Is Oil Pulling Therapy Effective?

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  • September 24, 2013 3:58 pm

Oil Pulling Therapy – is an ancient medicinal technique that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It is mentioned in ancient literature describing oil pulling therapy as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes, sinus infection, or asthma. There is little to no scientific evidence backing these claims but there have been a few oil pulling therapy studies that have shown a reduction in dental plaque, bad breath, and even gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Therapy Procedure
Oil pulling therapy involves rinsing the mouth with one tablespoon of oil. Sesame oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil are the most recommended. The oils have antibacterial properties.When you rinse with oil, you should move the oil slowly through the mouth so as to cover all surfaces. This swishing and rinsing should be done for about 5-20 minutes. The theory behind this is that as the oil is travelling around it is ‘pulling’ toxins, bacteria and waste from inside the mouth and body and collecting it in the oil so that it can be removed from the body. As you continue to rinse and swish the oil becomes thinner and thinner. If the oil is still yellowish in color, it has not been pulled for a long enough period of time. When completed, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

The oil pulling /swishing is done best before breakfast for healing, before bed for dry mouth issues. To accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day, before meals. The oil will help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth when you do eat your meal, and will help moisten and protect oral tissues when suffering from dry mouth. It has also been known to help keep teeth whiter. If you are using oil at night to help with dryness, brush and floss first, then try swishing for a short period of time and swallowing to hydrate the throat.

Dental Uses For Oil Pulling Therapy
Oil pulling therapy has been used for many years as a natural remedy to prevent the following:

-Tooth Decay.

-Gingivitis (bleeding gums).

-Halitosis (Bad breath).

-Stained Teeth.

-Dry Mouth.

-Dry Throat.

-Chapped Lips.

-Sinus Infections.

Oil Pulling Therapy Side Effects
The act of Oil Pulling is completely harmless and doesn’t have any adverse side effects that are known. There have been reports of gagging when first beginning oil pulling therapy but many seem to get over that after the first couple of uses. You should always thoroughly wash your mouth out and brush your teeth after oil pulling therapy to reduce toxins, but not at night as it will help keep the mouth hydrated. It is also a good idea to spit the oil in the trash rather than your sink as oil residue can build up in the sink and drain.

Conclusion
To date there has been little to no scientific studies regarding oil pulling therapy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. The therapy has been around for centuries, and used by many. Once you get past the initial odd feeling of swishing oil, it becomes easier to do. It is a good option to try when other more traditional therapies are not working, or you prefer natural therapies.

© 2013, Marielaina Perrone DDS. All rights reserved. Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

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