Dentists have emphasized the importance of tongue scraping time and again. However, the tongue-scraping technique has now taken over the mainstream media, and influencers and TikTokers have now deemed the oral cleaning routine as the new skincare routine. While trends come and go we all know the importance of cleaning your oral cavity and maintaining good oral hygiene. But does tongue scraping contribute to good oral health and prevent gum disease? This review will help you understand the science behind gum scraping.
What is Tongue Scraping?
The practice of tongue scraping involves removing the leftover particles on your tongue including bacteria. These particles and bacteria can build up and often result in a bad odor. While no amount of scraping can replace tooth brushing, it still is quite a decent method to prevent gum diseases and cavities - says, dentists.
Tongue scraping is done with a small device that removes the debris from the gums. Meanwhile, studies suggest that scraping your tongue twice a day can help you taste things better. When you clean your tongue, it can differentiate between salty, bitter, and sour better.
Dr Patel - a renowned dentist sat down with daily mail in an interview. Here’s what he had to say about the latest social media trend.
"Tongue scraping is a fairly novel oral trend that is likely to become hugely popular in 2023. The act of tongue scraping has often been limited to the wellness industry, but it is now making its way into the mainstream and becoming a routine step within your oral hygiene routine.
While not as important as teeth brushing and flossing, it can be added to a routine to keep the mouth as clean as possible, Dr Patel said.
Some use their toothbrush or mouthwash in a bid to clean their tongue — but a tongue scraper may be more thorough. Often after we eat or drink our tongue can feel fuzzy or like it needs a cleaning.
So morning and night scraping your tongue can help to remove bacteria from that area to prevent any dental issues down the line."
Is Tongue Scraping The Solution To All Dental Issues?
Certainly not! The tongue scraper can help prevent gum diseases in a limited capacity. Take it in a way that if you are scraping your tongue in the morning it won't prevent you from developing bad breath later in the evening. Similarly, it can only prevent the buildup of bacteria on the tongue and the bacteria on the teeth and gums cannot be cleaned. The buildup of bacteria on the gums and teeth is bound to cause gum problems and caries if you don't follow proper brushing and flossing techniques. However, getting rid of additional bacteria on the tongue can make it less likely that cavities will develop.
'The more we can help to keep our mouth clean the less likely it is that we will suffer from tooth decay or other dental complications" says Dr Patel.
The Bottom Line
Tongue scraping whether done with a tool or a toothbrush offers great benefits in maintaining good oral hygiene. However, if you are not taking a more well-rounded approach to your oral hygiene routine, it can do more harm than good.