Oil Pulling: Does it Really Work?

By Steven Kail on October 31, 2014

A woman at home smilingWhen patients come to Premier Dental Center, they can expect quality care and sound advice. This goes for all of our locations: Bells, Brownsville, and Jackson. We offer the latest treatments in restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and general and preventative treatment. We're also more than happy to discuss new trends in at-home dental care so that you can have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

With that topic in mind, we'd like to consider oil pulling, a trend that you may have heard about online.

What is oil pulling exactly?

Oil pulling is a new trend that involves swishing a cold-pressed oil in your mouth for around 15 minutes every day. Originally this was an ancient Indian practice prescribed in an era during which toothbrushes did not exist. However, even though this is a fairly old treatment, many people today practice oil pulling with the goal of removing any toxins in your mouth.

What are the supposed benefits of oil pulling?

Since this is a new craze, you may be wondering if oil pulling actually works. While results will vary on a case-by-case basis, there are benefits to a regular oil pulling regimen. Some of the potential benefits of oil pulling are:

  • Removal of toxins and bacteria in the mouth
  • Improved teeth whitening
  • Strengthened gums and teeth
  • Improved skin complexion
  • Accelerated recovery from hangover or a migraine
  • Improved sinus health
  • Soothing of allergy and sinus symptoms

While the benefits that go beyond the mouth are hard to substantiate, many patients do feel that their teeth are cleaner thanks to oil pulling.

What kind of oil is best for oil pulling?

Although many different oils can be used for your oil pulling, most people typically use coconut or sesame oil. Even with these results in mind, keep in mind that you may not see any results from your oil pulling regimen for at least a couple months. If you are looking for a more thorough cleaning solution for your teeth that can be done more quickly, please consult your dentist to discuss options for teeth cleaning.

So does oil pulling actually do anything?

While many people have reported seeing results from an oil pulling regimen, keep in mind that these results are not guaranteed by any means. Factors that may affect the results you see from oil pulling can include the type of oil you choose, the frequency with which you practice oil pulling, and your overall health.

Although many people who practice oil pulling do suffer from conditions such as dry mouth or gum disease, these are conditions that should be treated by a doctor. Contrary to many reports on the Internet, there is no proof to suggest that oil pulling is a substitute for traditional treatments for such conditions.

Are there any negative side effects to oil pulling?

Even with the lack of proof that oil pulling is a substitute for many treatments, there is also no proof of any harmful side effects. Even if your regular oil pulling regimen does not produce the kinds of results you are looking for, it also does not present any undue risk.

If you have been practicing oil pulling and have had any concerns about risks, do not fret. Oil pulling is generally a safe procedure, especially if you stick with coconut or sesame oils. If you do have additional concerns, however, please feel free to consult your doctor or your dentist.

Learn More About Dental Care Treatments

If you would like more information about dental care options and what you can do to improve your overall dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here looks forward to your visit and helping you have a smile that's healthy and beautiful.

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