Oil Pulling sounds like something physically impossible but it has its benefits.
It sounds like something you’d do as part of tuning up your car but oil pulling is actually a kind of Ayurvedic medicine that dates back to 3,000 years ago. In the olden days, oil pulling was practiced to prevent bleeding gums, dry throat, cracked lips and also to strengthen the teeth, gums and jaw. Oil pulling is done with sesame, sunflower, olive, palm and coconut oil.
What Exactly Does It Do And How Can It Benefit Us Though?
- Oil pulling is done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (coconut, sesame or sunflower) for around 20 minutes and then spitting it out.
- The longer you pull, the more bacteria is removed from your mouth. This is because cells are covered in a fatty membrane and when they come into contact with oil, it sticks to the oil.
- Use coconut oil because it has lauric acid which is known for its anti-microbial abilities and may also prevent tooth decay.
- Gently swishing the oil in your mouth, and between your teeth for five or 10 minutes will suffice if you can’t do 20 minutes.
- A study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research found that compared to mouthwash, oil pulling with sesame oil reduced plaque and lowered microorganisms in adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.
- Oil pulling may also reduce bad breath as well as chlorhexidine which is an antibacterial agent used as an antiseptic in many mouthwashes.
However, do note that oil pulling doesn’t reverse the effects of tooth decay. So you shouldn’t replace regular brushing and flossing with just oil pulling and remember, do visit your dentist at least once a year.