Tongue scraping has been used as a preventative health measure since ancient times in India. Simply put, tongue scraping is the process of scraping off any coating that has accumulated on the top of the tongue. This coating can vary from thin to thick, and in color from clear to white to yellow to green and even to brown.
Ayurveda recommends tongue scraping as part of one’s daily hygiene regimen to remove the toxic debris (coating), known as Ama. In the past several years dental professionals have confirmed the importance of tongue scraping as a way to maintain a high level of oral hygiene.
The bacteria and fungi (yeast) that grow on the tongue are related to many common oral care and general health problems. In addition, decaying bacteria present on the tongue produce volatile sulphur compounds; these molecules account for 80–95% of all cases of bad breath.
Clearly it is better to have this coating off of your tongue and out of your mouth.
There are many choices of tongue scrapers available; metal ones, plastic ones, wooden ones. Stainless steel or copper tongue scrapers work the best and last the longest. Some people even use a spoon or a toothbrush! However, tongue scrapers are shaped according to the anatomy of the tongue and are optimized to lift the coating to effectively clean the surface of the tongue. Spoons and toothbrushes are inadequate tools for the task.
The Benefits of Tongue Scraping
- Improves oral hygiene.
- Stimulates digestion.
- Removes odor-producing bacteria from the tongue.
- Helps to prevent bad breath.