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Your Tongue: A Bad Breath Incubatorbad breath

Surprisingly, it may be your tongue that's causing embarrassing bad breath. People go through great effort to produce a sparkling set of teeth, but they ignore the large organ in between (the tongue) which is literally crawling with odor producing germs.

Bacteria responsible for bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay are removed from teeth and gums by normal brushing and flossing. For smart bacteria, however, the tongue provides a perfect hiding place.

Here bacteria live in a virtual compost heap of saliva, protein, and putrefied food remains. Unfortunately for us, bacteria feast on this compost to produce the volatile sulfur particles responsible for foul breath.


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Many people brush their tongue in hopes of removing bacteria. This is generally not very helpful and tends to just push bacteria further into the tongue. To effectively remove these offending bacteria, consider one of several commercially available tongue cleaners (tongue scrapers).

These simple devices, usually made of plastic or stainless steel, allow you to quickly remove bacteria, protein, and food debris from the tongue producing fresher, cleaner breath.

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