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Does oil pulling work?

olive oil being poured out of bottle

The latest craze in dental hygiene is the process of oil pulling. This has been hitting the news recently because articles are appearing in various glossy magazines about it and some celebrities are starting to endorse it.

So what exactly is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient practice that can be dated back to 5,000 years ago in India. It is a holistic practice called Ayurvedic medicine and it involves using coconut oil or sesame oil as a mouthwash to kill bacteria in the mouth and to keep the teeth and gums free from germs.

People who use oil pulling normally recommend using the oil for 15 to 20 minutes to get the maximum effects, with newcomers to the process recommended to start using it for 5 minutes at first and then slowly building up to longer. There are various claims that this process whitens teeth, prevents cavities and removes toxins from the mouth and this is making people think that it is more effective than using a standard mouthwash or having your teeth whitened through a laser teeth whitening process.

Does it work and what is the professional view

This is the big question. The view from the dental profession is that whilst there is no concrete evidence to support the effectiveness of oil pulling, there doesn’t appear to be any side effects so it is a safe process to try. Dentists in coventryrecommend that if you want to try oil pulling then you should build up slowly because using too much oil as a mouthwash substitute could cause nausea and gagging. It is also recommended that normal brushing and flossing takes place after using the oil and it should not be seen as a replacement for your normal dental routine.

Whilst the anecdotal reports about oil pulling have been favourable, it does not reverse the effects of tooth decay so you should make sure that you still have your teeth checked by a dentist twice a year to ensure that you have no problems which are building up. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that oil pulling is any more effective than a mouthwash or having laser teeth whitening. However, it is regarded as a more natural practice and people who prefer a holistic approach are starting to give it a try.

Bhandal Dental Practice is one of the leading dentists in West Midlands so if you would like more advice about oil pulling and best practice for dental hygiene then please get in touch

Call us now to make an appointment

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