3 Possible Benefits of Oil Pulling on Dental land Oral Health and How To Do It

Oil pulling therapy has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws, to prevent decay, oral malodour, bleeding gums and dryness of throat, and cracked lips. 

Oil pulling is the practice of swishing a tablespoonful of oil around in your mouth and then spitting it out. It usually involves coconut oil or sesame seed oil. Rinsing should be continued for perhaps 10 to 20 minutes, so that the edible oil is pulled through the teeth and mouth.   The oil is “pulled” between the teeth and all around the mouth for up to 20 minutes. At the end of the pulling, when the oil is milky and thin, spit it out into the bin. Never swallow the oil after pulling — it is full of bacteria. Oil pulling does not replace usual normal hygiene measures of teeth brushing, flossing and dental therapy and is currently not recommended by the American dental association. As a general dentistry rule this can be used as a home ready but make sure you consult your dentist.

However, oil pulling is observed to bring an improvement in oral hygiene when practiced correctly and regularly. Limited available research on the effects of oil pulling on oral hygiene shows promising benefits on oral cavities. Extensive research on the role of this traditional, cheap and valuable remedy should be encouraged without bias. Based on currently available research it can be concluded that oil pulling when performed as recommended, can be safely used as an adjunct to maintain good oral hygiene and health along with routine tooth brushing and flossing with promising positive results.

Possible benefits:

  1. May improve gum health and seems to decrease inflammation: Oil pulling may help to decrease plaque and help with gingivitis.
  2. May be effective in reduction of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria believed to cause tooth decay.
  3. Could help reduce halitosis (bad breath)

Are there potential downsides for patients using oil pulling?

There are few reported side effects from oil pulling, but some have drawn attention to case reports of lipoid pneumonia associated with oil pulling or mineral oil aspiration. Upset stomach has also been reported. More trial data are required to provide evidence of possible side effects.

Is oil pulling an alternative to brushing or other dental hygiene practices?

Though some oil pulling advocates say it can be used instead of tooth brushing, many say it should be used together with regular dental hygiene practices. There is no evidence to support it as a substitute to tooth brushing. The American Dental Association has stated that there is insufficient research to support the practice of oil pulling. Contact our dental team to discuss your issues and get the best results.