Posted on 1/30/2019 by Kenneth D. Parrish, DMD, PhD
Oil pulling is taking America by storm, it's the new craze in dental care, but contrary to what many believe, it's an ancient practice originating in India thousands of years ago.
There is not a lot of scientific research to confirm the benefits many claim to receive from introducing this step to their daily habits. If you're wondering, whether oil pulling improves your gum health, we will try to help.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is basically swishing your mouth with a healthy oil, such as sesame oil or coconut oil. Those who swear by this practice, claim that it makes their gums healthier, reduces plaque, and is even good for bad breath.
How Does Oil Pulling Work?
Using a healthy oil (coconut and sesame oils are the most popular), take about one-tablespoon and swish it around your mouth for approximately 20-minutes. It is recommended you start doing it for five-minutes or for as long as you can hold the oil in your mouth and increase from there.
The bacteria in your mouth are covered by a layer of fat and the theory is that the oil pulls or attracts these bacteria from your mouth.
Is Oil Pulling Good for Gum Health?
A 2009 study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research concludes that oil pulling with sesame oil helped in reducing the bad breath and the bacteria that causes it as much as using the other, more traditional option of mouthwash.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no conclusive proof that oil pulling can help make your gums healthier and while it hasn't been proven to be dangerous, you should not replace traditional oral health methods with this practice.
If you want to try oil pulling to see what the fuss is all about, be careful not to swallow the oil and spit it in the toilet. Brush your teeth right away and make sure you rinse your toothbrush thoroughly.