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Palate Cleansing II

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alfredo_buscatti

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alfredo_buscatti wrote:

I have a palette cleansing technique involving brushing my teeth, gargling with hydrogen peroxide and scraping my tongue. The key, I feel, is keeping my mouth both fresh and sweet, which requires immediately using these techniques after eating, not eating between meals and remaining aware throughout the day when I can taste that the chemistry inside my mouth is souring, getting bitter or otherwise off; at this point mouth-cleansing ensues. Even if I haven’t eaten, the chemistry in my mouth goes south. I wonder at many other pipers who don’t practice these techniques; my guess is that less than 100% is acceptable to them and that they smoke on contentedly.
Since a few of you have had some interest in mouth cleansing, I thought I might elaborate a bit.

After you've eaten and until you brush/gargle/swish, I think that bacteria are having a field day chewing on the food residue in your mouth. I doubt that they have anything to do with a sweet, clean mouth.

I didn't mention how much I do the mouth cleansing:

On arising, just before I smoke my first pipe, I brush X 2 and gargle/swish X 2. I do 15 shakes of salt into the bottom of a 6 oz cup, fill to about 40% with hydrogen peroxide and top off with water. I then gargle X 2 and swish X 2; that brings the solution to half, whereupon I repeat the above.

Then I repeat the above anytime my palette doesn't taste sweet and clean but always after meals.

Before I go to bed I brush once and swish/gargle as above.

Awhile ago a guy posted on Knox about his use of a neti pot. I never followed up on that but shall; certainly the oral/nasal cavity/sinuses are inextricably linked.

Also, don't leave out the tongue scraping. "OOLITT" makes one of the best, according to my dentist-cost: $2.00. When I first started using it my tongue was greenish brown. The scrapings of nicotine were particulate and brown. Now that I scrape 3 or 4 Xs daily, there's not nearly the visible scrapings that there were at the start.

The scraper can be bent to reach far back on the tongue, just before my gag reflex sets in; even so, I'm probably only reaching 1/2 to 2/3s of my tongue.
 

showme1or2

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I have neti pot experience. If there is interest I'll be glad to post the pros and cons as I see them.

showme
 

Justpipes

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I just fill a 1/2 pint mason jar (jelly jar) about half full of Wild Turkey 101 and swish/gargle two good times for approximately 30 seconds each time or until the jar is empty and that seems to take care of any lingering bad bacteria in my mouth. It is also a very nice accompaniment to Walnut.
 

Tom Clemons

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Hi Alfredo,

I admire your hygiene diligence. What I would like to know is, to what extent does this affect your sense of taste, especially regarding tobacco?

Curious minds want to know <g>.

TC
 

bronxbill

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I'm with justpipes, except I think a good single malt scotch does the trick :D
 

Justpipes

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bronxbill":rrgaajtt said:
I'm with justpipes, except I think a good single malt scotch does the trick :D
It's all in the proof!.........LOL!

Mike, you know that I am just mess'n with ya man!
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Showme, I'd love to hear about your neti pot experience.

Tom, the short answer is yes, it makes a great deal of difference or I wouldn't practice it.

The long answer is best illustrated by a three pipe day. The cleansing I do on arising almost always ensures a full-flavored pipe.

The waters begin to muddy when I smoke the second pipe at around 11 am. By that time breakfast has been eaten, and care must be taken to monitor my mouth should any bad taste arise. Here I have about 80% effectiveness.

It is the last pipe of the day when I have the least success. I leave work @ 3:30 pm and make it by business to cleanse shortly before doing so. When I light up I have to decide if I should cleanse or leave well enough alone. Well enough alone means that I'm at 50-60% of taste.

Sometimes cleansing has the effect of occluding my palette, particularly the last smoke of the day.

It is interesting that my last pipe should be so consistently difficult. By that time I've eaten a meal twice, a snack once. Even if I religiously cleanse after do doing, I've eaten three times giving the microorganisms plenty of opportunity to attack.

In short palette cleansing becomes less and less effective the later in the day that it is practiced.
 

smokey422

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I've used a neti pot for several years now to flush my nostrils and sinuses at bedtime after a day of snuffing. It does give you a fresh clean feeling. I haven't tried it to enhance my pipe smoking but can see how it might.

