5 Reasons Why You Need to Scrape Your Tongue Daily

5 Reasons Why You Need to Scrape Your Tongue Daily

By Jamie Matthewman
January 14th, 2018

So you’re wondering why you need to scrape your tongue, this is a good inquiry, because scraping your tongue daily is an essential practice for enhancing your overall health and oral hygiene.

I’d like to say I’ve been scraping my tongue for years having seen the gunk I removed from the surface of my tongue the first time I used a tongue scraper. But it’s only recently I’ve added tongue scraping to my morning routine since receiving a tongue scraper as a gift (similar to this one). I’m not sure if it was a subtle hint about my breath but either way, I’m hooked! Scraping my tongue is now the first thing I immediately do when I awake each morning.

But like I said, there’s way more to it than improving oral hygiene. Have you ever noticed when you’re feeling under the weather, your tongue looks sickly too? This is because tongue provides a window to the state of your health, displaying clues as to what’s going on inside your body, which I’ll come to shortly.

What Is a Tongue Scraper?

Tongue scrapers aren’t a modern day invention, according to Wikepedia

“Tongue hygiene has been practiced for centuries in Africa, Arabia, Europe, South America and many eastern and oriental cultures.The various materials used for tongue cleaners include thin flexible wood sections, metals, ivory, mother-of-pearl, whalebone, celluloid, tortoiseshell, and plastic. Western civilizations placed less emphasis on tongue cleaning. Between the 15th and 19th century, tongue cleaning was primarily practiced by those who were affluent. It was recorded in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries that Romans also performed tongue cleaning.In the 20th century, a wide variety of tongue cleaning devices came on the commercial market”

Your Tongue is a Window to Your Health

Ayurveda, the traditional Indian science of medicine, recommends cleaning the tongue as part of your daily self-care regime to remove ama – toxic debris that builds up in the body. According to Ayurvedic medicine, a discoloration and /or sensitivity of a particular area of the tongue indicates a disorder in the organ corresponding to that area (see image below) so a daily inspection of your tongue can tell you what is going on in particular area of your body and by scraping your tongue, you are actually stimulating and massaging those corresponding internal organs, similar to acupuncture.


5 Reasons Why You Need to Scrape Your Tongue Daily

  1. Tongue Scraping Daily Improves the Breath
  2. I imagine any woman you’re intimate with is going to appreciate you removing the bacteria, food debris, fungi, and dead cells from your tongue. Firstly she’ll have enough of her own and secondly it significantly reduces the odour from the mouth. Like me, you may have brushed your tongue with your toothbrush, but I assure you it does NOT efficiently remove all of the scuzz that develops on the tongue over night.

    I was blown away by the amount of gunk that came off my tongue the first time I used a tongue scraper. Your tongue will feel smoother, cleaner and generally a nicer, more hygienic bit of flesh to have in your mouth!

  3. Tongue Scraping Daily Will Make Food Taste Better
  4. Removing build-up from the surface of your tongue will better expose your taste buds increasing your capacity to taste. As a result you may find you reduce the quantity of food you eat and the need to add more sugar, salt, or excessive spice to food to make it more flavorful. Ayurveda teaches that blocked taste buds and tongue receptors interferes with your body’s ability to communicate with your brain about what types of foods are needed to maintain health, leading to false cravings such as sugar.

    Many of the beneficial phytonutrients (chemicals found in plant food that may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly) and “body signals” that your food contains are first interpreted by the mind-body upon contact with receptors on the tongue. You improve this communication between your food and your body by removing any coating that is interfering with that connection. The better you enjoy and savour your food, the better your body digests and assimilates, leading to better over all health.

  5. Scraping Your Tongue Daily Avoids Toxins Being Reabsorbed Into Your Body
  6. During sleep when the body is resting, the digestive system works to detoxify itself. These toxins are deposited on the surface of the tongue via the internal excretory channels, and are responsible for the coating usually seen on the tongue first thing in the morning.

    Much of the film on your tongue are toxins excreted from your body and you don’t want to re-ingest them. Scraping your tongue first thing in the morning will remove this sludge from your tongue and your body, improving your overall health and improving your immune system.

  7. Scraping Your Tongue Daily Will Improve Your Dental Health
  8. By removing bacteria and toxins you also contribute to better dental health leading to healthier teeth and gums. The bacteria you remove, especially from the back of your mouth when scraping your tongue are responsible for things like periodontal problems, plaque build-up which translates to less tooth decay, gum infections, gum recession, and even loss of teeth.

  9. Scraping Your Tongue Daily Will Improve Your Hearts Health
  10. Poor dental hygiene is linked to cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes and infertility. Oral health and heart disease are connected by the spread of bacteria – and other germs – from your mouth to other parts of your body through the blood stream. When these bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation. This can result in illnesses such as endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, according to Mayo Clinic.

    You might think, “I floss daily, I have great dental hygiene!” But as I’ve discovered, if you’re not tongue scraping, that’s an awfully large surface in the mouth to leave uncleaned!

How to Scrape Your Tongue

For best practice tongue scraping should be done daily and first thing in the morning using a tongue scraper like this one which is bent in the shape of a ‘U’.

With a relaxed tongue gently reach to the back of the tongue and scrape the tongue from back to front. Repeat this 5-10 times, until you feel the tongue is clean, reaching as far back as comfortable, rinsing the scraper after each pass. When I first started I used to gag a little but the reaction has declined the more I do the practice.

As soon as I finish, I clean my teeth, floss and drink a large glass of spring water. This video, which is a little grim to watch, shows a guy going through the process and explaining more about why you need to tongue scrape.


So if you want fresher breath, a cleaner feeling tongue, to enhance your bodies ability to fight diseases, better tasting food then a small investment in a tongue scraper is a no brainer. Copper and stainless steel scrapers, U shaped, are the highest recommended because of their effectiveness and because they inhibit bacteria.

Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

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