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Tongue Brushing: Brush Away Bad Breath

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After you brush your teeth every morning, don’t put your toothbrush away. Give your tongue a good brushing, too. It may make your breath smell better.

Bacteria love to grow on your tongue.

It’s easy to forget about tongue brushing – until you realize this is where bacteria that produce foul odors thrive. When you don’t brush your tongue, leftover food on your tongue continues to decay and may cause an unpleasant smell.

If you stick out your tongue, look at the back to see if there’s a white or brown coating. This is where organisms, microbial deposits, grow on your tongue, contributing to bad breath.

Tongue brushing removes microbial deposits.

Studies have shown that brushing your tongue can reduce bad breath up to 70 percent. All you need is your toothbrush. Use your toothbrush to clean the back part of your tongue where bacteria like to grow. Add a little toothpaste, if you want, and rinse your mouth thoroughly.

You can also use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria. Although tongue scrapers vary in shape and size, the tool functions the same way. Start at the back of the tongue, pulling the scraper forward to remove any debris. Make sure you rinse your mouth.

If tongue brushing doesn’t help, talk to your dentist and health provider.

If you’re concerned about bad breath – halitosis – make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Persistent bad breath may indicate you have gum disease. To prevent gum disease, make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque, a sticky film that causes gum disease. You can also ask your dentist if a mouth rinse is right for you. At Konikoff Dentistry, we recommend Perio-Med and Peridex mouth rinse.

Halitosis can be a sign of gum disease, other health problems.

Sometimes, an underlying health issue can cause bad breath, too. Sinus infections, post-nasal drip, diabetes, liver or kidney disease can all make your breath smell bad. Make sure to talk to your dentist or health provider if you have concerns about chronic bad breath.

Is it time for your dental checkup? Schedule an appointment at Konikoff Dentistry online or call 1-800-SMILE-23.

Konikoff Dentistry has eight convenient locations with four dental offices in Virginia Beach, three in Chesapeake and one in Suffolk. We also offer Saturday appointments.

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