Clean your tongue to avoid bad breath

woman sticking out tongueAs 85 percent of bad breath originates in the mouth, simple treatment strategies like brushing teeth twice a day, flossing the spaces between 2 teeth, rinsing and gargling after every food intake, professional cleansing of the teeth by a dentist and treatment for oral diseases, especially gum diseases usually is necessary to tackle this problem.

But in most cases an unclean tongue can be the culprit too. In fact, dentists suggest that brushing and flossing should be accompanied by tongue cleaning also in order to thoroughly cleanse your oral cavity. The bacterial count on your tongue can be drastically reduced (as much as 50% in one day) with effective tongue cleaning.

The tongue is a haven for bacteria to breed, multiply and attach to teeth and gums. Tongue cleaning is just as important as hand washing in prevention of common colds, flus and other serious health ailments. Bacteria in the mouth often leads to gingivitis and bad breath (halitosis). This could in turn lead to incurable periodontal diseases and other serious health problems. 

Medical professional community unanimously opine that there is a powerful association between the existence of periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Other studies have found correlation between poor oral hygiene and blood clots leading to heart attacks, emphysema, lung disease, kidney and liver problems, and premature birth. 

Have you ever opened your mouth to notice a white coating on your tongue? The surface of the tongue is one of the vital breeding grounds for bacteria that attack teeth and gums.The tongue coating consists of desquamated epithelial cells, blood cells and bacteria. More than 100 bacteria may be attached to a single epithelial cell on the tongue dorsum, whereas only 25 bacteria are attached to each cell in other areas of the mouth cavity. 

We usually clean the front part of the tongue, it’s only the hard-to-reach back portion that is usually neglected, even though this portion has the most bacteria and smells worst.
cleaning tongue with toothbrush Therefore, gentle and effective deep tongue-cleansing should and must become a part of one’s daily hygiene routine. 

You can even use your toothbrush to clean your tongue; just apply a little pressure with a clean toothbrush and use slow, long strokes to remove the white coating from the back to the front. 

The gunk you are trying to remove is mostly concentrated at the back of the tongue and stroking this area might be difficult as this triggers a gag reflex. However, you will soon get used to it after a while. 

You should clean the sides of the tongue as well. You may even immerse the toothbrush in a cup of warm salt water and brush your tongue with it; then gargle with salt water and spit out. This helps get rid of the white coating. 

If the white coating is too thick and you didn’t clean your tongue for a long time, you could try brushing your tongue with a combination of baking soda, 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. However, don’t try this everyday or your tongue might get raw.

Dr. Tung's Tongue CleanerUsing a tongue scraper is a more effective way of cleaning your tongue; it’s special design allows for the proper cleaning of the entire surface of the tongue, especially the very back of the tongue, where the majority of foul odor-causing bacteria and decaying food particles are lodged. These are usually available at all drugstores; you can even order for them online.

 Use a tongue scraper to remove the remaining white coating from your tongue. Place the tongue scraper on your tongue as far back as you can without gagging.However remember to use gentle stokes; over-enthusiastic or improper scraping or brushing of tongue can lead to bleeding. 

Once the surface debris are removed, apply a small bead of oxygenating toothpaste to the head of your tongue cleaner and gently coat the surface of the tongue with the toothpaste; this allows the toothpaste to penetrate below the surface of your tongue and neutralize those sulfur-producing anaerobic bacteria., says  Dr. Harold Katz

Therabreath Oxygenating toothpaste

He recommends using TheraBreath Oxygenating Toothpaste, as this does not contacleaning tongue with tongue scraperin Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which dries out your mouth. Incorporate tongue cleaning in your routine every morning and evening when you brush and floss your teeth and this grooming habit, without any doubt will grant your better hygiene and health.

However remember that tongue cleaning alone does not eliminate bad breath or kill the bacteria that are breeding below the surface of a white tongue. It simply removes the gunk on the surface, which is an ideal breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria to thrive.

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  1. Raghavendra11:26 AM

    you can actually clean your tongue and prevent bad breath and avoid awkward moments

  2. Anonymous11:34 AM

    A white tongue not only looks abnormal, but if left untreated, it’s a strong indication of a bad breath problem. Geographic tongue simply means a tongue that has lots of grooves and fissures in it. These grooves and fissures make an excellent breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath and a white tongue.

  3. unknown11:36 AM

    It's easy to experiment with tongue scraping. To do so, pick out a spoon (smaller is usually better than larger), invert it, and then go ahead and give tongue scraping a try. Place the spoon on the posterior portion of your tongue and then draw it forward. Be thorough but also gentle. Don't scrape so hard or vigorously that you irritate your tongue.

  4. Aditya11:45 AM

    Wash the tongue scraper with soap and warm water. Store it in a dry place.

