I’m sure by you’ve all heard your friends talking about oil pulling and touting it’s many supposed health benefits. So what exactly does it mean to oil pull? Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth. It has been used for thousands of years as an Indian folk remedy. So how do you do it? You put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth (most people prefer organic coconut oil) then swish it around for 15-20 minutes. It is supposed to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth and pull toxins from the body.
So the question everyone wants to know is does it work? According to various online articles, oil pulling has been credited as a cure to everything from periodontal disease and tooth decay to cancer. That sounds good but unfortunately there are no large scale scientific clinical studies to support any of this. It may reduce plaque build up and whiten teeth but that’s simply because of the abrasive quality of the oil itself. The same results can be achieved with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The American Dental Association cautions that because of a lack of evidence, they do not recommend oil pulling as a replacement for standard oral health care such as brushing and flossing.
So what’s the bottom line? It’s doubtful there is any harm in oil pulling so if you feel compelled to try, by all means go ahead. But will it cure periodontal disease? NO. But will it cure tooth decay? NO. Should you toss your toothbrush and floss? NO.