Tongue Cleaning Myth?

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sardia
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Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:00 am UTC

Does cleaning your tongue of debris do anything for your oral health? The studies I read suggest it does but some of the conclusions are very strange.
https://bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com ... -6831-14-4
Conclusions
Tongue cleaning reduced the amount of bacteria in tongue coating. However, the cleaning had no obvious contribution to inhibit dental plaque formation. Furthermore, recovery of the total bacterial amount induced an increase in F. nucleatum in both tongue coating and dental plaque. Thus, it is recommended that tongue cleaning and tooth brushing should both be performed for promoting oral health.
Cleaning had no obvious contribution to inhibit plaque formation but you should do it anyway? Anybody know anything regarding this? I thought the saliva remineralized teeth and neutralized bacterial action half an hour after eating. Why would the debris tongue matter? There's gonna be bacteria anyway.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby Angua » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:43 am UTC

I don't know about this subject, but I must say that I don't understand how that paper is concluding that you should do both. They didn't seem to show any long term differences in bacteria in the plaque or bacteria on the tongue (there was a decrease in the total amount of tongue bacteria on day 3, but this had recovered to baseline by day 10). It doesn't seem to affect F nucleatum proportions (which seems to be the bad bacteria for causing plaque).
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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:45 pm UTC

Pretty much anything promoting getting rid of bacteria, like colon cleanses (shudder), are either terrible for you, because the vast majority of bacteria are either harmless or helpful, or they don't do anything.
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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:22 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I don't know about this subject, but I must say that I don't understand how that paper is concluding that you should do both. They didn't seem to show any long term differences in bacteria in the plaque or bacteria on the tongue (there was a decrease in the total amount of tongue bacteria on day 3, but this had recovered to baseline by day 10). It doesn't seem to affect F nucleatum proportions (which seems to be the bad bacteria for causing plaque).

This is probably the most honest study I could find.
http://www.nature.com/ebd/journal/v7/n3 ... .html#bib5
The objective of the present review was to provide reliable evidence regarding the effects of mechanical tongue cleaning versus other interventions such as mouthwashes, an aim that therefore seems appropriate and highly eligible. The results of this investigation are somewhat disappointing, however, and are simply not sufficient to achieve the objective. Only two studies were included in the analysis, neither of which compared tongue cleaning with other interventions. This finding clearly shows that well-designed research is still needed in this field.
They spent a few lines talking about the results (tongue scraper > toothbrush, but by not much) and then spent an entire paragraph detailing how worthless their study is. I think the conclusion is something like unless someone complains about your bad breath(you have a serious condition), just brush your teeth and go to the dentist.
Another junk study from desperate grad students. How disappointing.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:25 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I don't understand how that paper is concluding that you should do both.
It feels like they meant to evaluate the efficacy of only tongue cleaning, and then concluded that you still need to brush your teeth because tongue cleaning on its own doesn't do much, but they never said as much and seem to take as a given that obviously you would do some tongue cleaning.
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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby Angua » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:24 pm UTC

Yeah, I guess. But they never look at tongue cleaning by itself so doesn't really make much sense.

I don't know, it was probably just paid for by a toothbrush that has a tongue cleaner on the back.
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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:31 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Angua wrote:I don't understand how that paper is concluding that you should do both.
It feels like they meant to evaluate the efficacy of only tongue cleaning, and then concluded that you still need to brush your teeth because tongue cleaning on its own doesn't do much, but they never said as much and seem to take as a given that obviously you would do some tongue cleaning.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/upsh ... teeth.html
They're all liars, every last one of them. All of them are out to poison us with unnecessary xrays, drills, and scrapings!
Other than brushing daily with a powered toothbrush, pretty much everything dentists told are are lies or heavily exaggerated to get our insurance money. If you're healthy; then cleanings, exams, and drilling cavities are all worthless. You would have perfectly healthy teeth if you skipped xrays for a few years or if you skipped every other cleaning. Nothing they tell you is true. =.= That cavity? Not real, and goes away when you brush with fluoride. Xrays? Doesn't help identify anything. Flossing doesn't prevent plaque.* Polishing does nothing of clinical significance but wastes your time. The funny thing is, you don't even need a dentist for this crap, you could have had an oral hygienist do the same work for half the cost. Oral health has a lot to do with genetics, and the bacteria your mom spat into your utensils as she fed you. Don't fall for Big Tooth's propaganda.

