Oil Pulling - The Easy Dental Therapy
Published on Jun 21, 2019
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice. While oil pulling, a tablespoon full of oil is swished around the mouth in the early morning before breakfast on an empty stomach for about 20 minutes to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. Several studies have suggested that oil pulling kills the bacteria in your mouth, improves dental health and helps treat several diseases. It also helps moisturize the gums and increases saliva production, which in turn can reduce bacteria. Being a natural solution, oil pulling mitigates the drawbacks of chemical based solutions for oral hygiene like toothpaste and mouthwash that are known to have harmful effects due to the presence of fluoride. Fluoride is known to cause hair fall and reproductive issues in males among its many drawbacks. Some types of oil also contain properties that can naturally reduce inflammation and bacteria to promote oral health. In addition to this, oil pulling is known to reduce acne, and improve the general health of a person.
Here we will look into the different benefits of oil pulling along with some of the studies that have been conducted for the same:
- Kills harmful bacteria in your mouth -
There are approximately 700 types of bacteria that live in your mouth, and up to 350 of them may be found in your mouth at any given time. Certain types of harmful bacteria contribute to problems like tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. Several studies have shown that oil pulling could help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. A recent study had 60 participants rinse their mouths using either water, or coconut oil for two weeks. The coconut oil was found to reduce the number of bacteria found in saliva. Decreasing the number of bacteria in the mouth can help support proper oral hygiene and prevent some adverse oral conditions.
- Helps reduce bad breath-
Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is a condition that affects an estimated 50% of the population at some point. There are many potential causes of bad breath. Some of the most common include infection, gum disease, poor oral hygiene and tongue coating (when bacteria become trapped on the tongue). Treatment typically includes the removal of the bacteria, either through brushing or by using an antiseptic mouthwash. One study found that oil pulling was as effective as an antiseptic mouthwash at reducing bad breath. In that study, 20 children rinsed with either mouthwash or sesame oil, both of which caused a significant decrease in levels of the microorganisms known to contribute to bad breath. Oil pulling may be used as a natural alternative to reduce bad breath and could be as effective as chemical based treatments.
- Helps reduce cavities-
Cavities are a common problem that stem from tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene causes tooth decay. This leads to the formation of holes in the teeth known as cavities. Research has found that oil pulling may decrease the number of harmful bacteria found in saliva and plaque as effectively as a mouthwash. Decreasing these strains of bacteria through oil pulling could help prevent tooth decay and reduce the risk of cavity formation.
- Reduces inflammation and improves gum health-
Gingivitis is a type of gum disease marked by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. The bacteria found in plaque are a major cause of gingivitis, as they can cause bleeding and inflammation in the gums. Fortunately, oil pulling may be an effective remedy to improve gum health and reduce inflammation. It works primarily by decreasing the harmful bacteria and plaque in the mouth that contribute to gum disease. Using certain oils with anti-inflammatory properties like coconut oil may also aid by reducing the inflammation associated with gum disease. In one study, 60 participants with gingivitis began oil pulling with coconut oil for 30 days. After one week, they had reduced amounts of plaque and showed an improvement in gum health. This shows us that oil pulling acts an effective way to reduce plaque buildup and effectively combat gum problems.
In addition to this, oil pulling has been known to improve heart health and lung function, reduce acne, detoxify the body, improve sleep, reduce hormonal changes and improve a person’s mental well being.
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic way of maintaining oral hygiene. In addition to this, it has been known to detoxify the body as the unwanted bacteria attach themselves to the oil. Hence, the oil literally “pulls” the bacteria from the body. The potential of oil pulling lies with the accessibility of oil across the country and its ease of use. It is a commodity which is found in nearly every household and it is an extremely simple, completely natural way of maintaining oral hygiene which can be easily incorporated into your daily regime. Try oil pulling now and mitigate the drawbacks of chemical based oral care solutions.
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