Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

4 Amazing Things Oil Pulling Can Do to Your Dental Health

Oil pulling is a good oral hygiene habit that dates back thousands of years and is used in. This fits in the category of something that was done historically because, at the time, toothpaste and toothbrushes weren’t readily available. 

In a sense, oil pulling was better than nothing in its era, however just since it was practiced in the past doesn’t necessarily make it better than something that has replaced it today, like brushing with a toothpaste containing fluoride, flossing, or using a Waterpik to clean between your teeth.

Here are some things you need to know about oil pulling, it's possible benefits, and what you need to know if you try this alternative treatment at home.

1. It might eliminate plaque 
Plaque is a layer of bacteria that builds up on the surface of the tooth. It can get out of control easily, especially if you follow a western diet, which increases your risk of having cavities and bad breath. Without regular removal, plaque can contribute to conditions like gingivitis and periodontal disease.

According to a study of 60 teens with gingivitis published in 2015 in the Nigerian Medical Journal, participants had less plaque and better gum health after only a week of coconut oil pulling.

In another study, scientists randomly assigned 20 teens with gingivitis to swish with mouthwash or sesame oil for 10 days. They found that both treatment options reduced the number of harmful mouth bacteria.

2. It may improve dental hygiene 
Oil pulling might encourage good oral health since it might reduce harmful bacteria. Coconut oil is especially beneficial due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Oil pulling also neutralizes the pH in the mouth which helps prevent tooth decay. Oil pull for three to five minutes will neutralize the pH in the mouth, almost immediately upon contact. So will swishing with water. However the water will not break down the biofilm, so potentially it’s a great preventative oral hygiene technique.

Oil pulling can potentially help prevent cavities and other dental issues that require a dental emergency. Oil pulling also lowers the amount of types of bacteria in the mouth and can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

3. It may help rehydrate your mouth
Oil pulling is a good way to rehydrate your mouth in the morning. It might break down the thick biofilm that formed overnight due to mouth dryness and a lack of saliva.

If you breathe through your mouth overnight, the first thing when you wake up, do five to 10 minutes of oil pulling in the morning to help restore the pH and the viscosity of the saliva and rehydrate the mouth.

4. It can help eliminate bad breath 
People who have halitosis, also known as bad breath, might find oil pulling offers some relief. According to a small study of 20 children, published in the  Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry compared rinsing with chlorhexidine (a typical antiseptic mouthwash treatment for halitosis) to sesame oil pulling. Scientists have found that both lowered levels of microorganisms known to lead to bad breath. It is a small study, so more research is needed to support the finding.

The bottom line 
Oil pulling is a good way to improve your dental health and lower the risk of certain issues such as plaque, inflammation of the gums, and dental cavities. But you should keep in mind that it won’t treat your oral problems. So, you might need to visit your dentist to get checked and receive proper treatment.  

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