An alternative health practice called oil pulling has recently caught the nation’s attention, as it claims to cleanse and heal not only the mouth but the entire body of disease.
The practice, which originated in India thousands of years ago, involves swishing sunflower, coconut, sesame or olive oil around in the mouth every morning (using it like mouthwash). Whereas beginners may only be able to tolerate the oil for a few minutes, the goal is to work up to 10 to 20 minutes every morning.
Advocates like health guru Deepak Chopra claim that after swishing the oil around in the mouth and “pulling” it through the teeth, bacteria is attracted to the oil and clings to it. The bacteria that hides in crevices in the gums and within the pores of the teeth are sucked out and held in the oil. Twenty minutes later, the oil is filled with bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Spitting the oil out therefore rids the body of these harmful toxins and allows the body to heal itself and resolve health problems.
What Oil Pulling Claims to Do
It is purported that oil pulling can accomplish the following:
• Whiten Teeth – especially for people who are sensitive to teeth whitening strips or gels
• Improve Gum Health – stops gums from bleeding, improves their pink color and resolves gum disease
• Freshen Breath – pulls germs that cause bad breath from the mouth
Oil pulling advocates also claim that the practice can cure hangovers and migraines, improve acne, clear the sinuses and soothe arthritis.
There is not a lot of published research that backs up the claims that oil pulling is good for your teeth. Oil pulling may not be detrimental, but it hasn’t yet been clinically proven to be effective. Therefore, proceed with caution.
Check with a reputable, trusted dentist or Orlando oral surgeon like Ronald Trevisani before incorporating this hygiene habit into your daily routine.
However, it should be noted that the oil pulling craze has encouraged some people to be more attentive to their oral hygiene in general. This is important because doctors agree there is a link between oral hygiene and overall health. People with bad oral hygiene are more prone to heart attack, stroke and other diseases. Therefore if oil pulling motivates people to spend more time brushing, flossing and taking care of their mouths, it may have some positive effects.