8 Reasons Why It’s Important To Clean Your Tongue

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We all know the importance of regularly cleaning our teeth, however, an alarming number of people are seemingly unaware of the benefits of cleaning your tongue for a happy and healthy smile.

Dental professional Dr Sameet Hindocha from MyMouth, a leading provider of oral hygiene products including the JiBee, a compact, travel friendly, stainless steel tongue cleaner, has revealed eight reasons why you should add tongue cleaning to your daily oral hygiene routine.

An orange tongue scraper

1 Helps to fight gum disease

Gum disease is an incredibly common oral disease, with around 45-50% of all adults in the UK having gum disease and up to 80-90% experiencing some form of gum disease at some point in their lives. A small proportion of the population (10-15%) have severe gum disease and are highly susceptible to it.

The biggest cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene and not brushing your teeth properly, and if you are susceptible to it, you need to brush better than the average person to ensure the plaque bacteria levels in your mouth remain as low as possible. As some of the bacteria that contribute to gum disease also live on your tongue, it is important to include this as part of your home routine.

By cleaning your tongue, alongside regular brushing, you can remove potentially harmful bacteria to reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

2 Best way of reducing bad breath

Brunette woman covering her mouth with both hands

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Did you know that 80-90% of bad breath (otherwise known as halitosis) originates in the mouth and studies have even shown that it has a negative impact on our relationships and quality of life? There are many contributing factors to bad breath including smoking, medication, certain foods, and the build-up of bacteria around our gums, teeth and tongue. In just over 50% of cases, the most common cause of bad breath is a white or yellow coating on your tongue. When bacteria, food, and dead cells accumulate between the crypts of your tongue, your breath will suffer as a result. When plaque builds up on the tongue you will notice a white or yellow coating which should be removed on a daily basis. Bacteria stagnate on the tongue releases ‘volatile sulphur compounds’ which results in bad smells like rotten eggs!

Bad breath can also be a symptom of gum disease (periodontitis) and the tongue acts as a carrier for these bacteria in health and in disease.

In addition, more than half a million young people started smoking during lockdown, while 4.5M people developed drinking problems as reported by researchers from University College London.

These shocking statistics suggest that more Britons could be suffering from bad breath as a result, with drinking alcohol creating a dehydrating effect, reducing saliva production, and smoking also drying out your mouth as well as increasing the bad bacteria in the plaque – a good environment for odour- causing bacteria to flourish. Not to mention the smell tends to linger on your mouth.

Therefore, introducing a tongue cleaner can safely and effectively remove this coating from your mouth to promote cleaner, fresher breath. As well as drinking more water, tongue cleaning is the simplest way of reducing bad breath and reduces those horrible smells!

3 Improves your sense of taste

young woman with french fries

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Your tongue is covered in thousands of tiny tastebuds, each one responsible for helping you to enjoy the taste of your favourite foods.

Cleaning your tongue can free up these tastebuds of clogged up debris and bacteria, which works towards improving the overall flavour of food and drink.

4 Removes smoking and coffee stains

coffee latte art in coffee shop;

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Smoking and drinking lots of tea and coffee results in yellow or brown discolouration of the tongue. This staining or coating can be difficult to remove without cleaning your tongue. Of course, reducing how much tea and coffee you have and stopping smoking will also help!

5 Prevents cavities

African american woman brushing her teeth using tooth brush and oral paste, cleaning teeth and tongue as healthy health care morning routine;

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Dental decay is often caused by Streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth, a leading to cavities.

Of course, brushing your teeth twice daily works well towards reducing your chance of developing cavities, but when combined with the cleaning powers of tongue scraping, your chances of getting a cavity may be reduced as it reduces the levels of bacteria in your mouth.

6 Reduces harmful plaque bacteria

With two in three, or 66% of adults experiencing issues with visible plaque in their mouths, it’s clear to see that many people are struggling to get it right. It is essential to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, clean in between your teeth with interdental brushes or floss. Other things can also help, though.

Some studies have shown that regular tongue cleaning can work towards reducing your overall plaque levels by preventing the accumulation of disease-causing bacteria.

Reducing the levels of harmful bacteria in your mouth will help to promote a positive oral health and help prevent diseases like gum disease.

7 Helps to prevent bad digestion

A woman holding her hands over her stomach as if in pain

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Ancient Ayurvedic Indian medicine and traditional Chinese medicine believe that the toxins on your tongue from bacteria effect the health of your gut, which is not surprising because your digestion starts with your tongue and saliva. Our saliva aids the digestive process by kickstarting the chemical breakdown of food. But did you know that the tongue can harbour bacteria and toxins that can compromise your digestion?

By cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper, you can stimulate the production of saliva, as well as removing toxins on your tongue.

8 Feel more confident

With as many as 96% of people believing that a smile is crucial for someone’s appearance and overall level of attractiveness, it can be really important for people to find quick and easy ways to improve their confidence in their mouths, not just the appearance of their own smile.

By regularly cleaning your tongue, you can ensure your mouth looks and feels fresh and clean, so you can smile and laugh with complete confidence, and even stick your tongue out for a few cheeky pictures!

The range of eco-friendly products, including the JiBee tongue cleaner, is available at www.mymouth.co.uk and if you sign up today, you can receive 10% off your first purchase.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!