Ok, this sounds weird… so… Just what is Tongue Scraping?
Jihwa Prakshalana, the Ayurvedic practice known as tongue scraping, is an oral hygiene ritual, which scrapes and removes fuzziness, bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue.
During sleep our digestive system remains awake, busy removing toxins from our body. Some of these deposits coat our tongue with a furry, fuzzy film.
If we don’t scrape away these toxins they get reabsorbed by the body and can lead to respiratory difficulties, digestive problems, and a compromised immune system.
Recent conducted dental research shows tongue scraping to be more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than only brushing.
Brushing and flossing loosens and moves debris but does not complete the job of removing all of the bacteria.
This is because almost half of all oral bacteria live on our tongue and the action of using a tongue scraper collects these toxic coatings (which can range in colour from clear or white, yellow, or green) and removes them from the body.
Reasons to tongue scrape :
1 – In Ayurveda, proper digestion is considered the foundation of good health. Given that digestion begins with taste, it’s important to remove any toxins that may obstruct optimal functioning. Scraping also activates saliva production and helps to promote something that Ayurveda calls Agni (the body’s digestive fire), which aids digestion throughout the day. Proper digestion begins with taste and salivation and this happens by properly experiencing the flavors’ in your food. If you don’t take steps to remove toxic mucus from the tongue, your taste buds can become blocked. This may lead to false cravings or an inability to recognize the taste of food. Tongue scraping will open up the pores on your tongue, better exposing your taste buds and therefore allowing for a greater enjoyment of food flavors, digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food.
2 – The tongue is part of the first line of defence in your immune system. Scraping your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into your body and boosts overall immune function.
3 – Get down with your dental health – This oral hygiene practice promotes general tooth and gum health and removes bacteria and toxins responsible for periodontal problems, plaque build-up, tooth decay, loss of teeth, gum infections, and gum recession.
4 – Bad breath generally originates from the bacteria at the very back of the tongue, an area that is not easily reached by a toothbrush. The good news is that clinical studies have shown that tongue scraping significantly reduces and removes smelly oral bacteria.
How to scrape your tongue :
This Ayurvedic twice-daily routine for maintaining excellent all-over health should be done in the morning upon rising, and on an empty stomach and before you go to bed at night. While standing in front of a mirror, scrape your tongue by simply holding the two ends of the scraper in both hands, stick out your tongue, and place the scraper as far back on you tongue as possible. With firm but gentle pressure, scrape the surface of your tongue in one long stroke. Rinse the scraper and repeat until your tongue feels clean and is free of any coating.
Tongue scrapers are an inexpensive dental tool and can be found at most health food stores or online. Chose a stainless steel scraper as they are easy to clean and ideal for balancing all Ayurvedic constitutions.
To learn more handy oral health tips call Hobart Dentist, Dr. Dirk Jacobsen at the Dental Pod for your next dental visit on 6234 5114.
Because it’s time you thought differently about your dental health.