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What’s a Tongue Scraper and Why Should I Use One?

February 24, 2019
Posted By: Brenna Sura, DDS
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Did you know that much of the bacteria in your mouth live on your tongue?

So, even though you may brush and floss like a pro, if you’re not cleaning your tongue, your mouth may not be as fresh as you think. One solution our Temple, TX dentist often recommends for our patients is to use a tongue scraper.

The Stuff on Your Tongue

Did you ever look in the mirror and notice a white coating on your tongue? What you see is a biofilm of bacteria and food debris trapped between the tiny raised bumps on your tongue called papillae. You can try cleaning it with your toothbrush, but many people find this sensation uncomfortable, especially those with a strong gag reflex.

What a Tongue Scraper Does

A tongue scraper is an oral device that removes bacteria, food particles, and dead cells that can quickly turn your tongue back to its normal color. Some toothbrushes have bumps on the back so you can flip them over and clean your tongue. This might be enough to get the job done, but it's also a good idea to consider investing about five dollars in a tongue scraper.

How a Tongue Scraper Benefits You

  • Bad breath - If you have a problem with bad breath, a tongue scraper that removes the bacteria from your tongue may be enough to freshen it. Keep in mind, though, that persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away with oral hygiene is often a sign of gum disease. So, if a tongue scraper doesn’t do the trick, check with your dentist.
  • Periodontal disease – Bacteria that linger on your tongue can spread to your teeth, and your gums may become irritated and inflamed. Without treatment, the inflammation can advance to periodontal disease, but cleaning your tongue minimizes this risk.
  • Dull taste buds - Another benefit of using a tongue scraper is that getting rid of the gunk on your taste buds may improve your ability to taste your food.

Please Call Us to Arrange an Appointment

It takes just a few minutes to get your tongue clean with a tongue scraper, but the small effort is well worth it. Dr. Richard Leung is a dentist in Temple, TX who would be happy to meet with you to review your dental needs and provide helpful tips to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

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