How Does Your Tongue Impact Bad Breath?


Posted on 2/28/2019 by Thomas Wold, DMD
How Does Your Tongue Impact Bad Breath?Bad breath is the worst! You can mask the horrible odor with mints, gum, and mouthwash, but unless you deal with the cause, it's going to keep coming back.

Sometimes it's something simple such as eating too much garlic. Other times, it may not be immediately clear what's causing your bad breath. Did you know that it could actually be your tongue behind your halitosis?

What Does Your Tongue Have to Do with it?

Your tongue takes up a good part of your mouth, and it can be the perfect place for bacteria to take hold. These bacteria often get washed away when you drink something, but some of them do find hiding places near the back of your tongue.

Your tongue, while it looks smooth, is actually not, and it's possible for bacteria to get down into the surface of your tongue. Once they collect there, they can start causing bad breath.

How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Like any bacteria, you can get rid of those that have stuck to your tongue by brushing it. Unfortunately, we've heard the same question from a lot of our patients: “I need to brush my tongue?!” Many people don't, but it's a very good idea to give your tongue a quick cleaning when you brush your teeth.

You don't want to brush it too hard, of course—use a soft-bristle toothbrush and gently brush the entire surface of your tongue. Don't go too far back, though. You don't want to set off your gag reflect.

Brush as much of the top of your tongue as you comfortably can. You don't need to slather it with toothpaste, either. Using mouthwash can also help wash away any bacteria that have collected there.

If you're still experiencing bad breath after cleaning your tongue, there could be some other cause. Call us today to book an appointment. We'll help you find out what's behind your halitosis and how you can deal with it.