When most people think of the causes of bad breath, they think about different foods, illnesses, medications, and cavities. Most people place the blame on their teeth or their stomach.
However, your tongue can be just as much to blame for your bad breath as any other part of your mouth. That's because it has a greater impact on your breath than you might realize.
Bacteria Gather on Your Tongue
Just like with your teeth and gums, bacteria can get stuck on your tongue and actually live there. In addition to these bacteria, the tongue also captures food particles and other debris. As all of this debris builds up, it starts to smell.
When you breathe out or talk, that smell is pushed out of your mouth. If your tongue is fairly clean, you don't have to worry about this happening, but if you've let your tongue become dirty by not brushing it, it can be the main cause of your bad breath.
Oral Diseases that Affect the Tongue
Another way the tongue can cause bad breath is when it becomes diseased. There are different issues that can cause white patches on the tongue and may or may not affect your breath. Oral thrush, for example, can affect your breath if you don't treat it while it's still fairly mild.
What Can You Do About It? The best way to keep your tongue from impacting your breath is to brush it when you brush your teeth. Simply run the toothbrush over your tongue. You don't need to press down very hard or scrub your tongue for a long period of time.
You might also want to consider using a tongue scraper. This plastic device removes the layer of bacteria and debris from the tongue, leaving it fresh and clean. Again, you don't need to press down too hard or use too much force.
Want to learn more about keeping your tongue clean? Give us a call today to discuss it or to set up a professional cleaning.