Tongue Sweeper USA is making moves with the Tongue Sweeper Hygienist Pro, an upgraded tongue scraper “…designed by hygienists for hygienists” according to Ron Onslow, president of the company.
Around 25% to 50% of the world’s population suffers with a form of oral malodor.1 Halitosis, an intraoral malodor, along with the odors of gingivitis and periodontitis,2 must be considered when concerned with the oral-systemic link. Harmful periodontal bacteria can harbor within the topography of the tongue and yield volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) associated with periodontal tissue destruction.3
The American Academy of Periodontology suggests bacterial microbes are a risk factor for periodontitis.4 Evaluating the dorsum of the tongue and identifying a coating during an intraoral evaluation is a good start in educating patients about increased bacterial loads. However, some patients may not notice a coating yet, but still have risk factors due to VSCs produced by bacteria harboring within the dorsum of the tongue.
Numerous systemic conditions correlate with periodontal pathogens, sometimes resulting in conditions such as xerostomia, candidiasis, polypharmacy, faulty restorations, and tooth decay. All of these may cause intraoral halitosis. Tongue-scraping is one of a variety of methods used to combat bacterial loads associated with periodontitis and halitosis.1,4 One study found a significant reduction (27%) of coated tongues in a “therapy group” comprised of participants who used mouthwash, toothpaste, tongue gel placement, and tongue-scrapers, compared with another group who experienced 10% reduction using a toothbrush alone.1
Dr. Robert Ripich designed the original Tongue Sweeper with patient care in mind. Prior to his death in 2020, he had been using a tongue-scraper for over 30 years.5 Like most dental professionals, Dr. Ripich aspired to provide a safe, effective, and comfortable product to remove the bioburden from the tongue.5,6
Manufactured in the US, the Tongue Sweeper Hygienist Pro is composed of “medical-grade stainless steel with a proprietary finish, which ensures a long-lasting, effective product.”6 It can last a lifetime (lifetime warranty provided), offering an environmentally friendly option for patients. Additionally, Tongue Sweeper USA uses filtered, recycled water during production, recycles excess materials, aims to use less paper, and never tests on animals.6
A class IV, autoclavable medical instrument, the Tongue Sweeper Hygienist Pro is great for educating patients, as they can witness a greater collection of bacteria and debris from their tongue. The new slim design offers an enclosed head and less impact to patients with a sensitive gag reflex.6
Patient compliance is greater when they can take home the recommended tools. The affordable Tongue Sweeper Hygienist Pro comes in a clear, poly travel/storage case and is color-coded for easy identification.6
Visit tonguesweeper.com to preorder and try this excellent product yourself.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the December 2022 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.
Dudzik A, Sozkes S, Michalak E, Olszewska-Czyz I. Efficacy of a zinc lactate mouthwash and tongue scraping in the reduction of intra-oral halitosis: A single-blind, controlled, crossover clinical trial-A pilot study. J Clin Med. 2021;10(23):5532. doi:10.3390/jcm10235532
Taruno A, Nomura K, Kusakizako T, Ma Z, Nureki O, Foskett JK. Taste transduction and channel synapses in taste buds. Pflugers Arch. 2021;473(1):3-13. doi:10.1007/s00424-020-02464-4
Makino Y, Yamaga T, Yoshihara A, Nohno K, Miyazaki H. Association between volatile sulfur compounds and periodontal disease progression in elderly non-smokers. J Periodontol. 2012;83(5):635-643. doi:10.1902/jop.2011.110275
Risk factors. American Academy of Periodontology. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.perio.org/research-science/periodontal-literature-review/risk-factors/
Tongue Sweeper USA. Get a tongue cleaner from Tongue Sweeper. YouTube. April 2, 2014. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://youtu.be/qtg8q_FbVZM
About us. Tongue Sweeper USA. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://tonguesweeper.com/pages/about-us