TONGUE CLEANING: HOW CAN YOU REMOVE TONGUE COATINGS?
Scrubbing your tongue again while or after brushing your teeth with a toothbrush - a lot of people certainly do that. But how necessary is tongue cleaning ? How thorough should it be? And: How does the cleaning of the tongue even work? You can find answers to these questions and more in our blog article!
IS TONGUE CARE EVEN NECESSARY?
There is disagreement as to whether separate care of the tongue is necessary. However, almost all dentists agree that brushing your tongue is not harmful. Talk to your dentist about it! In particular, if you have the feeling that you have unsightly coating on your tongue or bad breath , your doctor will tell you if there is cause for concern.
As part of a prophylaxis at the dentist , a stubborn tongue coating will be recognized and properly classified. In certain cases, it may then be necessary to work with a doctor from a different specialist area.
WHAT IS TONGUE COATING?
As a rule, the tongue coating is harmless and is caused by bacteria on the back of the tongue. These are caused, for example, by leftover food. In most cases, the plaque disappears on its own as soon as you eat more solid food or brush your teeth. So you can easily clean your own tongue . It only becomes problematic when the tongue is covered for a long time - the covering does not disappear despite eating and brushing your teeth.
IS TONGUE COATING HARMFUL?
There are different types of tongue coatings that have different causes. For example, coatings on the tongue often develop in smokers. Unilateral nutrition and poor oral hygiene can also develop plaque on the tongue. Various diseases that have nothing to do with dentistry can also cause a coated tongue. Examples of this are colds and fevers, but also chronic diseases such as kidney weakness or diabetes. Especially in the case of more serious illnesses, the coating on the tongue is often more of an accompanying symptom. The color and other aspects of the surface can provide information about whether and which disease is present.
Tongue plaque is often easy to remove.
But even if there is no disease, tongue coating can be a problem. A coated tongue looks unsightly and can lead to problems such as bad breath. A tongue that is heavily contaminated with bacteria and poorly cared for can also lead to dental diseases such as tooth decay or periodontitis.
HOW CAN TONGUE COATINGS BE REMOVED?
In particular, if the tongue coating is related to a disease, the patient should not attempt to remove the coating on their own. Consult your doctor instead if you have long-term coating on your tongue. Depending on the surface or disease, certain medications can help.
For "normal", non-chronic tongue coatings, various instruments are recommended for tongue cleaning:
The classic toothbrush helps remove food residues and bacteria from the tongue. However, some people find this uncomfortable. This is due to the high height of the tongue, which means that it quickly hits the top of the uvula in the throat, which can lead to gagging. That is why there are special tools for brushing the tongue.
There are different types of tongue cleaners. The variant with one side for brushing and one for scraping is common. The tongue coating is loosened with the brush side and removed with the scraper. Tongue brushes and tongue scrapers are also available individually. When using the brush and scraper, be sure to apply gentle pressure so as not to injure the tongue! By the way, there are specially made tongue cleaners with softer bristles for children.
Tongue cleaning gels are also called "tongue paste" based on toothpaste. These gels contain special active ingredients that have an antibacterial effect and are intended to remove plaque on the tongue and bad breath. Often there are also combination packages with tongue gel and tongue cleaner in one pack.
In general, of course, an antibacterial mouthwash can also help to remove the plaque on the tongue.
This is how you can effectively remove tongue coatings!
TO THE DENTIST FOR TONGUE CLEANING?
As a rule, the dentist does not offer a special, separate tongue cleaning. Nevertheless, he will of course thoroughly examine and clean your entire oral cavity during the check-up appointment or the professional teeth cleaning. If the doctor finds stubborn coatings on the tongue, he may be able to remove them. The prerequisite for this is that the coating is not a symptom of a more serious illness. They will discuss with you how to clean your tongue and what you can do to permanently remove the tongue coating.