Oil pulling seems to be the new detoxing trend lately. While it’s made it’s existence well known in the last year or so, the concept is actually over 3, 000 years old. It’s from Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian practice of natural healing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, oil pulling is when you put about a tablespoon of oil into your mouth and swish it around, pushing, pulling, and sucking it through your teeth for about 20 minutes. The most common used is coconut oil. This is because of the presence of Lauric Acid which is an antimicrobial and will help kill the bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Another reason coconut oil is preferred by many over sunflower or sesame is for the milder taste. The idea is that while you’re swishing the oil around your mouth, the bacteria (a common one is Streptococcus Mutans) is being picked up and pulled out of every crevice in your mouth.
Some of the benefits people claim to experience after oil pulling for a period of time is whiter teeth, less sensitivity, and reduction of bad breath. When professionals of Ayurveda are asked about the whitening effect of oil pulling, many will tell you it’s not being researched.
Presently there aren’t any complete scientific studies that prove any benefits of oil pulling. Majority of the studies conducted lacked information, controls, and other necessities to prove constant results. At this point, most of the information we go off of for what it does is just hearing from someone who got results directly or indirectly through social media. Oil pulling is not something intended to replace brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily. If you choose to try out oil pulling for yourself, you should think of it as an added step in your oral healthcare routine. It doesn’t appear to have any negative effects as long as you’re not swallowing the oil, but you should still do your research and tread cautiously if you decide to give it a try.