Germs that can create gingivitis, tooth decay and gum disease live in groups. When these groups of germs are broken up by brushing they become much less problematic. These groups of germs not only have the ability to create dental health issues, but they also produce foul odors. An unclean tongue can be the reason for halitosis, or bad breath, since these odors are produced by germs.
Cleaning your tongue is one of the best ways to fight bad breath as well as the harmful germs in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Sometimes, a tongue scraper may be recommended to help prevent halitosis. One of the best times to brush your tongue is in the morning when you brush your teeth.
Some quick brushing tips:
Tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from gumline.
Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Are you concerned about bad breath?
If you experience bad breath, do not ignore it. Bad breath can be linked to a number of dental health issues. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni in Strongsville, OH to discuss proper hygiene and treatment for bad breath.
Saliva is highly important for maintaining the acid/base balance in your mouth. Saliva is produced by salivary glands which we find in our cheeks and under the tongue. These glands create two types of saliva, serous saliva, and mucoid saliva.
Serous saliva is the wet and watery form and mucoid saliva is more thick and sticky. Mucoid saliva provides proteins that are key in the beginning stages of digesting our food. Serous saliva mostly creates chemicals to buffer your mouth.
As we get older, serous saliva production slowly decreases. When we do not have enough serous saliva, we experience xerostomia, also called dry mouth. Our mouths become more acidic as a result of dry mouth, and acidity is what causes tooth decay.
Xerostomia is also a result of things such as medication and chemotherapy. Because chemotherapy slows the multiplication of rapidly reproducing cells, the cells in the salivary gland are affected.
The best thing you can do for your mouth is to get regular dental exams and maintain proper at-home care, including brushing and flossing. The mouth goes through changes as we age, and your dentist can offer some advice to fight the effects of dry mouth which may include frequent fluoride treatments and fluoride toothpaste.
Are you concerned about cavities?
If you would like to learn more about cavity prevention and care for dry mouth, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni to discuss what can be done to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.