Here`s How to Care for your Tongue and Gum


How Do you Care for your Tongue?

A number of people overlook this highly important aspect of their oral health. Your tongue is more important than you probably imagine. That vital organ is required for your speech and food intake. What`s more? With its over 10,000 taste buds, you can enjoy the taste of your food. It is also home to a majority of the bacteria that live in your mouth. How do you care for your tongue? Let`s get talking!

6 Ways to Care for your Tongue

Check the Color of your Tongue Often

Did you know that the color of your tongue indicates the state of your health? A healthy tongue should be light pink and can have a slight white coating. A white tongue could indicate dehydration or fungal infection, while a vitamin deficiency could make your tongue pale. A heart or blood disorder could make the tongue bright red. You are advised to speak with your doctor if you notice any unusual coloring of your tongue.

Brush your Tongue Regularly

brushingEvery time you brush your teeth, you should also brush your tongue. Apply a small dab of toothpaste to your toothbrush, brush from the back of your mouth toward its opening with a downward motion, applying gentle pressure. This way, you can eliminate odor-causing bacteria from your tongue. Rinse with water when you`re done cleaning.

Use a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers do the tongue cleaning more thoroughly. They are flexible, soft, and effective at scraping off the mucus layer that resides on the tongue, particularly in the center. After each swipe, wash the scraper under warm water to remove the bacteria. Be careful not to scrape too hard so you don`t have sores on your tongue.

Rinse Properly

For your tongue hygiene, you should thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water after cleaning it. This way, you`re sure to get rid of the bacteria that reside there. A warm saline solution is also effective: mix some water and a teaspoon of salt to get harmful bacteria off your tongue.

Drink Green Tea

People who drink green tea have higher chances of having a cleaner tongue because it is great at reducing bacteria in the mouth. This way, it also kills off odor-causing bacteria.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is great for your overall health and your tongue health in particular. It will wash away bacteria and food debris, and also improve your oral hygiene.

What About Gum Health?

oral healthJust like tongue health, gum health is also essential. It is crucial to deal with gum diseases as they arise. These diseases are periodontitis or gingivitis and are harmful to the gum. They affect the firmness of the teeth, among other defects. When dental plaque stays for an extended period on the teeth, it forms a hard and outright unhealthy covering called tartar which, unfortunately, doesn`t leave easily, not even by brushing. The longer tartar and dental plaque stay, the more damage they do to the teeth. This condition results in the gum becoming sore, then developing into a condition called acute gingivitis. Acute gingivitis eventually detaches the teeth from the firm grip of the gum, especially if there is no immediate medical attention. The deterioration that acute gingivitis causes further leads to an infection called periodontitis that leaves the teeth further damaged and may require removal.

Wondering how to care for your gum? One of the major ways is by using the right toothpaste. A number of people don`t know what to look out for when buying toothpaste. There are various brands of toothpaste on store shelves. A number of them claim to reduce gingivitis, whiten teeth, and freshen breath. Choosing the best toothpaste for healthy gums can be Herculean, no doubt. Here`s what to do: always choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. That way, you`re sure to be making the right choice for your gum and overall oral health.

Here`s how you know you suffer gum disease:

  • consistently bad breath or taste
  • separate or loose permanent teeth
  • swollen, red, or tender gums
  • gums that easily bleed
  • gums that have pulled out of the teeth

Oral Health Tips you Should Know

  • Oral health is essential to general health and well-being.
  • Foods that are high on natural or added colors such as black grapes berries, or orange ice popsicles will leave a thin layer of color behind on your tongue, thereby impairing its appearance.
  • A professional clean-up can clear the fungal infection on your tongue.
  • Discoloration of the tongue could be a result of dehydration.
  • People who drink 10-12 glasses of water a day is are less likely to have discolored tongues.
  • Oral disease may cause pain and infections that could further lead to eating, speaking, and learning problems.
  • Oral problems can affect social interaction and employment potential.
  • Cavities, severe tooth loss, and severe gum disease are the three oral conditions that mostly affect overall health and quality of life.
  • By age 8, many children will have a cavity in their primary teeth.
  • Low-income children are more vulnerable to suffering cavities than higher-income children.
  • 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 suffers cavities.
  • Diabetes and smoking are two major risk factors for gum disease.
  • On average, 34 million school hours are lost each year to emergency dental care.
  • Over $45 billion in US productivity is lost each year to untreated dental disease.
  • The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime.
  • People who drink three or more glasses of soda each day have 60% higher chances of suffering tooth decay, tooth loss, and fillings than those who don`t consume as much soda.
  • Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it`s not safe to use them in opening bottle caps.
  • People who don’t floss miss cleaning 40% of their tooth surfaces.
  • You`re advised to brush and floss twice a day.
  • Babies are not born with decay-causing bacteria in their mouths; they are transmitted through saliva from mothers, caregivers, or other people around.
  • Tooth decay is an infectious process caused by acid-producing bacteria.
  • Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases.
  • Babies are not born with decay-causing bacteria in their mouths; they are transmitted through saliva from mothers, caregivers, or other people around.
  • Fluoride incorporated into the tooth structure protects the teeth against decay by making the enamel more resistant to acid attack.
  • Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children of ages two to five, and half of the children who are twelve to fifteen, and even more than 90 percent of U.S. adults who are over age 40.
  • A reduction in sugar intake is important in preventing tooth decay: total sugar intake should be less than 50 grams a day (about ten teaspoons) including sugars in other foods.
  • 70% of Americans have had at least 1 cavity by age 18.
  • Over 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.
  • A can of soda has at least six teaspoons of sugar.
  • Every year, children in North America spend about half a million dollars on chewing gum.
  • The average person only brushes for about 70 seconds, however, the recommended duration is 2-3 minutes.
  • Tooth decay, if not taken care of, can cause death: infection in an upper back tooth can spread to the sinus behind the eye, from which it can enter the brain and result in death.