How to get rid of bacteria on the back of your tongue

Updated April 17, 2017

Bacteria that live in your mouth help maintain your oral health. They break down food particles, clean up body cells that are shed, and help protect you from infections. An excess of bacteria can be problematic, however, especially if they live in areas that lack oxygen, such as the back of your tongue. These anaerobic bacteria cause bad breath because of the sulphur compounds they produce. To eliminate the bacteria at the back of your tongue, scrape your tongue and supply the bacteria with the oxygen it's lacking.

Scrape your tongue. Place your tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Sweep the scraper over your tongue toward the tip. Lift the scraper and move it toward the back again. Repeat the sweeping motion. Work from one side of your tongue to the other. Apply light pressure while sweeping. Avoid making a back-and-forth sawing motion. You want to move the bacteria forward, not backward. Rinse your scraper with water.

Squeeze a pea-sized drop of oxygenating toothpaste onto your tongue scraper or onto the back of your toothbrush. Apply a layer of toothpaste to the back of your tongue. Let the coating sit on your tongue. Scraping your tongue gets rid of the surface bacteria. The oxygenating toothpaste penetrates the surface of your tongue to kill the underlying sulphur-producing bacteria.

Brush your teeth as you normally do. Spit out the toothpaste together with the oxygenating toothpaste that was coating the back of your tongue.

Make scraping your tongue part of your daily mouth-cleansing routine. Scrape your tongue before brushing your teeth in the morning and, if desired, before bedtime.


Visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain good oral health.

Things You'll Need

  • Tongue scraper
  • Oxygenating toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
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