After a long day, your mouth can easily become full of bacteria, especially if you only brush your teeth once or twice a day. You know that somewhat slimy feeling you may have felt on your teeth when they’re not clean and you brush your tongue up against them? It’s likely a film of bacteria. Hence, it’s imperative to practice proper oral hygiene.

When brushing your teeth, you may have heard it’s also a good idea to brush the tongue as well. Though opinions may differ among your friends, a study suggests that tongue brushing may be unnecessary. A Journal of Periodontal Research study involved over fifteen adult participants with gum disease ranging from moderate to severe who were otherwise in good health. Each participant was randomly asked to scrape or brush their tongue as part of their daily routine for a pair of weeks.

During the start and end of the study, researchers evaluated the microbial saliva load of each patient’s saliva and on the top of their tongue, as well as the amount of tongue coating and the participant’s perception of the cleaning. Neither scraping nor brushing had much of an effect on microbial counts – even when the amount of tongue coating was considerably less. Furthermore, cleaning the tongue did not make a difference when it came to bad breath.
There is nothing wrong with brushing your tongue but always focus on your teeth and gums. Remember that your oral health is closely tied to the rest of the body. If bad breath is affecting you, it may be more than just your teeth.

To read the study, please visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jre.12489.

This update is by Assure a Smile, the longest-tenured holistic dental practice in Miami. Our top priority is to provide patients with all-encompassing oral health care that safely improves oral health and wellness. By helping patients look and feel their best through a holistic dentistry approach, we strive to empower patients to make informed lifestyle choices that result in strong teeth, healthy gums, beautiful smiles, and optimum vitality. For more information on holistic dentistry or to schedule an appointment with a holistic dentist, please visit https://www.assureasmile.com or call 305-274-0047.

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