Get rid of Bad Breath with Tongue Scraping

When we are young, one of the most important thing’s our parents nag us about is brushing our teeth. Every morning and every night. When we are old enough our Dentist introduces us to flossing, which we are supposed to do every day. Equally important to both brushing and flossing is tongue scraping but not many Dentists or Doctors mention this.

Here are some very good reasons why tongue scraping or tongue cleaning should be part of your oral care routine:

Bad Breath/Halitosis

Bad breath is one of the most embarrassing ailments. Bacteria hiding under mucus and food debris on the surface of the tongue cause your breath to smell unpleasant no matter how much you brush and floss.

Taste Buds

Mucus or post nasal drip ends up on your tongue and forms a thick coating which clog up your taste buds. If this happens, then food can taste different or strange or can have no taste at all. Scraping your tongue morning and night will enhance the taste of your food and drink.


The digestion of food starts in the mouth. Keeping your saliva flowing nicely – which means a clean tongue and a keeping your mouth hydrated – will ensure the digestion process is started off correctly. Saliva contains bacteria which fight bad breath and it also contains enzymes that start breaking down your food.

General Health

Your tongue is one of the easiest places for toxins to get into your system. Regular scraping gets rid of these toxins and bacteria before they get a chance to get into your system.

How to Clean/Scrape your tongue

To clean your tongue properly, place the tongue cleaner down at the very back of your tongue. Hold the tongue scraper down firmly and pull it forward. Repeat this 3 – 6 times, rinsing your mouth and the tongue cleaner with water each time. Make sure you don’t miss the side of your tongue, this too will have a slight coating which is made up of bacteria.

Extend your tongue as much as possible. This will help reach the row of small bumps that lie at the back of your tongue. If your gag reflex is activated, please be assured after time, the reflex will subside. Pulling the tip of your tongue forward and holding whilst scraping will eliminate the gag reflex you get used to it.

This is what a healthy tongue should look like

Pink, clean with small bumps called pipillae (bumps should not be red or inflamed)

Some people have a coating on the tongue

A thick white coating on the tongue is an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast. Make sure your clean your tongue and avoid foods that increase yeast growth. Smoking also causing a coating on the tongue.

A yellow coating on the tongue has the same cause as a white coating and could indicate poor gut function. It is the bacteria that produces a yellowy pigment.

Geographic tongue can be caused by a lack of iron, folic acid and Vitamin B12.

With all tongue issues, its best to keep the mouth clean by having a thorough oral care routine including brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, using a good (non-alcoholic mouth wash like ProFresh) and keeping your mouth hydrated by sipping water regularly throughout the day.

Ayurveda Tongue Reflex

The practice of Ayurveda originated in India. It’s ethos is life+science/knowledge and believes the mind and body are connected. Ayurveda believes that like reflexology and the feet, every organ can be found on a specific region on the tongue. It is believed that discoloration or issue with a certain part of the tongue can indicate an organ disorder correlated to a certain part of the body.

So you may think that your oral care routine is fine with just brushing and flossing but if you aren’t cleaning your tongue too, then you are missing out a third of the vital oral care routine.