Tongue cleaning: How useful are tongue scrapers?

Tongue cleaning: How useful are tongue scrapers?

Brushing teeth is a daily routine for most people. However, cleaning the tongue is not part of this morning or evening ritual for many. The positive effects of tongue cleaning are discussed again and again. We will tell you whether tongue scrapers are helpful and what you should consider when using them.

The tongue is often a breeding ground for bacteria.

In many Eastern countries, cleaning the tongue as an Ayurvedic cleansing ritual has been part of everyday oral care for several thousand years. But tongue cleaning is also becoming increasingly popular in Western cultures. Tongue cleaning is intended to improve oral hygiene.

Our oral cavity is teeming with bacteria. Eight hundred species were found in the lining of the periodontal pockets alone. These microorganisms prefer to settle where the toothbrush cannot reach them and where there is as little oxygen as possible. Ideal places are, therefore, interdental spaces, periodontal pockets and dentures.

Only recently has the tongue received attention in this regard. Bacteria can easily collect on it and cause bad breath through sulfur production because lousy breath is sulfur vapour. This occurs when bacteria break down food residue or sloughed-off cells on the tongue. Coatings on the tongue are the most common cause of bad breath. Tongue scrapers help to remove these deposits and thus reduce bad breath.

However, it is scientifically controversial whether cleaning also reduces the bacteria that settle on the tongue. A connection between tongue coatings and an increased risk of developing caries or periodontitis has also not been proven by studies to date.

Tongue cleaner with a practical effect

In India, silver tongue scrapers are used for daily tongue cleaning. Special tongue scrapers and tongue brushes are now also available from us. Made of plastic or metal, they can be bought at a pharmacy or drugstore for a small price. Sometimes, you can also find tongue scrapers made of copper, which are supposed to have an additional antibacterial effect.

In principle, other tools, such as the back of a toothbrush or a teaspoon, can also be used to clean the tongue. However, these are often larger or less flat than a tongue scraper and can thus more easily trigger a gag reflex. Care should also be taken when using a spoon to ensure that it has no sharp edges.

Tongue scraper: correct application

Using a tongue scraper is easy:

  • Den Zungenschaber hinten auf den Zungenrücken setzen und nach vorne ziehen. Das hintere Drittel der Zunge ist am stärksten von Belägen betroffen.
  • Den Vorgang so oft wiederholen, bis keine Rückstände mehr am Zungenschaber haften.
  • Der Zungenschaber kann unterstützend in Mundwasser getaucht werden.
  • Die Zungenreinigung sollte als fester Bestandteil in die Zahnputzroutine integriert werden.


Hausmittel zur Zungenreinigung

Neben der Verwendung eines Zungenschabers können ein paar Hausmittel dabei helfen, die Zunge zu reinigen. So wirken einige Teesorten, wie Salbei- oder schwarzer Tee, desinfizierend. Ähnlich wirken antibakterielle Mundspülungen.

Auch das Kauen von harten Lebensmitteln, wie Karotten oder Äpfeln, kann dazu beitragen, die Zunge von Belägen zu befreien. Generell gilt: Wer viel trinkt, spült den Mund gut durch und verringert so die Entstehung von Zungenbelägen. Auch Kaugummis sind hier hilfreich, da sie den Speichelfluss anregen.

Fazit: Zungenreinigung insgesamt sinnvoll

Whether the number of bacteria in the mouth is reduced by tongue cleaning is currently not proven. However, cleaning the tongue as part of daily dental care can help remove plaque more effectively. As a result, bacteria in the mouth receive less food and produce fewer sulfur compounds, preventing bad breath. Tongue scrapers can be valuable to oral hygiene to prevent or reduce bad breath. The sensitivity of the taste receptors on the tongue should also improve through cleaning.


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