The effect of tongue scraper on mutans streptococci and lactobacilli in patients with caries and periodontal disease

Odontostomatol Trop. 2005 Mar;28(109):5-10.


Tongue cleaning is an ancient habit. Recent literature has shown that tongue cleaning leads to healthy oral environment. The aims of this study were to assess the effect of tongue scraper among male adult patients with caries and periodontal disease, on Mutans streptococci (MS) and Lactobacilli (Lb) bacteria and secondly to assess the effect on self perceived oral malodour. Sixty male patients completed the study. The age ranged from 20-55 years (32 +/- 9.53). Fifty percent of the subjects were with university education level. Mean DMFT score was 9.17 (+/-5.46), while 88% of the subjects were with early to moderate periodontitis assessed by CPITN. Thirty one percent of the subjects were smoker, while 86.7% had tea/coffee drinking habit and tooth brushing. Only 28% claimed of using miswak (chewing stick). All patients were advised to use a tongue scraper twice daily for at least 2 minutes per day for 7 days. No effort was made to change tooth brushing or dietary habits of patients. Self perceived oral malodour was reported by 41.7% at baseline and 30% after use of tongue scraper. Salivary count of Mutans Streptococci and Lactobacilli had significant decrease 3.37 (+/- 0.71) to 2.27 (+/- 0.80) and 3.22 (+/- 0.85) to 2.32 (+/- 0.87) respectively (P = 0.000). It was concluded that tongue scraping twice daily for 7 days had significant effect on MS and Lb bacteria and also decreased oral malodour

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / microbiology*
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Devices, Home Care*
  • Halitosis / psychology
  • Halitosis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Periodontitis / therapy
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Self-Assessment
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification
  • Tongue / microbiology*