All you Need to Know About Tongue Scraper and Bad Breath

tongue scraper and bad breath

When it comes to oral health, most people focus their brushing and cleaning on teeth and gums only, neglecting one o the most important part of the mouth-the tongue. See, good oral health is more than just your teeth and gums, it includes the whole mouth, with the teeth, gums, and tongue included. Neglecting any of the parts can lead to severe oral consequences.

In this article, we shall look at tongue scraper bad breath, and how you can use a tongue scraper to remove the bad mouth odor bacteria on your tongue using a scraper. We shall define what is a tongue scraper,  the benefits of using the scraper and explore the limits of tongue scraping.

What is a Tongue Scraper?

Tongue scraper

A tongue scraper or tongue cleaner or tongue brush is an oral hygiene device designed for cleaning the coating on the upper surface of the tongue.

Tongue scraping is a traditional method of cleaning the tongue. To clean your tongue using a scraper, you need to place the edge of the tool on the back of your tongue, and gently pull the scraper forward.

Today, you can buy scrapers made from plastic or metal.

Why Do I need a Tongue Scraper?

During the breakdown of food in our bodies, our digestive system is continually removing toxins from our body and depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. Millions of bacteria collect on your tongue, and if not removed, they may result to bad breath.

Bad breath aside, these bacteria also have a potential of causing other health issues. Failure to scrape bacteria from your tongue, result to reabsorption of the waste by the body and can lead to respiratory difficulties, digestive problems, and a compromised immune system.

Research indicates that though brushing and flossing are essential in maintaining proper dental hygiene, they do not remove bacteria; they only loosen and move debris around.

Tongue scraping, on the other hand,  removes the toxins and bacteria from the tongue more than a toothbrush.

With almost half of the oral bacteria living on and in the deep crevices of our tongue; the scraping action of a tongue scraper collects these toxic tongue coatings, food debris, fungi and dead cells and removes them from the body.

What are the Top Benefits of Tongue Scraping?

Tongue scraping is an oral self-care procedure that comes with plenty of benefits. Debris, bacteria and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health.

Aside from removing this buildup, a tongue scraper can also help in;

  • Improving your sense of taste: Research indicates that using a tongue scraper at least twice daily can improve on your sense of taste. Scraping allows your tongue to distinguish between bitter, sweet, salty and sour sensation.
  • Improving the appearance of your tongue: The buildup of debris and lodging of food particles on your tongue can result in the discoloration of your teeth. In most cases, the presence of food debris in the mouth causes your tongue to take on a white, coated appearance.

Daily tongue scraping is essential in removing this coating and preventing it from returning.

  • Removing bacteria: In an earlier study published at NCBI, using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days reduces the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and  Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. Both bacteria types are known to be major contributors of bad breath as well as dental decay.

Therefore, tongue scraping is essential in getting over the bad breath problem.

  • Improving your overall dental health: Removal of bacteria from the mouth is key to preventing an array of dental issues such as cavities, gum diseases, periodontist diseases, and other oral infections that usually affect the mouth.

Tongue scraping is essential in clearing these bacteria from the mouth, as well as improving your tongue`s appearance and overall sensation.

  • Reducing Bad Breath: Though scraping cannot replace brushing and flossing, scraping is more effective in removing the odor-causing bacteria more than the latter.

What Tongue Scraping Won`t Do

Before jumping to any conclusion, we need to debunk a misconception about tongue scraping that it provides extended benefits in reducing bad breath.

See, a tongue scraper only targets a group of bacteria, and those are the ones on your tongue. Remember that there is nothing special about your tongue: the tongue is just a part of the oral structure and a place where bacteria can reside.

According to oral experts at, consistency is the key to the perfect oral health. Taking a proactive oral hygiene regimen that includes using a tongue scraper can offer people with halitosis, or bad breath, some short-term relief.

For example, using a tongue scraper in the morning will not prevent bad breath from developing later in the day. Food particles and odor-causing bacteria build up every time you eat and drink, and therefore, if you are concerned about your halitosis, you will need to scrape after every meal.

Ideally, you should scrape your tongue at least twice a day or every time you brush your teeth. Regular scraping is essential in preventing the long-term build-up of bacteria and food particles responsible for severe halitosis.

Also, it is essential that you understand that a toothbrush cannot double up as a scraper, and vice versa. The role of each of the above oral-care product is clear-cut.

While brushing is essential in removing the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, a study by Healthline indicates that tongue scrapers are more effective in eliminating the bacteria, and can reduce the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) in the mouth by more than 30% compared to the soft-bristled toothbrushes.

The study shows that using a tongue scraper shows a significant decrease in the reduction of VSC`s produces when bacteria and amino acids interact to create bad breath.

Your tongue needs a thorough clean: do not neglect it in your oral care regimen. If you have had any experiences with tongue scraper bad breath, let us know in the comment section below.

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