Looking at the surface and other characteristics of the tongue and diagnosing disease is one of the most important practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The front two-thirds of the tongue is called the body and the back third is the base. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe that the appearance of the tongue can show a lot about the state of a person’s health. The tongue is divided up into different zones that reflect different organ systems in the body. Then the tongue is examined for color, texture, shape, and odor. This was a common practice in ancient medicine: believing that the internal organs were reflected in external appearance. Take phrenology for example, where disease is diagnosed by reading the bumps on a person’s head, or irisology, which is looking at the colored part of a person’s eyes to diagnose disease.
Although some aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine such as herbal treatments and acupuncture have caught on in the United States, tongue diagnosis doesn’t seem to be one of them. Some naturopaths and biologic dentists have been advocating testing the saliva in a patient’s mouth for ph value to diagnose disease. They believe that determining whether the saliva is acidic or alkaline can assist in determining a person’s overall wellness as well as their dental health.
According to these practitioners, a saliva ph of 7.0 usually indicates a healthy dental condition. A saliva ph below 7.0 usually indicates that there is too much acidity in the blood. This condition can foster dental decay and peritonitis, as well as being an indicator of other diseases in the body such as cancer. Excess acidity in the mouth can be attributed to nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle factors. Environmental toxins, a diet that is high in red meat, refined sugar, and processed foods can all contribute to the condition. To balance your body’s ph balance, they recommend drinking lots of water, reducing the amounts of acidic foods in your diet, and taking digestive enzymes. Some alkalizing foods include grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, carrots, and raw spinach. Minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium are also important. Testing kits for monitoring at home are relatively inexpensive and can be found on the Internet. There are some kits that test both saliva and urine that are considerably more expensive though. You can also find a naturopath or biologic dentist who performs the test in your area.
Testing your saliva for ph value and following the dietary recommendations certainly can’t hurt, but there is some controversy about whether the test is effective in diagnosing disease. Many allopathic doctors claim that is very rare to find acidosis in any extracellular fluid with any major disease except kidney disease. They also claim that no mixed diet has food acidic or alkaline enough to produce any long lasting changes in the body’s acid-base balance.