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Tongues – we’ve all got one – they come in various sizes – some are more sensitive than others and some are a whole lot cleaner than others. From determining the taste of our favorite foods to revealing signs of illness – this muscle says a lot about your dental health.
If you stick your tongue out what colour is it? Bright red, dull red with some whitish areas, really white with only a hint of red, or maybe it’s pink and smooth – just like a healthy tongue should be? In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy it is believed that the tongue accurately reflects the state of a person’s health. And Dentists agree that this muscle can certainly give away some signs and symptoms that indicate how healthy and clean your mouth (and body) really is.
When it comes to embarrassing conditions – bad breath has got to be close to the top of the list. And Family Dentists at Centennial Smiles Dental in Calgary understand that this social nightmare can have patients swishing mouth rinses and sucking on mints – all with no results – because the real culprit is staring back at you in the mirror – your tongue! Oral bacteria don’t just hang-out on tooth surfaces and gum tissue – they also love the warm moist tissue of the tongue – and if your tongue is rough with grooves and cracks then watch out, these are prime areas for bacteria to gather and multiply. And if your tongue is barely visible beneath layers of bacteria then be prepared for some whiffy scents to come wafting your way.
Good oral hygiene doesn’t just involve the teeth but extends to include the brushing of the tongue – an important step in removing oral bacteria that can lead to breath issues. If your tongue is bright red, has lumps or bumps on it, is sore to touch or seems swollen – go see your family doctor and dentist as these are all signs and symptoms that require medical diagnosis – and if you’ve been omitting your tongue from your daily oral health routine – start using a tongue scraper to get rid of bacteria and keep your mouth fresh.
Not sure how to clean your tongue? – make an appointment to see the dental team at Centennial Smiles Dental for a cleaning and learn just how easy it is to keep your entire mouth healthy.