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Tongue Scraping – really, is that Necessary?

This information submitted by Julie, a treatment assistant for Dr. Julie Gillis.

Tongue Scraping – Yes, it really IS necessary!

Our office recommends the daily use of a Tongue Scraper or Tongue Cleaner!

Thick coating of bacteria and food products on the tongue

 The use of a tongue scraper or tongue cleaner will keep the mouth clean and reduce odor.  We have learned that bad breath, also known as halitosis, comes from bacteria in our mouthes.  An abundant amount of bacteria live in the rough surfaces on the tongue.   The bacteria build-up, and often leave a white film on the tongue – this film can also be yellow, brown, or even black!  This film harbors millions of sulfur-producing bacteria that cause bad breath.  This film will also cause your taste buds not to function as well.

While a toothbrush can be used to clean the tongue, this tends to stir up the bacteria, rather than removing it from your mouth.  Also, the moist brush is more likely to harbor the bacteria from your tongue in your brush. Some people will gag when they try to brush their tongue with a toothbrush, whereas the use of a tongue scraper or tongue cleaner will generally cause less gagging.

A bendable tongue cleaner placed as far back as comfortable on the tongue

Note debris collecting on the tongue scraper

As indicated in the photos, simply stick your tongue out, and place the tongue scraper or tongue cleaner as far back as possible, and gently scrape forward.  You will see the white, yellow, and/or brown film being removed!  It’s important to get the back of the tongue which may create a gag reflex, but will lesson with practice.  Rinse the tongue scraper off and repeat until the tongue is clean. Rinse and spit with water when finished.   Our office recommends cleaning the tongue (and the cheeks and palate!) DAILY as part of your oral hygiene regimen.

The function of your taste buds will be improved with a clean tongue surface.  Also, medical professionals say tongue cleaning revitalizes the throat and keeps the sinuses cleaner by reducing bacteria that can travel into the respiratory system.  People who have struggled with sinus infections, sore throats, throat infections, and chronic bad breath, may find added relief through regular tongue scraping or tongue cleaning.  If you have any questions regarding tongue scraping or tongue cleaning please call the office of Dr. Julie Gillis at (970) 242-3635Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Thick coating of bacteria and food products on the tongue

The tongue is considerably cleaner after use of a tongue scraper


This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC and her wonderful treatment assistant, Julie.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles