Tongue scraping is the practice of scraping away any layer of bacteria or plaque from your tongue.
When I first heard of it it seemed strange to me but in actuality it has been a part of human hygiene rituals for centuries!
It was only in the 15th and 19th century that tongue scraping became less popular in western civilizations.
- The Romans did it
- Medieval Europeans did it
- Many ancient and modern Oriental and South American cultures did it
It even has a special name in the traditional Indian self-care ritual: “Jihwa Prakshalana“.
Historically they have been made from many materials including:
- Copper, gold, silver, brass, tin and other metals
- Thin flexible sections of wood
- Ivory, whalebone or even tortoiseshell
These materials were chosen mainly because they were bacteria resistant or were only a temporary scraper…
Does tongue scraping work?
Your tongue takes up a lot of room in your mouth and there is a lot of space on it for odor causing bacteria to grow…
…Are you really just going to ignore that when you spend so much effort brushing your teeth?
Here are the numbers:
- Approximately 85% of bad breath causes occur in the mouth
- At least 50% of those causes are due to “residues” left on your tongue
- Brushing your tongue can reduce those residues by only 45%
- Scraping your tongue can reduce those residues by up to 75%
What are the benefits of tongue scraping?:
1. Better breath
These sources are found on your teeth and gums as well, but as mentioned earlier…
…your tongue takes up a massive amount of room in your mouth!
The majority of this bacteria and food can be found right there…
…sitting between your taste buds.
Why would you just leave that rotten gunk there on your tongue?!
Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper, tongue brush, whatever – just get that gunk out of your mouth!
Tongue scrapers happen to be the most effective products for this. If you want to know which one I recommend just follow the link at the end of this article.
Cleaning your tongue is a way of attacking the source, the cause of bad breath, rather than simply trying to cover it up with breath fresheners…
2. Better appearance
Lets be shallow for a moment.
Your tongue is meant to be pink.
Look in the mirror…
…is your tongue white?
That’s the coating of bacteria and plaque we talked about in the last point.
Not only does it smell bad…
…it looks absolutely disgusting!
In some cases too much bacteria (particularly yeast) can even cause your tongue to grow black or white hairs!
(It looks really bad, but is not a medical emergency!)
It is generally caused by your diet or reduced salivary flow (no spit!) and scraping your tongue can easily remove it.
3. Helps prevent tooth and gum disease
Believe it or not, cleaning your tongue can actually help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease!
This is because the tongue can act as a staging post for bacteria to invade the rest of your mouth.
There is a correlation between people who have periodontal disease (fancy cover all term for gum disease) and people who have a thick coating on their tongues.
So even if you have an excellent regimen and always brush your teeth, the following scenario can still play out:
- You brush your teeth but not your tongue
- Pathogens left on your tongue re-colonise your teeth and gums
- You end up only slowing down the onset of tooth decay and gum disease
Adding tongue scraping to the mix will bring your chances of getting tooth decay and gum disease down significantly.
4. Improved sense of taste
Not having that thick layer of bacteria slabbed on your tongue really lets your taste buds breathe…
Being able to taste all those different flavors in your food again must be really nice.
Its something you don’t necessarily think about, or want to think about…
…but if you have this layer of bacteria on your tongue all the time, when you eat what are you actually tasting?
- The actual food your eating
- The actual food you ate a while ago and is now decaying in your mouth
- The bacteria eating that decaying food in your mouth that you ate a while ago
I know which one I would like it to be…
I also know how to make sure it is that choice…
Getting started with tongue scraping
If you want to get into the habit of tongue cleaning to gain advantage of all the benefits listed above then you will want to get yourself the best tongue scraper out there.
I personally recommend Dr. Tung’s stainless steel tongue scraper.
Dr. Tung’s tongue scraper has a few advantages to offer, including:
- Easy to use and control
- Long lasting
- Effective and thorough cleaning
- Only 10 seconds to use
If you want to improve the overall health of your mouth, just add it to your morning routine and give it a go.
I think you’ll be pretty satisfied with the results.