A glossy or smooth appearance on the tongue’s surface
  • Dark patches
  • Lumps or sores that do not resolve after 2 weeks

If you notice any changes in your tongue, let your Dallas dentist know as soon as you can. Oral health exams are an effective way to pinpoint concerns early on. Keep in mind these tongue care tips and make your tongue an important part of your oral health routine to ensure a healthy mouth.


“Effectiveness of Various Tongue Cleaning Aids in the Reduction of Tongue Coating and Bacterial Load: A Comparative Clinical Study,” Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, https://www.thejcdp.com/doi/pdf/10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2536
“Oral Cancer: Early Detection is Crucial,” National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229841/