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Oil pulling: the pros and cons of rinsing with coconut oil!

Oil pulling: the pros and cons of rinsing with coconut oil!

Created: September 5, 2022 | Updated: March 19, 2024

Good oral hygiene is essential for overall health. The Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling has received both praise and criticism for its alleged health benefits. But what does the science say? In this blog post, we examine the facts and fiction surrounding oil pulling, with a special focus on coconut oil. Are oil pulling experiences predominantly positive or is oil pulling dangerous? We also look at specific situations such as oil pulling for inflamed gums.

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What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is a traditional oral hygiene practice where oil is pulled through the mouth to remove harmful bacteria and plaque. Coconut oil is a popular choice because of its antimicrobial properties. Research shows that regular oil pulling with coconut oil can contribute to healthy oral health. However, this is not a replacement for regular oral care such as brushing and flossing.

What is oil pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional oral hygiene practice that involves swishing oil through the mouth to remove harmful bacteria and plaque. Coconut oil is a popular choice due to its antimicrobial properties. Research shows that regular oil pulling with coconut oil can contribute to healthy oral health. 1 However, this is not a substitute for regular oral care such as brushing and flossing.

The benefits of oil pulling

There are several benefits associated with using coconut oil for oil pulling, such as:

  1. Improved oral health: Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can help reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth. This can contribute to a healthier mouth and a lower risk of problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Research shows that daily oil pulling can effectively improve oral health. Each session should ideally last 10 to 15 minutes.</li
  2. Whiter teeth: Some people report that their teeth become whiter after regular oil pulling. This may be because the oil helps to remove plaque, which can discolour teeth.</li
  3. Soothing inflamed gums: Oil pulling can help soothe and repair inflamed gums. Research has shown that oil pulling can effectively reduce gum inflammation. 2

The disadvantages and dangers of oil pulling

Is oil pulling dangerous? In addition to the many benefits, there are also potential disadvantages associated with oil pulling:

  1. Not a substitute for traditional oral care: Despite its benefits, oil pulling should never be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing.
  2. Possible side effects: Some people may experience side effects such as abdominal pain or diarrhoea after swallowing the oil. It is important to spit out the oil after oil pulling and not swallow it.

Conclusion: Is oil pulling good or bad?

Although the benefits of oil pulling for skin and mouth health 3 are extolled, it remains a complementary practice and not a replacement for conventional oral care methods. The benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil are indeed considerable, including the reduction of gum recession, as shown in before-and-after studies on gum recession from oil pulling. Are you convinced? See the benefits for yourself and order your oil pulling from Fleeck.

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Related Trusted Sources

  • 1. Peedikayil, F. C., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis - a preliminary report. Nigerian medical journal : journal of the Nigeria Medical Association, 56(2), 143. https://doi.org/10.4103/0300-1652.153406

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/
  • 2. Shanbhag, V. K. L. (2017). Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – a review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 7(1), 106–109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/
  • 3. Peedikayil, F. C., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis - a preliminary report. Nigerian medical journal : journal of the Nigeria Medical Association, 56(2), 143. https://doi.org/10.4103/0300-1652.153406

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/

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Frequently asked questions

Oil pulling improves the health of your mouth. It makes your gums healthier and your teeth whiter, because the oil gets to those hard-to-reach places in your mouth. Other health benefits are also mentioned, including the reduction of migraines and allergies.

Oil pulling for teeth is not a replacement for brushing, but an addition to your daily oral hygiene routine. There is little scientific evidence of the effect of oil pulling. Furthermore, you may experience side effects such as flatulence and abdominal pain and it takes time to perform the treatment.

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