The oral cavity is an interesting organ composed of major players like the teeth, gums, and the tongue. While individuals may view the components as separate entities, the fact is when oral health is intact, they work together in perfect harmony. Concurrently, when something is amiss with one of those elements, dental health may decline as a result. While everyone knows how important brushing and flossing teeth is to dental health, individuals should know that the tongue is worthy of special attention all on its own.
The human tongue is an intricate muscle covered in countless papillae and taste buds. Not only is the device essential for enjoying the five basic flavors of salty, sour, bitter, sweet and savory of nutritious foods, but it is incredibly important for communication. Combined with saliva, the tongue also serves as natures tooth cleaner. That is why individuals concerned about oral health and dental problems such as halitosis, tooth decay and gum disease need to ensure that a tongue is kept as clean as the other parts of the human mouth.
Estimates suggest that there are 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on the human tongue. While from a distance, the fractions appear to make up one solid muscle, the reality is that each bud is independently attached to a tongue and in between there are countless nooks and crannies that can trap oral bacteria. Individuals concerned about oral health must ensure that tongue brushing or scrapping is part of their daily oral hygiene regime, or risk the dental problems associated with having too many oral bacteria.
Oral bacteria are naturally occurring organisms in the human body. Their main function is to work with natures other teeth cleaners like the tongue and saliva to remove food waste and keep teeth healthy. Oral bacteria tend to get active after a person consumes food and trace elements are deposited in the mouth. Oral bacteria will band together to help remove the food and once in a group, they comprise dental plaque. As the bacteria/plaque digests the sugars present, acid will be produced as a byproduct. The acid byproduct is the culprit for causing issues such as tooth-erosion and decay, and individuals must forcibly remove the substance or risk developing dental problems.
Once the oral bacterium is trapped in the net of taste buds and tissue, they will happily reside. While they are having the time of their lives, the community will not only put dental health at risk, but can also cause the unsavory side effect of halitosis. Fortunately that condition can be combated with dental care and oral hygiene.
Eventually those bacteria will die and once they do they will decay. That process will reduce a volatile sulfur, the culprit that generates the pungent smell associated with halitosis. Scientific studies have shown that in 80 to 95 percent of all cases of bad breath, oral bacteria trapped in the tongue is the main cause ("Scientists find bug responsible for bad breath". Reuters. 2008-04-07.).
Individuals are encouraged to take the time to remove excess build up on a daily basis. A tongue scraper is a tool that has been specifically designed to aid in oral hygiene by making it easier to remove excess plaque build up from the tongue. While brushing a tongue with a toothbrush (designed for hard teeth) may help a bit, the soft bristles are not strong enough to thoroughly clean a soft tongue.
Within the human mouth there are hundreds of different types of oral bacteria, all of which can survive and thrive on the human tongue. The tissue provides a perfect place for the bacteria to band together and form a community of plaque. Once the critters are organized, the excess plaque levels can contribute to a number of dental health issues including gum disease, gum recession and tooth loss. Additionally, high levels of plaque have been linked to a number of general health issues including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and so much more. Once again, keeping the tongue clean will act as a type of preventative dentistry and smart overall health move.
Individuals looking to find out more about how cleaning their tongue can help protect their health can ask their dentist directly about the equation. Those in need to find a dentist just need to dial 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 and our operators will provide clients with the name of a great dentist up to the task.