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


Does “Oil Pulling” Really Work?

If you follow social media or the latest health buzz, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient method that people claim improves oral health, tooth color, and helps them eliminate infections like gingivitis. But does it really work?

First of all – oil pulling is a lengthy process. Take a spoonful of coconut oil and then “swish” it around your mouth for 20 minutes. Much longer than it would take to brush or floss! Oil pulling was not meant to replace physical plaque removal like flossing, but unfortunately many people feel that it does.

There are chemical components of the coconut oil that may actually impact inflammation and bacterial levels in the mouth. Many people report that oil pulling every day helps them to eliminate gingivitis. Unfortunately there have not yet been any clinical studies to show the specifics of such.

As far as whitening your tooth enamel with coconut oil – that doesn’t necessarily work either. Part of the reason why people may feel that it does whiten their tooth enamel is the oils ability to potentially limit plaque buildup.

Oil pulling certainly isn’t going to hurt anything to try it. That’s something that can’t be said for many home whitening remedies that can actually damage your teeth.

The important thing to remember is that you should be cleaning your teeth first – not skipping the floss. After all, not even an antimicrobial mouthrinse bought at the store can remove plaque biofilm that is built up under your gumlines. Secondly, it’s a lengthy process, so it may not actually be worth your time. That’s something that you will have to decide for yourself. If you decide to try oil pulling, be sure to let your dentist know how it goes!

Posted on behalf of:
Marbella Dentistry
791 FM 1103 #119
Cibolo, TX 78108
(210) 504-2655

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