Dental Tips Blog


Will Oil Pulling Help My Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

With its roots in Ayurvedic dental practices dating back thousands of years, does oil pulling still have any benefit today?

Oil Pulling and Modern Research

Coconut oil is touted as one of the best oils to perform this regimen with. It’s known for its antimicrobial properties because it contains lauric acid. Some research suggests that it can have antibacterial benefits in the mouth that can prevent cavities. Keep in mind however, that there is not conclusive evidence out there supporting oil pulling as the end cure for any oral issue.

The Challenges of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling requires that you gently swish a small amount of oil around and between your teeth. You do this by holding the oil in your mouth and sucking it through your teeth for up to 20 minutes. The downsides include:

  • Investing a lot of time each day
  • Potential for an aching jaw from the swishing action
  • Stomachache from swallowing oil

Supplement, Don’t Replace!

Even dental professionals who advocate oil pulling readily admit that it should not replace regular oral hygiene habits and dental visits. You still need dental cleanings, x-rays, and treatment for oral diseases such as existing cavities and gum disease.

Oil pulling just might help fight harmful bacteria in your mouth. If you choose to try this technique, use it as a supplement to thorough brushing and flossing. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease (periodontitis), then you will still need the help that a professional “deep cleaning” can provide. Oil pulling is not proven to remove harmful bacteria from pockets in the gums.

Visit your local dentist to find out the status of your gum health and whether you should give oil pulling a try.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339

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