Why Oil Pulling Is Becoming Popular

You are already visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine examination and cleaning. You already brush and floss at least twice daily. You even chew sugarless gum between meals. Nevertheless, you still feel that you should be doing more to protect the health of your teeth and gums. Perhaps you should consider adding oil pulling to your routine. The practice doesn't take the place of standard dental hygiene efforts, but its addition to your arsenal of defense against dental decay may prove beneficial.

The subject of oil pulling can be a bit hazy for Americans because the practice originated in India about 3,000 thousand years ago. Nevertheless, oil pulling is making a comeback. Here is a bit of information about oil pulling to help you understand why it is becoming so popular:

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is performed by pushing and pulling about a tablespoon of oil through your teeth for a prescribed amount of time, which is usually 20 minutes. As the oil is swished through your mouth, it draws microbes into it like a powerful magnet. The longer you oil pull, the more microorganisms, such as oral bacteria, become trapped in the oil. Even bacteria that are usually beyond the reach of a toothbrush or dental floss, such as those in the crevices of gum tissue or in the pores of your teeth, are swept into the oil and held there. 

Are there proven benefits to oil pulling?

People who oil pull claim that the practice helps prevent dental caries, lessens dental sensitivity, alleviates bad breath, whitens teeth and even reduces gum disease. Since much of tooth decay and gum inflammation is associated with oral bacteria, oil pulling may help improve oral health by ridding your mouth of damaging microbes. Here is what the studies say:

  • There are clear indications of potential saponification (detergent-like action) during oil pulling.
  • Oil pulling reduces bacterial counts in plaque and saliva. 
  • Oil pulling is just as effective as chlorhexidine, which is antibacterial agent in some mouth washes, at eliminating bad breath and bad breath germs.
  • Oil pulling reduces the amount of aerobic oral bacteria in the mouth and helps improve gum health scores in adolescents who suffer from plaque-induced gingivitis.

Oil pulling should not be used to replace standard dental hygienic practices, such as flossing and brushing. However, it may be beneficial as an additional practice. For more insight into ways to care for your teeth and gums, schedule an appointment with a dentist today.

For professional dental care, contact an office such as Associated Family Dentistry LTD