Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why do I have a white coating on my tongue’? If this sounds familiar, you also may have wondered why does your tongue feel fuzzy sometimes. The answer for all these symptoms could be on the tip of your tongue – sorry we couldn’t resist! Be honest: are you forgetting to clean and brush your tongue?
You’ve done your homework – brushed twice per day, flossed regularly and even used that expensive mouthwash a couple of times. The surface of your teeth might be squeaky-clean, but not your tongue. Residues can start to build up day after day, and this is the perfect place for thousands of harmful bacteria multiply.
By neglecting your tongue during your cleaning routine, you could be prone to…
The tongue is the perfect highway for food particles and dead bacteria to travel to the back of your throat and build up in the folds of the tonsils. Over time, these residues can calcify and harden into stones, leaving a foul taste in your mouth. Tonsil Stones also lead to bad breath, the most common problem associated with not brushing your tongue. Yikes!
Keeping your gums healthy is really important. Poor oral health increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia and erectile dysfunction, for example.
Reduced sense of taste
Remember the white coating that we mention at the beginning of this article? This is also called biofilm, a layer of bacteria that stick together on the surface of the tongue. “The presence of food waste can be constant, and plaque bacteria will grow”, explains Rozelle Owens. If undisturbed, this layer becomes thick enough to cover up your taste buds, decreasing your sense of taste and not allowing you to enjoy the food.
Candida (Oral Thrush)
This medical condition is caused by a yeast-shaped fungus called Candida albicans, which is very common and present in the mouth & digestive tract of most of us. Usually, our body keeps this type of bacteria under control, but if the balance of your immune system is affected for some reason, it can result in an overgrowth of the Candida fungus. Good oral hygiene is a crucial part of treating oral thrush.
Scary stuff, isn’t it? Let’s talk about solutions.
Can I use my toothbrush to clean my tongue?
Yes, although some people prefer to use tongue scrapers or even a teaspoon to get rid of the debris. There are many choices when it comes to the health and maintenance of your tongue. Be gentle and careful. Don’t use a lot of pressure when cleaning it to not to hurt yourself.
Our final tip: drink plenty of water and try to gargle with a salty mouthwash. It creates an alkaline environment in which bacteria struggle to survive or breed for a while. To make a salty mouthwash: put one to two teaspoons of salt in a cup of warm water.
Cleaning your tongue is not hard and should take you no longer than a couple of seconds. Repeat this process daily for a few weeks to see the difference in the freshness of your mouth.