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The Truth about Oil Pulling
Dec 19, 2018

girl brushing her teeth Dental Care Center

Oil pulling sounds like extracting oil from the ground to make fuel, right? Lately, you may have heard of this concept as a way to promote good oral health. But how does that work?

What is Oil Pulling?
Originated in India about 3,000 years, oil pulling, also known as “Kavala” or “gundusha” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. People use sesame, olive, sunflower, or coconut oil, “pulling” it through their teeth for up to 20 minutes. Some say it’s best to do this on an empty stomach.

People claim this action improves oral health as well as one’s overall health. The main benefit is to draw out toxins in your body. But first, toxins aren’t a real threat to human health. However, is oil pulling actually beneficial for your mouth?

Here are the benefits people claim:

  • Can kill harmful bacteria in your mouth.
    Your mouth contains more than 700 types of bacteria, with about 350 living in your mouth at any given time. Some of this bacteria can be harmful and can cause problems like tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
  • May prevent cavities.
    Some research has found that oil pulling could help prevent tooth decay and reduce the risk of formation of cavities
  • It’s cheap and easy to add to your routine.

Should I Try Oil Pulling?
While many blog posts point to various research on this topic, no reliable scientific studies on oil pulling demonstrate the purported benefits.

According to the ADA, “Based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. The ADA continues to recommend that to maintain good dental health you brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss between your teeth once a day and don’t use tobacco.”

If You Try Oil Pulling
If you decide to try oil pulling:

If you try oil pulling, doing so does not mean you can abandon brushing your teeth twice a day. Feel free to ask our team about any oral health options during your next visit.