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This is how you clean your tongue properly

  1. In more than half of the people with bad breath, deposits on the tongue, also called tongue excrement, play a role. Proper cleaning of this flexible organ is therefore important. But how do you actually do that? Tips for tackling that nasty tongue attack.

  1. A normal tongue is pinkish and can have a white, thin coating on the rough part, near the uvula. This is also called tongue coating, or - in a more plastic description - tongue excrement. The thickness of the stop can vary. People with periodontal disease may have a thicker tongue coating than healthy people. In addition, with changes in the diet, reduced saliva production, use of medication or insufficient oral hygiene, these deposits can also discolour.

Foetor ex ore

  1. The layer of proteins that make up the coating on the tongue is home to bacteria. There are more than 500 different types of bacteria in tongue plaque and only a few of them are responsible for the smelly breath. As long as their numbers remain small, nothing is wrong. When the balance between these tongue microbes is disrupted, odor-producing bacteria get the upper hand and you smell from your mouth. These bacteria, together with the bacteria between your gums, play an important role in the production of volatile sulfur compounds. It is those compounds that can cause bad breath, also called halitosis or fetor ex ore.

Regular tongue scraping makes sense

  1. It has not been scientifically proven that removal of the tongue coating prevents caries, gum or periodontal problems. But it is certain that regular cleaning is useful for bad breath. Tongue scraping not only removes the odor-producing bacteria; there is also a new balance in which the 'good' bacteria are given the opportunity to reduce the causes of bad breath. In addition, there are strong indications that daily cleaning of the tongue, in combination with good brushing, positively influences the taste experience of elderly people in particular.

Mouth problems, medication and tongue coating

  1. Research shows that 51 percent of people with bad breath are the cause of a stain on the tongue. Gingivitis (inflammation caused by plaque on the edge of the gums) causes odor problems in 17 percent. In 15 percent of people there are other periodontal causes and in 17 percent the smelly mouth odor is a combination of these factors. In young people bad breath is more often caused by tongue attack than in the elderly, in the latter group it is often a combination of mouth problems, use of medication and tongue coating.

Tongue scraper

  1. A tongue scraper or tongue cleaner is the most effective way to remove deposits from the tongue. Research shows that this works much better than just brushing the tongue with a toothbrush. Tongue scrapers can be purchased at chemists and pharmacies. With halitosis, it is advisable to use such a scraper at least twice a day, no less than once or three. In addition, mouthwashes and good oral hygiene can help reduce mouth odor and make dietary adjustments.

How do you use a tongue scraper?

  1. Stick the tongue out of the mouth as far as possible. Place the tongue cleaner as far towards the rear tongue area as possible and apply force to the scraper so that the tongue is flattened. Tongue cleaning doesn't have to be hard, so use your power in moderation. People who scrape too hard run the risk of tongue damage. Make sure the tongue cleaner makes good contact with the tongue. A lot of people are gagging at this point; it is a matter of practice to position the tongue scraper so that the gag reflex is kept to a minimum. Slowly pull the tongue scraper forward into the mouth. Clean the cleaner under running water. Repeat this about four times. Once you've cleaned your tongue, brush your teeth and then rinse with a good mouthwash. Rinse the mouth well with water. Clean and dry the scraper well.

  2. Stick the tongue out of the mouth as far as possible. Place the tongue cleaner as far towards the rear tongue area as possible and apply force to the scraper so that the tongue is flattened. Tongue cleaning does not have to be hard, so use your strength in moderation. People who scrape too hard run the risk of tongue damage. Make sure the tongue cleaner makes good contact with the tongue. Lots of people are gagging right now; it is a matter of practice to position the tongue scraper so that the gag reflex is kept to a minimum. Slowly pull the tongue scraper forward into the mouth. Clean the cleaner



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