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.