The Benefits of Tongue Scrapers for Your Oral and Physical Health

Benefits of Tongue Scrapers - Charleston, SC

Sep 11, 2017 — by John Rink DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

Close-up on woman scraping her tongueAt our Charleston, SC practice, we offer a wide range of restorative dentistry treatments, and we are always ready to repair or replace damaged teeth. Despite this, our number one objective is to prevent such damage from ever happening in the first place. When you come in for your routine visits, we will teach you about the most effective ways to clean and care for your teeth. While we will stress the importance of brushing, flossing, and dental visits, tongue scraping is another important habit. With its large, porous surface, your tongue can easily trap harmful bacteria. By regularly cleaning it with a tongue scraper, you could enjoy improved oral and even systemic health.

Your Tongue Cleaning Options

There are several ways that you can clean your tongue. Perhaps the most common method - and one you may already use - is to brush it with your toothbrush. However, your toothbrush is designed for an entirely different function. The soft bristles cannot effectively target all of the tiny fissures and indentations on your tongue.

In fact, one study in the Journal of Periodontology reported that a toothbrush only removed 45 of sulfur compounds, but a scraper effectively removed 75 percent. Alternatively, you could use a toothbrush with a special tongue cleaning function. Studies indicate that this method is just as effective as a scraper.

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers are slowly gaining recognition as people learn about their importance in preventative dentistry. Nonetheless, like many patients, you may not know the proper ways to use these tools. Fortunately, the process is quick and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Simply move the tool over the entire surface of your tongue, starting at the back and moving forward. Rinse off the scraper after each stroke. Be sure to address the sides of your tongue, as well. When you are finished, rinse both the tool and your mouth with water. For best results, use your tongue scraper first thing upon waking each morning.

Why Tongue Scraping Is So Important

Because the tongue is such a haven for bacteria, scraping can have numerous benefits:

  • Healthier teeth: Bacteria will not remain on your tongue. As the microbes multiply, they will quickly spread to your teeth. If they proliferate there, they will start to eat away at your dental enamel, creating cavities.
  • Healthier gums: Bacteria will also move from your tongue to your gum tissue. Residing there, they will cause the discomfort and sensitivity that characterize gum disease. Plus, as they multiply, they will create pockets, and the tissues may begin to pull away from your dental roots.
  • Improved digestion: When your tongue is covered in bacteria, it can affect your sense of taste. With a cleaner mouth, you may enjoy the taste of food more. Plus, enhanced taste may stimulate the secretion of enzymes, which are essential for good digestion.
  • Sweeter breath: Oral bacteria are the leading cause of bad breath. Though there is some debate on the topic, many experts believe that tongue scraping can combat chronic halitosis.
  • Better systemic health: Your oral and overall physical health is strongly connected. If you develop gum disease, your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke will also increase. Therefore, tongue scraping may have dramatic effects for your well being.

Contact Us to Learn More about Good Oral Hygiene

When you visit our office, we will provide complete care to ensure lifelong oral wellness. To schedule your routine cleaning and to learn more about proper dental care, contact Dr. Rink’s office today.

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