Why Clean Your Tongue?

90% of the bacteria that cause bad breath live on the tongue — not on the teeth or gums. But bad breath, or “chronic halitosis” as the creator of Listerine famously labelled it in the 1920s, isn’t the only reason to clean your tongue — nor, perhaps, the most important.

Where Does Bad Breath Come From?

The same anaerobic bacteria that are blamed for cavities in your teeth form thick colonies known as biofilm, which allow them to thrive in the nooks and crannies of the tongue. There, they consume leftovers from your meals and emit volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) as waste. These VSCs are the primary source of the odor we know as “bad breath.”

Americans spend more than $3 billion every year on mouthwash, gum, breath mints, and other efforts to reduce bad breath. But often, these efforts do little more than mask the problem, as the biofilms full of bacteria are left to eat, multiply, and continue producing foul-smelling waste on the tongue.

Everyone has bad breath. And, unless you do something about it, you have it every day.

Health Implications

Thriving colonies of bacteria in the mouth are a significant contributor to periodontal disease, known commonly as “gum disease.”

What is Periodontal Disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Not only can untreated periodontal disease lead to tooth loss, research has also shown that it is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease (“heart disease”) and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

How Prevalent Is It?

47% of all Americans over 30 (more than 64 million of us) have mild, moderate, or severe periodontal disease, according a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control.

Graphic: The American Academy of Periodontology (perio.org)

The findings of the study show that periodontal disease is even more common among US adults as they get older.

The Bottom Line

Cleaning your tongue with TUNG Brush & TUNG Gel:

  • reduces the number of bacteria living on the tongue
  • helps neutralize the odors produced by bacteria waste
  • can help reduce the risk of periodontal disease, which in turn is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.