Smokey
 

showme1or2

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smokey422":ybe8jtkd said:
I've used a neti pot for several years now to flush my nostrils and sinuses at bedtime after a day of snuffing. It does give you a fresh clean feeling. I haven't tried it to enhance my pipe smoking but can see how it might.

Smokey
Smokey, be sure to chime in with anything I've left out or add on with your own experiences. I wish I had known a bit more about the process before I started.

The neti pot (or jala neti) is used for nasal irrigation. Here is a link to a site (there are many others) that has a video showing the process. (Right hand side, second link down.) http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/Netipot/NetiPotGateway.aspx

I have had chronic sinus problems since I was a child. At the time I learned of the neti pot I was paying $50 a month for Rhinocort steroid nasal spray. I just couldn't afford it anymore and decided to try something in the alternative realm.

Essentially you are pouring water in one nostril and out the other. Sounds easy, right? When I got my plastic neti pot (six bucks) I did exactly what the instruction sheet said and promptly choked myself. Let me elaborate.

After watching a similar video to the one in the link, I placed my order for a lovely plastic, orange neti pot. When I got it it had a very small instruction sheet with it, maybe two inches by two inches that read (I'm paraphrasing here): If you don't know what you're doing ask someone who does or you will fill your head up with water and it will hurt.

Figuring there couldn't be much to pouring water up my nose I did just that. The first thing I did wrong was using table salt. The second thing I did wrong was using cold water. Kosher salt and warm water are the way to go.

My sinuses, being naturally clogged, only allowed maybe teaspoon of water to penetrate before stopping the flow of water and forcing it out the top of the neti pot. This was not turning out like the video, but I proceeded, convinced I could succeed. I succeeded alright: if you meet resistance but hold the pot there long enough water will eventually come out whatever opening it can find. It came out my mouth, my nose, and again out of the pot when I started gagging and coughing. It is going to get a little graphic in the next part, but I'll try to keep it mild.

Along with the water, however, came some snot. This was a positive sign. Don't misunderstand me: that first experience was horrid. I had water in my head for the rest of the day and then I put some more in the next morning. But that snot had come out. Don't you see? I had made some progress!

After a few days, morning and night, I was getting the hang of the technique and salt/water-temp. Pretty soon water was flowing smoothly and I only choked periodically. After a few weeks, my sinuses were incredibly clean and clear and I could breathe like never before. I continued using the neti pot for a number of months and consider this method of treatment a hands-down success for my sinusitus. But it did have one side effect.

When you put water in your sinus cavities it doesn't just come out on its own. You have to exhale it out. If you don't, the water can lead to some hellacious infections. I learned the hard way about exhaling and the trick is to not do it forcefully. After one early session I thought I had exhaled good enough and when I bent over to put on my shoes water POURED out of my nose. I learned quickly to use gravity as part of my exhaling process. Such a thing could be embarrassing, not to mention inconvenient.

As of today, I haven't used the neti pot in over a year and my sinuses are still a hundred times better than they were. I suppose if I continued the treatment I would reap even more benefits, but I find the exhalation process tedious and not worth the problems if not done correctly. That said, if I were to have a sinus flare up I would begin treatment immediately.

A couple of other things. First, the pots. There are a million different pots you can buy, but I think the main types are ceramic, metal, and plastic. Next, use whatever salt you want, but I find kosher works well, comes in a big box, and dissolves easily in warm water. Finally, the act of pouring water in one nostril and out the other is, for lack of a better term, Method One. Method Two involves pouring it in one nostril and letting it run out your mouth (don't swallow that crap!). Method Three involves putting the mixture in your mouth and forcing it out your nose. Method Two comes very naturally and that is where my experience stops. I also think this might be all that is necessary for palate cleansing, as even a salt water rinse or gargle can achieve similar benefits for the tongue.

As far as my opinion as to whether or not the neti pot can actually improve the ability to taste tobacco, I'll say yes. I think that a salt water gargle will affect the tongue and palate as much as the neti pot, but what the neti pot will provide is an improved sense of smell which will undoubtedly affect the taste. Smoke your next pipe with a clothespin on your nose and tell me what happens if you don't buy into that.

