How To Effectively Clean a White Tongue, the Cause of Bad Breath
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Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2005
by Samora Jinqua
Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have a white tongue? A white tongue is something that nobody wants to have. Why? A white tongue not only looks abnormal, but if left untreated, it's a strong indication of a bad breath problem.
People who have a white tongue, also known as a geographic tongue, are definitely more likely to experience an abnormally colored tongue. Geographic tongue simply means a tongue that has lots of grooves and fissures in it. These grooves and fissures make an excellent breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath and a white tongue. Under certain conditions, a geographic tongue can be white, yellow, even black in color. A geographic tongue can also be coated and sometimes dry and cracked. The way around this problem is simply making sure that your tongue is kept as clean as possible. But...not all tongue cleaning is created equal.
MYTHS ABOUT CLEANING A WHITE TONGUE
MYTH #1: You have to scrape hard to clean a white tongue. This is false! You do not need to scrape your tongue so hard that it bleeds. In general, pressing harder does not remove more bacteria. You simply need to press hard enough that the tongue cleaner you're using is pressed flush across the surface of your white tongue. Try not to leave any gaps.
MYTH #2: Tongue Cleaning Alone Prevents Bad Breath. This is also false! Tongue cleaning alone does not kill the bacteria that cause bad breath that are breeding below the surface of a white tongue. It simply removes the gunk on the surface. This gunk (mucus and food debris) is a food source for anaerobic bacteria, the cause of a white tongue.
MYTH #3: You must use a complex, expensive gizmo to successfully clean your tongue. Again false! Really, all you need is a fairly rigid instrument, that you can easily make flush on the surface of your white tongue and cover the largest area possible. Those electronic tongue cleaners you see can be helpful if you have arthritis, difficulty with coordination, or in general have a a tough time performing some simple actions on tongue cleaning, which I'll outline below.
Tongue cleaning is really not that difficult to do, and it's not even very time consuming. That extra minute or two you spend on your tongue per day can reap huge rewards in preventing bad breath. It'll help prevent a white tongue, return it to it's normal color, and most importantly cut down on bad breath.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO SUCCESSFULLY CLEAN A WHITE TONGUE
STEP 1: Starting at the base of your tongue, place a tongue cleaner/scraper flush against your tongue's surface and make slow sweeping strokes from the back to the front. You can start at either side of your tongue and work your way across to the other side. Depending on the tongue cleaner you are using, you might need to make three to four different swaths across your white tongue.
STEP 2: Once the surface debris from your white tongue has been removed, apply a small bead of toothpaste to the head of your tongue cleaner. Make sure your toothpaste does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate because this ingredient will dry out your mouth. I recommend using TheraBreath Oxygenating Toothpaste.
STEP 3: Gently coat the surface of your tongue (as far back as possible without gagging yourself) with the toothpaste. This allows the toothpaste to penetrate below the surface of your tongue and neutralize those sulfur-producing anaerobic bacteria. Believe it or not, there are more bacteria in the rear of your tongue than in the front!
STEP 4: Once your tongue is coated, allow the toothpaste to stay on the surface of your tongue as long as you can. Up to 90 seconds is ideal. If you begin to cough, or your gag reflex kicks in, that's okay, just spit whenever you need to.
STEP 5: Ideally, it's best to leave the toothpaste on the surface of your tongue, while you brush your teeth normally.
Following this routine daily gives you the most benefit possible in cleaning a white tongue. This routine will help prevent white tongue, keep your breath fresh, and give a geographic white tongue its best possible chance at maintaining the normal, healthy, pink color that everyone would like to have.
Dr. Harold Katz is the worldwide expert on the topics of bad breath, halitosis, and dry mouth. Searching for a bad breath solution? To receive your FREE copy of his easy-to-read "Bad Breath Bible" visit: http://www.TheraBreath.com/web/art/L-HTCWT.asp
This Article has been viewed 310,172 times. (Not updated in real-time.)More comments
» left by Jason 1 year 222 days ago.
Many mouthwashes contain alcohol. It kills bacteria on contact, but makes it easier for new bacteria to grow afterwards. If you use mouthwash, make sure you use an alcohol free one. It should say alcohol free on the bottle, and they sell them in all supermarkets and most chemists, with the other mouthwashes,
» left by billy bob from geographic canada 1 year 221 days ago.
This is a bogus article.
» left by samantha 1 year 133 days ago.
how do you have a body cleansing day?
» left by Diane 1 year 132 days ago.
Just use your teeth. stick out your toungue as far as it will go and scrape off. The teeth can scrape the sides of the tougue too. Do this every day and there won't be a build-up of gunk. I'm not a big fan of tooth paste, I feel like it burns. I brush my teeth, gums and tongue daily.
If you want to keep your teeth for a long time, floss every day. Your teeth need clean gums to live in.
» left by Marcella 1 year 117 days ago.
Thank You It worked!!=) I usually brush my toungue but not like you explained it!!!I've been trying to fix the problem for a while.Again THANK YOU!!!=)
» left by isaiah 1 year 67 days ago.
That is a good way to clean them. im 15 years old and i have bleeding gums, really only when i brush, but ill try that way i guess. but my tongue is like a pinkish light greyish color and is a little cracked and the color goes back to the base of my toungue and i have a weird taste when i breathe out. idk what it is but can anyone tell me what i should do and what i should use.........i havent tried this yet but i will.
» left by BritishJennifer from California 339 days 10 hours ago.
You can also use Sesame seed oil. Just swoosh a little around your mouth for 15 minutes first thing in the morning before eating or brushing for your teeth. A Quantum Physicist called Dennis Watts shared this secret. It also has other benefits of strenthening the mouth bones, and as the surface of the tongue affects other parts of the body - provides overall health benefits.
» left by BOB from WASHINGTON 204 days 5 hours ago.
Excellent product to get pink clean tongue in 24 hours , amazing , amazing contact babaaidara@aol.
» left by leah from mcrae 129 days 7 hours ago.
thank you, my breath always stinks even right after I brush my teeth.. when I tried everything! Mouthwash, alcohol-free mouth wash, gum, mints, brushing tongue alone, only works for a few minutes. i think this is what I needed. Thank you
» left by dude in So.Cal. 88 days 8 hours ago.
I have been using a tongue scraper called Ora-Brush. Its flat with bristles. Then I coat it with Hydrogen Peroxide and scrape my tongue as far back as I can go. Works really good! You can actually see and feel the Peroxide working when left on tongue for a few seconds!