Do Tongue Scrapers Work?

Tongue scrapers, once only available in health food stores, have recently seen an increase in popularity – due largely to bigger corporations creating more readily available models. Hailed as an effective tool against bad breath, tongue scrapers reportedly remove bacteria, food particles, toxins, fungi, and dead cells from the tongue’s surface. But do they really work? According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, yes, tongue scrapers really do what they claim to do.

Hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans are the primary components of halitosis. These volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) are incredibly hard to remove through brushing alone and even prescription mouthwashes often fail to eliminate them entirely. In the NIH study, pre and post-cleaning VSCs were measured in two groups: one that used a toothbrush alone and one that used a toothbrush followed by a tongue scraper. Reduction in VSCs among those using a tongue scraper were 30% higher than those who only used a toothbrush.

The takeaway? Tongue scraping, when combined with a solid dental hygiene routine complete with brushing after every meal and snack, flossing twice a day, and visiting The Woodlands dentist Dr. Scott Young every six months can be a very effective tool against chronic and occasional bad breath.

To learn more about maintaining optimal oral health, please contact us  today. We serve patients living in and around Houston, Texas.

Author
Dr. Scott Young, DDS

You Might Also Enjoy...

What’s Better for Me: Bonding or Veneers?

Cosmetic bonding and veneers are minimally invasive and affordable options to quickly makeover a damaged smile and fix cosmetic imperfections. Here’s what you need to know about each procedure, and how to choose the best option for your needs.

How a Root Canal Procedure Relieves Your Pain

With so many myths and misconceptions about root canal therapy, many people are understandably afraid of the procedure. But the truth will actually surprise you. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid if you need a root canal.

Important Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth

Losing a tooth can be painful and traumatic, but if you act quickly and take precautions, our dental team may be able to save the tooth and prevent long term problems. Here’s what you should do if you lose a tooth or experience dental trauma.

5 Tips for Adjusting to Life With Dentures

Adjusting to life with dentures can take an adjustment period. But with a little practice and getting used to, they’ll feel comfortable in no time. Here are a few tips to help you get used to your new dentures.

When Is Gum Graft Surgery Necessary?

Gum recession is a common symptom of gum disease, which often leads to tooth loss and other oral health problems if left untreated. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk, and if necessary, gum graft surgery to repair the damage.