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Coconut oil may be good for oral health

That’s right, coconut oil may improve your oral health! You may have heard a fair amount of praise surrounding coconut oil, from its would healing abilities to its high cooking smoke point  – but have you heard what it can do for you oral health? The technique which is termed ‘oil pulling’ claims to do wonders for your teeth & gums and your overall oral health! Your next dental visit may not be as daunting as you thought when adding this to your daily dental routine.

Oil Pulling a natural and traditional way of whitening teeth and boosting oral health Oil Pulling for Oral Health

What is Oil Pulling?

You must think I have gone bonkers but I have looked into this so called ‘oil pulling’ and it seems to be the real deal. I am currently trying it out myself so I will report back in a few weeks once I have given sufficient time to work its magic. At present I have done it for two days and I have to say, so far it has made my mouth feel much cleaner.

Oil pulling is an age-old Ayurvedic remedy that uses natural oils to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has for some people even improved the colour of their teeth making them whiter and brighter. There has also been evidence that shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

So how do you ‘oil pull’? From my internet research most people use 1 teaspoon or a tablespoon of coconut oil of which you place in your mouth. The idea is to swish it around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes (no gargling). You swish and pull the oil through your teeth over and over again. The oil is apparently able to cut through the plaque and remove harmful bacteria from you mouth. You do not swallow the oil as the oil (once it has been swished in your mouth) now contains the harmful bacteria from your mouth!

From my research on oil pulling I had stumbled across hundreds of testimonials online which people claimed it did wonders not only for there oral health but also for overall health. A study was conducted which proved that the oil did remove bacteria from the mouth – so far no studies have been conducted on oil swishing and overall health.

It sounds very promising and if it can help with the overall health of my teeth and gums I am willing to give it a go. I personaly will report back in a few weeks to let you all know how I went.

Where’s the evidence?

Below is a list of studies of which show how oil pulling can be beneficial for oral health.  Studies include the benefit on different types or oral bacteria,  dental caries,  plaque/gingivitis and on oral micro-organisms:

S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari.Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 Mar

TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteriaAfrican Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. (PDF Link)

HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and GingivitisJournal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007 ;1(1):Pages 12-18

S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm ModelsAsia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. (PDF)

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