Tongue Scraping: Give Your Tongue a Little TLC

 Let’s have a moment of silence for what our tongues endure each day. Hot coffee. Rando food mashes. Bacteria noshing on sugar residue from your morning smoothie.

Chances are, you already know to whip out your toothbrush twice a day. But have you considered adding tongue scraping?

What is tongue scraping?

We literally mean scraping grimy slime off your tongue with a curved piece of plastic or metal. Paired with a handy-dandy toothbrush, a scraper can make your mouth feel so fresh and so clean .

First, the benefits: What tongue scraping *can* do for you

Remember all those food particles and bacteria that get trapped between your teeth and stuck to your tongue each day? Yep, they can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. Delicately scraping your tongue could remove some of that nastiness.

Here are the main benefits.

  • Tastier food. Yep, tongue scraping may improve your sense of taste. A small 2004 study found that folks who scraped their tongues daily for 2 weeks could better identify bitter, sweet, salty, and sour flavors. *chef’s kiss*
  • Bacteria, be gone. Lots of people scrape their tongues to get rid of excess bacteria. TBH, the research on this is iffy. One study suggested that peeps with gum infections weren’t able to lower their mouth bacteria with tongue scraping. But regular scraping *did* make their mouths feel more clean and fresh.
  • A cleaner-looking tongue. Ever noticed your tongue getting a little milky or gray? Excess food or bacteria buildup can create a coating on your tongue (yikes! 😬). Daily scraping can help keep the crud at bay (yay! 🙌).
  • An oral health boost. In general, upping your oral hygiene game = fewer cavities and reduced chances of gum disease, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
  • Better breath. Another small 2004 study suggested that tongue scrapers are better than toothbrushes at removing volatile sulfur compounds, which are the substances that cause mouth stank. However, a research review noted that there just haven’t been enough studies to confirm whether tongue scraping truly helps.

Is tongue scraping ayurvedic?

Ayurveda is an alternative medicine practice that’s been around for thousands of years. It operates under the assumption restoring balance and cleansing to your body will also improve your mind and spirit.

Lots of common practices are ayurvedic. Yoga is mentioned in ayurvedic texts. Nasal irrigation (Neti pot, anyone?) is ayurvedic. And yes, so is tongue scraping!

One small study backs Ayurveda’s claim that tongue scraping leads to better digestive health in general, but it’s not a proven benefit. 

Heads up: What tongue scraping *can’t* do for you

Tongue-scraping fans love to talk about how it banishes dragon breath for good. The truth is, tongue scraping is a very physical, short-term way to remove gunk from your mouth.

Tongue scraping isn’t a magic solution to bad breath caused by conditions like:

  • ketosis
  • mouth infections
  • tonsillitis
  • strep throat

Also, scraping in the a.m. isn’t going to do a thing about the garlic and onion pizza you eat for lunch.

  INDISCHEN Tongue Cleaners Scraper.


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