This post from the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria looks at oil pulling, an alternative practice that has been generating some buzz lately. Is it a reliable therapy, or just a fad?
Oil pulling has been a part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It involves swishing oil in the mouth for twenty minutes to benefit the teeth, gums and overall health and well-being. The most commonly used oils are coconut, sesame, and sunflower.
Proponents claim that it detoxifies the mouth, cleans plaque, reduces inflammation, cures bad breath, whitens teeth, kills infection, and boosts the immune system. Sound far-fetched? Some even say it cures cavities and periodontal disease.
What does the American Dental Association say about oil pulling? Here is an excerpt from a May 2014 article:
To date, scientific studies have not provided the necessary clinical evidence to demonstrate that oil pulling reduces the incidence of dental caries, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of currently available evidence, oil pulling is not recommended as a supplementary oral hygiene practice, and certainly not as a replacement for standard, time-tested oral health behaviors and modalities. The ADA recommends that patients follow a standard oral hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, using ADA-Accepted products. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth help prevent cavities and keep gums healthy.
We caution patients not to replace brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings/exams with oil pulling.
At the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we caution our patients not to replace brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams with oil pulling. We provide top-quality dental care for every member of your family. Services include family and restorative dentistry. Call for an appointment today!
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