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Oil Pulling

Have you heard of Oil Pulling?? It’s the latest fad out there to improve your dental health. At Hover Dental Group we are all for health and natural healing but we also want to be sure you have all of your facts straight before you decide this is for you.

The claims of Oil Pulling are that it can whiten your teeth, make your breath fresher and lead to massive improvements in oral health. It is not meant for treating active decay! The phrase “oil pulling” comes from the process of the oil being “worked” in the mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it through the teeth. This type of oral therapy isn’t new at all; it has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years.

The procedure involves swishing about one tablespoon of oil around in your mouth. As the oil hits your teeth and gums, bacteria stick to it and dissolve in the liquid oil. With the oil being liquid it is able to get to bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth and suck them out of their hiding places. This bacteria that is being cleansed from the teeth is what is known to cause plaque buildup. A little plaque is normal but as it builds up, it can cause problems including bad breath, yellow teeth, gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities.

Many types of oils have been used but it seems that Coconut Oil is getting the most press lately and that is likely because recent studies have shown the benefit of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay. Coconut oil is preferred because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of lauric acid. Lauric acid is very well known for its antimicrobial actions; it inhibits Strep mutans that are the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Perhaps the most important thing to share is that Oil Pulling does not replace regular dental care and it won’t treat active decay. It should be done in conjunction with a regular Oral Health program. You still need to brush and floss daily and see your dentist at least twice a year for you regular check ups, and if something is bothering you come see us right away.

Want to give it a try?? Here’s how you do it:

  • Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.
  • Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Maybe while you’re in the shower.
  • Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth. (Don’t spit it down the drain, we don’t want to cause any plumbing issues!! Maybe try the trash.)

Be sure to let us know at your next visit if you’ve been Oil Pulling. We’d love to see how it benefits our patients’ oral health!

Happy pulling!!

-Dr. K