*supposedly correlates with less gingivitis.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby p1t1o » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:14 am UTC

sardia wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Angua wrote:I don't understand how that paper is concluding that you should do both.
It feels like they meant to evaluate the efficacy of only tongue cleaning, and then concluded that you still need to brush your teeth because tongue cleaning on its own doesn't do much, but they never said as much and seem to take as a given that obviously you would do some tongue cleaning.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/upsh ... teeth.html
They're all liars, every last one of them. All of them are out to poison us with unnecessary xrays, drills, and scrapings!
Other than brushing daily with a powered toothbrush, pretty much everything dentists told are are lies or heavily exaggerated to get our insurance money. If you're healthy; then cleanings, exams, and drilling cavities are all worthless. You would have perfectly healthy teeth if you skipped xrays for a few years or if you skipped every other cleaning. Nothing they tell you is true. =.= That cavity? Not real, and goes away when you brush with fluoride. Xrays? Doesn't help identify anything. Flossing doesn't prevent plaque.* Polishing does nothing of clinical significance but wastes your time. The funny thing is, you don't even need a dentist for this crap, you could have had an oral hygienist do the same work for half the cost. Oral health has a lot to do with genetics, and the bacteria your mom spat into your utensils as she fed you. Don't fall for Big Tooth's propaganda.

*supposedly correlates with less gingivitis.


Practicing medicine is not practicing science, so I can believe that there are some striking differences between the most up-to-date research and current medical practices, whether dental or otherwise. But fluoride cannot fill in enamel already lost, so.....there's that.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:24 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:
Practicing medicine is not practicing science, so I can believe that there are some striking differences between the most up-to-date research and current medical practices, whether dental or otherwise. But fluoride cannot fill in enamel already lost, so.....there's that.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/healt ... tists.html
Those cavities aren't real. More likely, those are tooth lesions that go away after consistent* brushing and drinking with fluoride. Cavities destroy the lattice work that form the tooth. Lesions are just small soft spots that can get remineralized. If untreated, they become cavities that everyone usually thinks about. The dentist may not know it, but he's harming you with unnecessary treatment. The dentist thinks he is being proactive. That's how good people do the most evil, by trying to do good.

Hyperbolics aside, what does that tell you about medicine if it doesn't keep up with science? You wouldn't be ok with doctors using leeches on you, but you're ok with dentists drilling for the fun of it? It's very buyer beware out there because there's no accountability. Most dentistry is either paid for via opaque insurance or just accepted blindly. Putting a dentist's feet to the fire is nice, but the power differential makes it very difficult to challenge. I had a dentist charge me for some fancy mouth rinse,$65, and he refused to stop future rinses when I demanded it to cease. Then he criticized my info even though he didn't have any evidence either. I had another dentist call out a expensive intratooth cavity. If I didn't demand a second opinion, I'd be out more money, and part of two teeth. It mysteriously disappeared upon second examination by another dentist 3 months later. Even when prompted by me to look.

*Assumes a healthy adult eating a healthy diet, fluorided water, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and no family history of cavities.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby p1t1o » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:40 am UTC

sardia wrote:
p1t1o wrote:
Practicing medicine is not practicing science, so I can believe that there are some striking differences between the most up-to-date research and current medical practices, whether dental or otherwise. But fluoride cannot fill in enamel already lost, so.....there's that.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/healt ... tists.html
Those cavities aren't real. More likely, those are tooth lesions that go away after consistent* brushing and drinking with fluoride. Cavities destroy the lattice work that form the tooth. Lesions are just small soft spots that can get remineralized. If untreated, they become cavities that everyone usually thinks about. The dentist may not know it, but he's harming you with unnecessary treatment. The dentist thinks he is being proactive. That's how good people do the most evil, by trying to do good.

