Tongue Cleaning Science


Clean tongue

Bacteria-coated tongue

Bacteria-coated tongue

The human tongue is covered with tiny projections called papillae. While there are several different types of papillae, most of these contain clusters filled with numerous microscopic taste buds.


The area in between these tiny papillae is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, since it is moist and warm, with a regular supply of food and usually nothing to disturb it. Anaerobic bacteria, often the source of disease and bad breath, are especially dangerous, but die when exposed to oxygen in the air. Hidden deep in between the papillae, covered with biofilm made up of dead cells and remnants of food, these harmful bacteria multiply and can enter the human circulatory system, carrying them to organs such as the heart, brain and kidneys.


Getting rid of these bacteria is vital to maintaining good oral health. Daily tongue scraping can help to rid the tongue of these bacteria in two ways. As can be expected, the scraping action physically pulls many of the bacteria off of the surface of the tongue. In addition, tongue scraping allows air to penetrate the interpapillary spaces. Since these harmful bacteria are anaerobic bacteria, the oxygen present in the air is able to help to kill what is left of them.


While tongue scraping is definitely a healthy activity, like most hygiene practices, when done incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. It is now commonly understood by health professionals that scraping the tongue too hard may result in trauma to the tongue, including irritation of the papillae. This may affect taste and even cause bleeding, giving anaerobic bacteria immediate access through the circulatory system to our organs. The key in the MEGASONEX® method of tongue cleaning is gentle scraping with the benefits of ultrasound and minimal amplitude vibration, which removes bacteria and allows aeration of this interpapillar space.