What Happens If You Don’t Brush Your Tongue?

Four yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking out

You learned years ago how to brush and floss your teeth but what about your tongue? Plenty of people don’t realize that brushing their tongue should be part of their at-home dental routine. Your tongue is home for lots of different bacteria, and letting the bad bacteria stay there can cause you trouble in the long run. Here’s what can happen if you forget to brush your tongue:

Bad Breath

There are a few different things that can cause someone to have bad breath, but bacteria settled on your tongue is a major one. When you brush the surface of your tongue, you clean away that bacteria and end up with a fresher smelling mouth. Remember to brush as far back on your tongue as you comfortably can since lots of bacteria live back there!

Duller Taste Buds

Since your taste buds are on your tongue, not brushing your tongue can actually affect how things taste. Bacteria and other debris can build up on your tongue’s surface to leave something called a biofilm over your taste buds. That biofilm gets in the way of you tasting things fully. Brush your tongue and don’t miss out on experiencing the real flavors out there!

Periodontal Disease

When there’s bad bacteria on your tongue, it doesn’t just mind its business and stay there. It can spread to other areas of your mouth, which means it can cause bigger problems. One example is periodontal disease, or gum disease, because the bacteria can inflame and infect your gums.

Black Hairy Tongue

No, this isn’t something from a horror film. Black hairy tongue is an actual condition that’s just what it sounds like: a tongue that looks dark and furry. Don’t worry, your tongue doesn’t actually start growing hair. It’s just that the papillae on it get bigger and darker, giving off a ‘hairy’ look. This condition is caused by too much bacteria in your mouth, and while it may be harmless, it definitely doesn’t look nice. To prevent or get rid of black hairy tongue, take the time to brush away that bacteria.

If you need help improving your oral health, contact Paris Mountain Dental. Our Travelers Rest team is here to look after your smile!

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