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Tongue Scraping

August 2020 / DENTISTRY

Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic (Indian) treatment recommendation which helps cleanse the body of toxins. It involves taking a specially designed instrument to remove the large amounts of bacteria and dead cells that often congregate in the irregularities on the top surface of the tongue.

A coated tongue often looks opaque and whitish colour. A coated tongue is made worse by smoking, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, yeast infections or medications. Bacteria and dead cells congregate mostly at the back of the tongue and tend to be the bacteria that produce volatile sui fur compounds. These sulfur containing compounds are a prominent source of bad breath (halitosis). A 2004 study found tooth brushing reduced volatile sulfur compounds by 45 percent, but tongue scraping reduced production by 75 percent.

Daily tongue cleaning has been shown to increase the taste and satisfaction from food by cleaning debris from around tongue's taste buds. By increasing taste reception one would get many benefits - eating less, having less sugar, salt and spice. Stimulating the tongue through cleaning has also been shown to make one feel more "invigorated".

Daily, the tongue should be gently scraped from the back to the front for approximately 5 to 10 strokes. Rinse the scraper between strokes if there is a lot of accumulation.

Tongue scraping should be part of everyone's daily oral hygiene routine. Brush 2-3 times daily, floss daily and tongue scrape daily. Think of it as improving your mouth's fitness and freshness. Come in to Dentistry on Sheppard to pick up your free tongue scraper.

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