Oil-pulling therapy involves swishing a tablespoon of cold pressed organic sesame oil, or coconut, sunflower, olive oil in the mouth for as long as 10 to 15 minutes and then spitting it out. It is part of a traditional alternative medicine called Ayurveda that originated in India.
The roots of oil pulling go deep, and it is referenced in the Charaka Saṃhitā, a foundation text of Ayurveda that dates back to 300-500 CE. Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and a form of alternative medicine.
Claimed Benefits for Your Mouth
Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
• Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
• Prevention for bad breath
• Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
• Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
• Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and generalreness in the jaw area
Claimed Benefits Beyond the Mouth?
Ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners believed that oil pulling could reduce more than just diseases of the mouth and throat. Deepak Chopra is an advocate of oil pulling and advises in his book, “Perfect Health,” to begin one’s day by swishing sunflower, coconut, sesame or olive oil. After it’s absorbed through the tongue, the detoxifying oil makes its way through the body, according to Chopra’s 2001 book, “Perfect Health.”
Today, many holistic practitioners believe:
help the lymphatic system of the body
preventative health measure for many other conditions.
Migraine headache relief
Correcting hormone imbalances
Reducing inflammation of arthritis
May help with gastro-enteritis
Aids in the reduction of eczema
May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
Helps support normal kidney function
May help reduce sinus congestion
Some people report improved vision
Helps reduce insomnia
Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
Aids in reducing pain
Reduces the symptoms of allergies
Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
Is There any Scientific Studies to Support Benefits of Oil Pulling?
Dr. Sharath Asokan, BDS, MDS, PhD, a professor at the department of pediatric dentistry at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College in Chennai, India, says:
“Within limited available literature and as a person working in Oil Pulling area for close to a decade, I am convinced this works.”
In a study that investigated the impact of oil pulling on microorganisms in biofilm models, Thai researchers from the Faculty of Dentistry at Mahidol University in Bangkok employed coconut oil, corn oil, rice bran oil, palm oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, and soy bean oil (Asia Journal of Public Health, May-August 2011, Vol. 2:2, pp. 62-66). They found that “coconut oil exhibited antimicrobial activity against S. mutans and [Candida] albicans,” they wrote. “Sesame oil had antibacterial activity against S. mutans whereas sunflower oil had antifungal activity against C. albicans. Their study provided enough data for the researchers to conclude that “oil-pulling therapy with some edible oils could be used as a preventive home therapy to maintain oral hygiene, especially in developing countries.”
Those researchers found that oil pulling with sunflower oil reduced plaque scores after 45 days. Dr. Asokan had found support for the technique’s ability to reduce plaque (Indian J Dent Res, January-March 2009, Vol. 20:1, pp. 47-51).
He also found that it can have an impact on bad breath, medically called halitosis (Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry, April-June 2011, Vol. 29:2, pp. 90-94).
What is the Position of American Dental Association, ADA, on Oil Pulling?
When invited for an interview on this issue, ADA responded that it has no opinion on the matter and that it cannot comment on oil pulling because additional research is needed.
What is safe to believe?
While there are many Eastern studies, particularly from India, it appears as though the Western world has yet to put oil pulling’s effect on oral health to the test.
In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 425 patients with Invisalign. Source: Redding