We always heard of the importance of flossing and brushing our teeth. But were you ever told about tongue-scraping? Your tongue is a muscular organ that aids you in chewing and swallowing foods. And just like the teeth, this too can harbor bacteria and needs to be properly cleaned. And regardless of how you regularly and properly brush your teeth, you will still be susceptible to bad breath and other oral diseases if you don’t include your tongue in your oral hygiene.
Bacteria, acids, and dead cells can accumulate on your tongue over time; which can affect your oral health in a negative way. Tongue scraping is a way of cleaning the tongue and removing the harmful particles by scraping the surface of it with a plastic or metal tool.
Benefits of tongue scraping
While tongue scraping cannot replace a good amount of brushing teeth, it still offers a number of oral health benefits such as:
- Enhance your sense of taste
According to research published in 2004, scraping your tongue twice a day will clean up your tongue with dead cells and food particles; thus, improving your sense of taste. Regular tongue scraping will enhance your ability to distinguish major sensations like salty, sour, bitter, and sweet.
- Improve your tongue’s appearance
A healthy tongue should be pinkish with small nodules or papillae covering it. The appearance of white coating on your tongue can mean that there is a build of excess dead cells and debris. Regular scraping of the tongue will remove the coating and prevent it from recurring.
- Prevents bad breath
A healthy appearance of the front of the tongue doesn’t mean that the back is healthy as well. According to a study, about 80-95% of bad breath is caused by the accumulation of food particles, microorganisms, and dead cells at the back of the tongue. In fact, this is where most of the bad smell from your breath is coming from. Scraping all sides of the tongue will exponentially reduce the causes of bad breath.
- Improve your overall health
With the huge number of microorganisms residing in your mouth, it wouldn’t be surprising that a lot of health problems can be there too. Not including your tongue in your oral health practice means that there are still bacteria and acids sticking into it. If the population of these bacteria increases, they can be transported to the different organs in your body through the blood vessels. This can lead to different health problems such as gut issues, heart problems, and others. Tongue scraping will not only help prevent this from happening, but it also stimulates the production of saliva which aids in proper digestion of foods.
- Helps prevent cavities
Strepptococci mutans and Lac tobacilli are two species of bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. While they can be found sticking to your plaque on your teeth, some of these bacteria also reside on the surfaces of your tongue. Regular brushing and tongue scraping will guarantee that these bacteria will be removed from your oral cavity; hence, preventing tooth decay and gum diseases.