*A special thanks to one of our guests for bringing this to our attention. We always appreciate the opportunity to think deeply about oral health issues.
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There has been a recent buzz about an older practice of swishing oil around the mouth to pull out bacteria and improve the color of teeth. It began in India thousands of years ago, but lately in the wellness community has been credited with improving more than just the teeth, from benefits to the skin, headaches, hormone imbalances, and so on. The principle is simple: swish with a vegetable based oil (sesame, coconut, or olive) for 20 minutes then spit it out and rinse well.
Naturally, we all want to know, does it work?
20 minutes is a long time to invest daily in a practice that is not truly proven to be successful, but it is also certainly worth a try to avoid costly treatments, cure dental issues, or whiten teeth!
According to Dr. Imm, it may. Some of the supposed benefits of oil pulling may be that people who are apt to spend 20 minutes swishing oil to benefit their teeth are also those who brush after each meal, floss daily, and visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning! That being said, the act of swishing alone may be enough to dislodge trapped foods and bacteria, but the oil itself may not be the star of the show. Plain water alone may be enough to do the job. Green tea oil is another oil to explore if you are still interested in the practice of oil pulling. Dr. Imm also touts the benefits of ozone therapy (stay tuned to our blog later this month for information on this practice, which is widely used in Europe).
To sum it up, it certainly can’t hurt your teeth or gums to practice oil pulling, as long as it is used as a preventative oral hygiene measure. Oil pulling will not cure gum disease, or other oral health issues.
We want to hear from you! Have you tried oil pulling? What were your results? Comment below!