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What happens when you don’t brush your tongue?

What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Tongue?


Cleaning your tongue should be part of your usual home oral hygiene regimen, along with flossing, brushing, and mouthwash. When you fail to brush your tongue, you end up accumulating lots and lots of bacteria as the grooves and pits in your tongue are the perfect place for bacteria to live and breed. The more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more you will suffer from bad breath.

Poor Taste

Having an accumulation of bacteria, food, and dead skin can cause blockages in the taste bud cells leading to a reduced quality of taste. It’s important that you remove this layer every time you brush to prevent this from happening.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that interact with your immune system and cause destruction of your bone and gum and ultimately cause tooth loss. The more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more harmful this is to your gums. Even though you are cleaning your teeth regularly, the biofilm can be reactivated quicker if there are bacteria in other parts of your mouth i.e. tongue or dentures


You are at an increased risk of yeast or fungal infections if you are not cleaning your whole mouth thoroughly and your tongue is a key area where this fungus can live, especially in the deep grooves of your tongue. Some people typically get these in the middle of the tongue and it is referred to a median rhomboid glossitis.

So, what is the best way to clean your tongue?

The best way is to use a stainless steel ayurvedic tongue cleaner, which can be easily bought on the internet. We do not recommend using the end of the toothbrush as that has limited effectiveness. You should clean your tongue twice daily to prevent the build-up of plaque, food debris, and biofilm.

If you are interested in more ways to keep a healthy mouth, please call our dental practice to book an examination appointment and we can get you started on a great preventative regimen.


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