Most people have tried brushing or scraping their tongue, but not everyone is aware of the positive effects this practice has on bad breath. With some simple instruction and a specialty breath freshening tongue scraper, a vigilant tongue-brusher can keep halitosis very much at bay.
A study published in the International Dental Journal compared the effects of tongue-brushing, gum-chewing and mouth-rinsing on oral odor. Its authors, a team of dental experts from Canada and Japan, measured the viability of each treatment by using a halimeter, a device that measures the level of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) on the breath.
They found that rinsing with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic compound, did a fair job of reducing the smell of halitosis. However, the team said that this method should be combined with other forms of dental hygiene in order to be most effective.
The researchers noted that chewing gum, even the sugarless variety, does not appear to reduce the amount of VSCs in one's mouth at all. If anything, regular gum-chewing can give oral microorganisms something to chew on themselves, resulting in additional VSCs.
Instead, the team recommended tongue-brushing, which they said must be done from back to front in order to ensure the maximum amount of microbe removal.
Individuals with powerful bad breath may consider getting a specialty tongue scraper and using it daily.