Tongue problems are the most common cause for bad breath in general. Because it is an ideal breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria, tongue cleaning should always be a priority when cleaning the mouth.
The tongue’s surface (dorsum) is divided into two different parts:
The oral part which constitutes about two thirds of the surface and the pharyngeal part which faces the back of the throat.
Both areas are home to bacteria causing bad breath where they tend to concentrate themselves. Halitosis causing bacteria love the back of the tongue because very few people actually take the time to clean it properly.
If bacteria lived on the surface of the tongue, bad breath would be contagious!
Bacteria causing halitosis are oxygen intolerant and will therefore seek areas where oxygen is very low or non existent. They will hide deep inside taste buds where they are protected from saliva and can acquire a food source. They will also hide in the lingual tonsils located on the pharyngeal part of the tongue.
Some will have you believe that anaerobic bacteria live on the surface of the tongue, which is simply not true. If bacteria lived on the surface, a simple tongue scraper or even an inverted spoon would cure chronic halitosis. Besides, they could not survive very long in the constant presence of oxygen rich saliva as well as air present in the mouth while we speak and breathe. There would be no tongue problems!
One of the reason people have found great difficulty fighting bad breath is because they don’t know how to reach the areas of the tongue where bacteria live, feed, and reproduce undisturbed. Using a conventional tongue scraper will help a little, but because it only scrapes the surface, it will bring very limited relief only to those who suffer from
white tongue / yellow tongue.
How and with what do I clean my tongue?
To achieve the best possible result, there are two main steps to take to eliminate bad breath causing bacteria:
1/ The right anti-bacterial mouthwash. It’s not only a matter of using the right mouthwash, but also to mouthwash properly.
That means swish and gargle for the same amount of time and doing it for at least one minute. Gargling will allow you to deliver anti-bacterial agents to the back of the tongue and throat.
Anaerobic bacteria thrive in these areas! By doing so, you reduce their population in the pharyngeal area.
Now that it’s clear that mouth washing properly is important, you need to do it with the right product. You can learn on the
‘treating bad breath’
page how to make two type of very effective homemade mouthwashes that use two radically different approaches to eliminating chronic halitosis causing bacteria on the tongue and the back of the throat.
2/ The right tongue scraper. I never recommend any particular brand of product on this website. With the information provided here, it is up to the visitors to make up their minds and choose the brand of product that suit them best. In this case I make an exception.
Conventional tongue scrapers you find in any drug store or on the internet basically resemble each other and will scrape the tongue the exact same way. These tongue scrapers are good, but their effectiveness are extremely limited because they are designed to only scrape the surface.
By scraping the surface you are only getting rid of food residue and mucus, not the bacteria. You bring temporary relief because you deprive them of their food source, but do not treat the underlying problem…the bacteria are still there!
That why I strongly recommend a specific tongue scraper. It’s called the Orabrush. This tongue scraper is very cheap, but extremely effective because its design allows it to dislodges bacteria out of the crevices of the tongue! This cool little tool is excellent to treat tongue problems and especially helpful for those who have
or geographic tongue.
3/ Clean the rest of the mouth. Keep on cleaning and don’t miss a spot. One of the reasons conventional cleaning does not relieve chronic bad breath is because bad breath causing germs reproduce faster than you can remove them. Anaerobic bacteria a highly adaptive organisms and have the capacity to reproduce at an astonishing rate.
When you proceed to recommended tongue cleaning and miss a spot, they will simply reproduce in the area you didn’t clean and re-colonize the tongue. Be sure to thoroughly clean the rest of the mouth which include gums, cheeks, and roof of mouth.
4/ Put an end to tongue problems with the Gatling gun. That’s what I call the
With its 40 000 strokes per minute (that’s over 660 strokes per second), it creates waves of turbulences that can clean up to 1/8th of an inch beyond the tip of its bristles! That’s perfect for tongue brushing and dislodging bacteria and food residue from within the taste buds. The sonic toothbrush really is a great addition to treating tongue problems and chronic bad breath in general.