Dr. Sukrit Grewal Explores the Revival of Tongue Scraping in Modern Oral Hygiene

Dr. Sukrit Grewal Explores the Revival of Tongue Scraping in Modern Oral Hygiene
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Sukrit Grewal

In the quest for optimal oral health, we often focus on brushing and flossing while overlooking a crucial component of our mouth: the tongue. Tongue scraping, an ancient Ayurvedic practice, has gained modern traction, with dental professionals like Dr. Sukrit Grewal advocating for its inclusion in daily oral hygiene routines. This simple yet effective tool can be the missing link in achieving a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.

The Benefits of Tongue Scraping

The tongue, with its various grooves and textures, is an ideal habitat for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria can contribute to bad breath and negatively impact overall dental health. Tongue scraping helps remove this bacterial build-up, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue.

Using a tongue scraper can enhance one’s sense of taste, improve digestive health by promoting the production of saliva, and prevent oral health problems. It’s a straightforward process that complements brushing and flossing, completing the trifecta of a comprehensive oral care regimen.

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scraping should be done gently to avoid harming the tongue’s surface. After brushing and flossing, stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth, and stick out your tongue. Place the scraper at the back of the tongue and pull it forward, rinsing the scraper after each swipe. A few gentle strokes are usually sufficient. It’s advisable to use the scraper first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, to remove the buildup that occurs overnight.

The Various Types of Tongue Scrapers

Tongue scrapers come in various materials, such as stainless steel, copper, plastic, and silicone. Metal scrapers, especially those made of copper, have natural antibacterial properties and are often recommended by dental professionals. They are durable, easy to clean, and have a long lifespan. Plastic scrapers are a cost-effective alternative, while silicone scrapers are soft and may be preferred by those with a sensitive gag reflex.

The Science Behind Tongue Scraping

Studies have shown that tongue scraping can significantly reduce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which are the primary culprits behind halitosis (bad breath). Regular use of a tongue scraper can also reduce the overall bacterial load in the mouth, contributing to better oral and possibly even systemic health.

Tongue Scraping in Pediatric Dentistry

Introducing tongue scraping to children can be beneficial, but it should be done with appropriate tools designed for their smaller mouths. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Sukrit Grewal encourage parents to include tongue cleaning in their children’s oral hygiene routine, ensuring a holistic approach to their dental care from an early age.

Tongue Health as an Indicator

The tongue’s appearance is a reflection of one’s oral and general health. A healthy tongue is pink and covered with small nodules called papillae. Any deviation from this norm, such as persistent white coating, spots, or lesions, should be evaluated by a dentist or doctor as they could be indicative of underlying health issues.

Common Misconceptions

A common misconception is that brushing the tongue with a toothbrush is as effective as using a scraper. While toothbrushing can dislodge some of the debris on the tongue, it does not remove it as effectively as a scraper designed specifically for the task. Scrapers are more adept at reaching the back of the tongue and applying even pressure across its surface.

Tongue Scraping and Oral Hygiene

Tongue scraping alone will not prevent dental issues like cavities or gum disease. It should be viewed as a complement to brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. A complete oral hygiene routine that includes tongue scraping can lead to a healthier mouth and contribute to overall well-being.

The Takeaway

With the support of dental professionals, including Dr. Sukrit Grewal, tongue scraping is gaining recognition as an essential practice in daily oral care. By adopting this simple habit, individuals can take an active step towards maintaining a clean, fresh mouth. As research continues to uncover the benefits of tongue scraping, its popularity is set to rise, solidifying its place alongside brushing and flossing as a cornerstone of dental hygiene.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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