As far as whether or not such a benefit is worth the investment (time, money, learning curve, potential side effects), I'll say it is not for me. Even bumping myself up to Alfredo's routine would probably do me a world of good, but I think I'll draw the line there. For Alfredo, though, I think he will have to give it a try just to take his routine to the extreme. If there is a chance you think you MIGHT be missing out on something then I say go for it. Who knows, maybe they will start making pipe carrying cases with a spot for a neti pot.

showme
 

bronxbill

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Show me
Interesting recap on the neti pot. I think I'll be passing on trying it though; I'm not sure I would want to chance the infection. Knowing me and how impatient I can be, I'd probably leave most of the salt water sloshing around in my head. Of course in my case, that might not be a bad thing. :roll:
 

jhuggett

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Did it go something like this showme?
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aQm7YpxgOnA" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" loading="lazy" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

showme1or2

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hehehe, yeah, J, something a whole lot like that! :lol!:

First, he needed more salt (and maybe a little lime). The closer you can get the water to body temp and salinity level the better it will feel. Cold water and no salt feels like a cannonball into a spring creek.

I wonder if that Evan Williams would help with any infections in the sinus cavities?

Oh, and I did forget to mention, unless you face directly down into the sink, the water will run down your cheek and mouth and even down your arm to the elbow. Don't try to watch yourself in the mirror until you're pretty good at it.

showme
 
A

Anonymous

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Try inhaling horseradish or other spicy substance. Chronic clogged sinuses may indicate a deviated septum which can be alleviated by surgery. If you undertake it, make sure that you get general anesthesia. You will look like the loser in a fight for a couple of days after surgery until they take out the cotton from your nostrils and the swelling recedes.
 

Tom Clemons

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Thanks for the information Mike and showme. Looks like I'll be doing a little self-cleaning sometime soon. Well, I am intrigued with the neti routine and I'll probably give it a try to help with my ongoing, albeit mild, congestion.

TC
 

alfredo_buscatti

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I Googled "mouth cleasing drops" and three or four articles down was one that is really working for me.

But to back up a bit, at work I can do palate cleansing during breaks and my lunch hour, and that takes care of getting rid of food and the ensuing bacterial infestations. But while I'm on the floor, no way. I thought about what I could do and the idea came that if I had mouth cleansing drops, I might do very well. We are not allowed to chew gum and I think that applies to anything in the mouth. I can suck on a clove surreptitiously.

I Googled as above and within minutes found what has worked wonders this week for that stubborn nighttime pipe: sucking on a whole clove. Just suck, don't chew or bite-the fuller force of clove will irritate your mouth, or at least it has mine. I keep clove in my mouth the whole day-they're tasty-you might want to just do so when you taste your mouth going south.

The article also suggested fennel and anise, but as these two names often refer to the same herb, the fennel seed, I wonder if they might mean star anise.

Anyway, I've had my best, full-flavored evening smokes ever for five days running.

I'll update this post in a week or two to report on any other developments, but I think, for me, I've finally found a solution.
 

Wet Dottle

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alfredo_buscatti":yh1isjd3 said:
...and gargle/swish X 2. I do 15 shakes of salt into the bottom of a 6 oz cup, fill to about 40% with hydrogen peroxide and top off with water.
My dentist told me not to use hydrogen peroxide as mouth wash, it's not good for the teeth. But he was talking about the dilution that is commonly available at the drugstore. Do you know if it's safe to use it like this on a daily basis?
 

alfredo_buscatti

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There is the, I believe, 2% solution of H2O2 available at drug and grocery stores, and a higher percentage for commercial use. True, you shouldn't use the commercial stuff, but I've been doing this mouth cleansing with the 2% for 2-3 years-with my dentist's blessing (he even says it won't hurt my partial)-without ill effect.

I wonder if your dentist isn't thinking of the commercial grade.
 

puros_bran

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Somewhere around 3% it starts acting as a bleaching agent, and a respiratory irritant.
Above 10% if will actually start blistering skin.. Much above that and it starts eating flesh like an acid, fingers in/bones out.
I know Alfredo does it and has done it for years but I'm not getting that stuff anywhere near my mouth.
 

alfredo_buscatti

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All references to swish/gargle (SG) a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water are once each.

Arising SG. After eating SG. Before bed SG.

I've stopped using cloves as a way to keep my mouth sweet during the day and am now using cut stick cinnamon. It never irritates my mouth and works significantly better than a clove.

I'd say this method above works 70-90% better than just SG. It has especially helped my evening pipe.

I haven't tried the neti pot yet; I guess it will come in its time.
 
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