Bad Breath and Your Tongue

Have you ever taken a good close look at your tongue? Have you ever been to a naturopath or acupuncturist or some other healthcare practitioner, where they took a good close look at your tongue?

Ever wonder what they were looking for?

They were looking for a coating on the back of your tongue. When you look in the mirror at the back of your tongue, what do you see? Does it look fleshy colored like the front of your tongue? Kind of pink? Or, does it look like there’s a coating, perhaps a whitish or yellowish film?

You may notice this in the morning, because when you sleep your mouth naturally dries out.

And because there’s no saliva flowing through your mouth to wash out the bacteria, and the plaque that’s caused by those bacteria, that plaque builds up on your teeth, your gums and your tongue. So the easiest way to see what your tongue looks like with plaque on is to look at your tongue first thing in the morning.

You may be wondering “What does this have to do with bad breath?”

Well, as you may know, plaque contains volatile sulfuric compounds. Most of these are produced by the anaerobic bacteria which live on your tongue, and mostly on the back of your tongue. So this is why you see yellow coating, especially at the back of your tongue.

What can you do about it? I recommend that you brush your tongue or get a tongue scraper and use it at least once a day. Better would be twice a day – in the morning when you brush your teeth and in the evening right before you go to bed. When you brush your tongue, do it gently and brush from the back to the front. Just a few strokes is all that’s needed to get that plaque off your tongue. After you finish brushing your tongue, rinse your mouth out with either a good cleansing and non-alcoholic mouthwash or just water and then spit it out.

Go ahead, try it right now! I’ll wait.

Cleaning your tongue is part of good oral hygiene. Add tongue cleaning to your oral hygiene regimen and you’ll have another tool in your arsenal in the fight against bad breath.