Although the practice of oil pulling existed as an Indian folk remedy for thousands of years, it’s recently grown in popularity in the United States and other countries. Many wonder if the practice of swishing coconut or sesame oil in the mouth is truly beneficial to oral health. If you’re considering taking up this practice, there are some important things you need to know.
Swishing, pulling or sloshing the right type of oil around in the mouth for 20 minutes helps to eliminate bacteria in the mouth and can, therefore, improve overall health. A large majority of those who practice oil pulling also claim that their overall health has benefited along with their oral health. Improvements oil pullers have claimed include reductions in:
- Hormone imbalance
- Liver issues
- Acne breakouts
Reported dental improvements from oil pulling include whiter teeth, gingivitis prevention, and plaque elimination. When people practice oil pulling using high-quality oils, the procedure is completely natural.
Theory behind oil pulling
The theory behind oil pulling is that swishing the oil around for 20 minutes pulls bacteria out of the mouth. Proponents recommend using coconut oil or sesame oil because they contain antibacterial properties and only pulling for 20 minutes because any longer and the body can reabsorb the oil. Removing bacteria from the mouth is beneficial because many harmful infections and bacteria can penetrate the blood through the mouth. By eliminating that bacteria before it reaches the bloodstream, people can potentially prevent or improve specific health conditions. Although not everyone experiences overall health improvements, even seeing dental health improvements can be beneficial.
Dental professionals remind patients that no current scientific research supports the claimed benefits of oil pulling, but that doesn’t mean they recommend against the practice. People should consult with their dentist to gain his or her perspective. Oil pulling has no known side effects and the potential to make patients more interested in their oral health, which is a good thing, but it’s important to remember that oil pulling is not a substitution for thorough dental exams, cleanings, and treatments.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing more homeopathic ways to promote good oral health, but it’s a good idea to consult with a dentist first to ensure you’re not risking damage to your teeth. Contact Dupont Dental today to find out more great ways to protect and improve the health of your teeth and gums.