Hyperbolics aside, what does that tell you about medicine if it doesn't keep up with science? You wouldn't be ok with doctors using leeches on you, but you're ok with dentists drilling for the fun of it? It's very buyer beware out there because there's no accountability. Most dentistry is either paid for via opaque insurance or just accepted blindly. Putting a dentist's feet to the fire is nice, but the power differential makes it very difficult to challenge. I had a dentist charge me for some fancy mouth rinse,$65, and he refused to stop future rinses when I demanded it to cease. Then he criticized my info even though he didn't have any evidence either. I had another dentist call out a expensive intratooth cavity. If I didn't demand a second opinion, I'd be out more money, and part of two teeth. It mysteriously disappeared upon second examination by another dentist 3 months later. Even when prompted by me to look.

*Assumes a healthy adult eating a healthy diet, fluorided water, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and no family history of cavities.


I know the difference between a cavity and a legion.

I didnt say they dont keep up with science, just that the field of practical medicine is not technically a scientific discipline. Your doctor does not do medical research on you, or perform experiments on his patients. They follow procedures developed using the current body of knowledge. There may be a delay between cutting edge science reaching the operating table though, for sure.

"The dentist may not know it, but he's harming you with unnecessary treatment."

This statement, and anything like it, is not the sort of thing I take seriously on the internet however, no offence.
I think maybe you've just had some bad experiences. Or maybe its the profit-oriented nature of healthcare in the US, I dont know, but damning the whole dental care industry? Yeah, no.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

Actually, I'm damning the whole medical industry in the US. To be fair, you do get treatment, but the standards can be pretty poor. Just a small number of bad actors can have outsized negative impact on the public.
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... g-business
Where are you getting your healthcare from? Canada? Eurozone? Asia?

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby Angua » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote: Your doctor does not do medical research on you, or perform experiments on his patients.
This isn't actually true. It depends on the doctor.

I mean, a doctor isn't going to do research on you without your consent, but there are generally various trials happening, at least in a lot of hospitals in the UK.
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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby p1t1o » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:04 am UTC

Angua wrote:
p1t1o wrote: Your doctor does not do medical research on you, or perform experiments on his patients.
This isn't actually true. It depends on the doctor.

I mean, a doctor isn't going to do research on you without your consent, but there are generally various trials happening, at least in a lot of hospitals in the UK.


Granted, and many doctors probably devote their whole careers to research, just referring to the routine treatment of patients. When your GP diagnoses and treats a bout of pneumonia, he does not follow the scientific method. Nor should he of course, its not an indictment. Its still, obviously, a field closely related to science and the pursuit of knowledge.


sardia wrote:Actually, I'm damning the whole medical industry in the US. To be fair, you do get treatment, but the standards can be pretty poor. Just a small number of bad actors can have outsized negative impact on the public.
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... g-business
Where are you getting your healthcare from? Canada? Eurozone? Asia?


UK. Healthcare is a mixed bag over here but generally quite good/very good, depending who you ask. The worst parts are caused by financial shortfalls rather than poor medical practice.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby sardia » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:52 am UTC

You're confusing conducting science experiments​on patients and using best practices. The UK actually compares results from different treatments to mandate best or cheaper treatments.

US doctors just do whatever they want. They can learn best practices, go on a date for private lessons from a hot pharma girl, or something between the two extremes. When doctors learn what treatments they should prescribe, it's hard to know who taught them.

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Re: Tongue Cleaning Myth?

Postby p1t1o » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:17 pm UTC

Im not confusing the two, Im comparing the two.

Either way, it stands that a general disdain for dentists or doctors extends only to the places where the healthcare system resembles the one you are exposed to, so I would caution against advising everyone to ignore their advice.


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