A Dentist’s Perspective on Oil Pulling
The advent of social media and celebrity worship has resurrected the ancient Ayurvedic tradition of oil pulling. So, what is oil pulling and why is everyone talking about it, are the claims of its benefits valid, and what do dentists think about it? Read on and get answers from your local Sterling Heights Dentist, Dr. Fardi Farhat.
What is Oil Pulling
Oil pulling refers to the act of swishing some oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes. This is done once each day. Proponents recommend the use of coconut oil, sesame oil or sunflower oil for this exercise.
Does Oil Pulling Work?
Natural remedies are a hit among individuals who prefer an earth-based solution. Some people claim that oil pulling can whiten their teeth, prevent or cure inflammation, remove toxins from the mouth (hence the name “oil pulling”, meaning that the oil pulls toxins and germs from the mouth and teeth), cure bad breath, arthritis, and gingivitis.
However, Dr. Farhat, a dentist in Sterling Heights, MI, advises patients to take these claims with a grain of salt since there is hardly any credible scientific research to back it up. In fact, the reports from practitioners also vary widely. Some report oil pulling with a host of benefits while others say no benefit was seen after they did it over several weeks.
Are the Effects of Oil Pulling Unique to That Practice?
It is reasonable to expect that oil pulling can prevent plaque from forming on your teeth or reduce the population of bad bacteria in your mouth. However, those very effects can be attained using a variety of methods.
For example, chewing sugar-free gum after you’ve had a meal will remove any food particles left in your mouth. So, bacteria will have less to feed on and thrive. Similarly, dentists in Sterling Heights recommend that people use mouthwash in order to keep their mouth smelling fresh and free from the buildup of bacteria. Rinsing with water and can also do the same.
Compared to these options, oil pulling loses some of its appeal. Especially when one considers the appearance of the mixture of oil and saliva after the swishing. Also, many people can’t keep the oil in their mouth for that long (20 minutes).
Are There Better Ways to a Healthy Smile?
Most, if not all of the purported dental health benefits of oil pulling can be attained by brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing once a day. We asked our friend, Dr. Cody Cowen, a dentist in Baton Rouge, LA, about his thoughts on oil pulling. Dr. Cowen says that effective brushing and flossing doesn’t require as much time as oil pulling, yet its benefits have been documented for decades.
He says the best way to ensure that your dental health is protected is by maintaining oral hygiene on a daily basis as well as seeing your Sterling Heights dentist at least twice each year. This will ensure that any developing issues are identified and resolved early.
What Does the ADA Think?
The American Dental Association (ADA) took note of the oil pulling fad so seriously that they published some information about the practice. Their view is that it is untested and they recommend the oral care measures stated earlier.
In case you have any other query about oil pulling, or about any other dental concern, don’t hesitate to contact Dental One Care. Our professionals are waiting to respond to your concern and give you the treatment you need in order to regain or maintain your dental health.