How Healthy Is Your Tongue?

Dental exams check the teeth, tongue and soft tissues.

Tongue Care is Essential

Your tongue is an amazing and powerful tool that we often take for granted. Besides using it to speak, your tongue enables you to chew, swallow and digest food. The humble tongue also can detect when something may not be right in your mouth, as it is a very sensitive organ. The average human tongue is about four inches long, including the part in the back that goes down into your throat. The tongue also has thousands of taste buds that tell the difference between five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. So maintaining tongue health is very important and the tongue is always one of our areas of concern whenever we examine your mouth. Therefore, here are some suggestions on how to keep your tongue healthy.

Cleaning Your Tongue

Tongues need to be clean, just like the rest of our mouth. Using a tongue scraper reduces bacteria. While a toothbrush works just as well, using it in this way also covers your brush with extra bacteria. As a compromise, many toothbrushes now feature a tongue scraper on the back. This helps you to remember to clean your tongue when you brush and floss daily. While caring for your tongue in this way might make you gag, eventually you get used to it. After using your toothbrush or tongue scraper, completely rinse it off and make sure it is able to dry with fresh air.

What We Look For on the Tongue

Regular dental exams from the local dentists at the Yuba City Dentistry Group help keep your tongue in healthy shape! An oral exam includes a check of the mouth’s soft tissues, including your tongue, so we can make sure there are no signs of abnormal growths or oral cancer. Are you considering piercing your tongue? Before doing so, speak with us. Tongue piercing often leads to hazardous infections and damaged teeth. Athletes should also consult with us to make a custom mouthguard. Players without them have bit through their tongue during in-game collisions! So the next time you come in for your dental exam and cleaning at the Yuba City Dentistry Group, we encourage you to stick out your tongue at us!

Yuba City Dentistry
ernst@gfxservices.com
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