At Canyon Rim Dental, we’re proud to serve as your full-service family dentist for all your oral care needs. From services like teeth whitening to dental implants and many more, our professional staff will ensure you and your entire family are always keeping up on their oral health.

This includes offering basic tips and expertise on daily oral habits like brushing, and there’s one area we typically find many people don’t pay enough attention to when it comes to this daily care: The tongue. Let’s take a look at the role your tongue plays in your overall oral health, why cleaning and brushing the tongue is important, and some basic tips for properly cleaning the tongue on a regular basis.

Connection Between Tongue and Oral Health

The tongue is a vital part of the mouth and its regular functions, playing a big role in everything from eating to speaking. Think about it: Without your tongue, you would be completely incapable of forming basic words, chewing food or several other vital tasks the mouth performs. It’s also a big player in the way you taste things as they enter your mouth.

What this also means, however, is that the tongue is exposed daily to bacteria, food debris and other potential contaminants. When it’s not cleaned properly, bacteria can linger in the area and lead to several issues, including tooth decay and cavities. There’s also the potential for cosmetic concerns like bad breath, which is often related directly to a tongue that isn’t properly cleaned.

Why Cleaning the Tongue Matters

When bacteria is left on the tongue, the potential concerns are significant. Not only can plaque and tartar buildup become far more significant, this can also lead to issues like infections, dental decay and others.

In addition, the tongue’s surface has little bumps on it known as papillae. These are designed to trap food debris, dead skin cells and bacteria – but if they aren’t cleaned often, they will break down over time and actually promote bacteria rather than remove it, leading to poor breath and other issues.

Tongue Cleaning Tips

So how can you avoid the issues we’ve gone over here? There are two basic methods for cleaning the tongue during your basic oral care routine each day:

For more on why a clean tongue is vital to good oral health, or to learn about any of our general dentistry services, speak to the staff at Canyon Rim Dental today.