  5. Anonymous11:59 AM

    People generally with low immune system will have white coating on their tongue. Normal bpdy system has the enough immune system to prevent this from coming. So ideally kissing cant transmit white coating to the other person..

  6. Vikram12:01 PM

    most effective and provide instant results is rinsing/soaking my mouth with hydrogen peroxide 3 times a day. I also noticed the worse the condition the more fizzing the hydrogen peroxide is and it may be necessary to spit it out and repeat the soaking. The less the condition the less the fizzing….the results seem to be faster and more effective than brushing your tongue or using any other method

  7. Shridhar8:47 AM

    LOL.....great post!

  8. Emily8:54 AM

    I can't wait to see this. Good post

  9. Great tips. All are common sense but we don't really seem to take heed to all of them

  10. Prabhavati8:39 AM

    Very good point! Thank you for sharing with us :)

  11. Omkar9:19 AM

    A scraper is extremely effective in removing the bacteria, but it’s harsh. It’s most important to brush your tongue gently because you can damage to your taste buds (painful!) if you use too much force. Also, make sure to brush back to front, against the plaque coating on your tongue. Tongue brushes are great for cleaning the back of the tongue.

  12. Swarup10:39 AM

    omgsh!!!! thank you so much fer these tips! these saved my life <3

  13. Vighnesh10:53 AM


  14. Nandan4:58 PM

    This article is great.I’ll put this article to my bookmarking page.thx for post man i’m following you. Thanks for those beautiful tips.

  15. unknown9:22 AM

    every time you brush your teeth do your tong, use salt, it will take layers off.

  16. Raghavendra9:24 AM

    Have you tried rinsing with a plaque remover, then brushing ?

  17. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Hmmmm... You may want to seek educated help from an doc. I brush my tongue with a toothbrush and toothepaste and then rinse with listerine or act. The only time I have ever noticed a brownish tint on my tongue is when i drink a dark soda or take peptobismol pills. the chalkyness leaves a thick film on my tongue and it turns black after setting but it brushes right off

  18. unknown5:32 PM

    Halitosis' or bad breath may arise from bad oral hygiene, infected maxillary sinus, bad/ acidic / constipated tummy and rarely with Lung infection (asthmatic types).
    Mouth is a portal and all bad breath may not be from teeth. Your dentist best
    able to tell. If your mouth is clean, you must think of other sources.
    However some odor is normally, and whether you perceive it as bad is also an issue ?

  19. Anonymous6:06 PM

    a good indication is if you can see plaque on your tongue.
    the bad breath usually comes from the bacteria on your tongue.

  20. Hardik9:36 AM

    Gargle a cup of lukewarm water mixed with salt or half a lemon juice.This is best done before going to bed. Chew parsley leaves,which are sure to keep your breath fresh.

  21. Anonymous9:39 AM

    you can get rid of bad breath in so many simple and inexpensive ways through proper brushing and careful flossing every after meals. you can eat healthy diet and drink as much water to keep the mouth salivated. use a herbal bad breath remedy, but cut the use of breath mints and mouthwashes with alcohol for they can make bad breath worse because of sugar and alcohol content that may dry the mouth. but be able to know what can primarily cause your bad breath

  22. It is important to maintain the cleanliness of our mouth - that's oral care. So, cleaning the tongue is not enough you need to floss, brush the teeth at least twice or even thrice in a day and gargle some mouth wash to have 99.9% totally germ free mouth to avoid having bad breath.

  23. Avinash8:27 AM

    Gargle a cup of lukewarm water mixed with salt or half a lemon juice.This is best done before going to bed. Chew parsley leaves,which are sure to keep your breath fresh.

  24. Narasimh8:31 AM

    Bad breath may be cause by your tongue if its not some infection in your mouth, throat or gum disease. Halimeter is a device used to measure gas emissions from your mouth and determine its origin by dentists. With such device , the cause of bad breath can be easily determined.

  25. I must agree on this one. Tongue bacteria is a cause for bad breath. Bacteria is not just confined in the gums and teeth, but in the tongue as well.

  26. Aside from cleaning out your tongue, it is also important to always keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Saliva helps a lot in fighting off bacteria and tooth decay.

  27. The tongue scraper is very effective in cleaning the tongue. This is a highly recommended product by dentists.

  28. Yes, recently a research stats that, if the tongue is not cleaned properly we might have the risk of heart stroke. Its just a matter of 2 minutes. Thanks for sharing this with the world! Mens Health

  29. Great advice. Funny it's always the simple things that are overlooked

  30. That's why most of the time, I spend at least 3/4 of my brushing time trying to clean my tongue and gargling a mouthwash to clean those hard-to-reach areas.


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