Oil Pulling and It’s Affects on Bacteria in the Mouth
Guest Blogger: Joanna King RDH
Some patients, who have wanted to start more natural remedies, have asked about oil pulling and if it’s good for your teeth or if it can damage the tooth structure.
While there is still more research that needs to be done on the topic here is what we know right now.
- Oil pulling dates back about 3,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine.
- It involves swishing/pulling a tablespoon of oil in between your teeth for approximately 20 minutes, then spitting it out to help expel bacteria from the oral cavity. Bacterial cell walls are covered with a fatty membrane and when it comes in contact with another fat such as oil it adheres to one another, therefore helping decrease the amount of bacteria in the oral cavity.
- Coconut oil is a preferred oil because it contains lauric acid which has antimicrobial properties to help aid in the reduction of oral bacteria.
- Oil pulling shouldn’t replace regular at home dental care (brushing/flossing) and regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
- It does not reverse the effects of tooth decay so it is still extremely important to visit your dental professionals for routine care.
- Be sure to swish gently so it doesn’t cause jaw pain or discomfort, and it should be swished until it turns a whitish colour ensuring the bacteria has had time to bind to the oil. When completed don’t swallow it, simply spit it into the trash so it doesn’t clog your drain pipes.
If it’s something you would like to try be sure to discuss it with your dental professional.
Dr. Elizabeth Dimovski Dental Office – We Protect Your Smile!
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