Oil Pulling is Not Backed by the ADA

If you’ve been on social media the past couple of years, particularly, Pinterest, you may have noticed a few articles suggesting the practice of “Oil Pulling.”  With the millennial generation having kids and starting their families comes tips and tricks to: 1. Save Money and 2. Be More Natural/Organic.  Just head over to Pinterest and search “Natural Home…” and you’ll find plenty of lists for “Natural Home Remedies,” “Natural Home Cleansers,” “Natural Insect Repellent,” and the list can go on and on.

And I applaud this effort!  Reducing the amounts of chemicals in the home is probably the best option, especially when it comes to raising your family and doing our part for the environment.

However, it’s just as important to make informed decisions regarding natural remedies.

Which leads us back to our topic:  Oil Pulling.  It’s understandable when you want to treat your ailment with natural remedies you read about on Pinterest.  Curing a cough by putting onions in your socks is not all that crazy.  But it’s backed by science.

Oil Pulling, not so much.

Your oral healthcare is more important than we understand.  Or to rephrase, than we want to understand.  We skip brushing here and there.  Some of us have never even picked up the floss.  Some avoid the dentist all together.  And worse, yet, they’re replacing these basic daily routines with something that only seems more natural.  Oil Pulling is not backed by the American Dental Association, and that’s something that should be taken very seriously.

It’s an old traditional folk remedy practiced primarily in India and southern Asia, in which you take a spoonful of edible oil (coconut, sunflower, etc), and swish it around your mouth for 5-20 minutes, “pulling” it through your teeth.  Supposedly, this “pulls” the toxins from you gums which links to the toxins throughout your body.

While your gums are in fact connected to your body, which is why a healthy daily oral hygiene routine is incredibly important, there’s no scientific evidence that shows oil pulling actually “pulls” the toxins from your mouth.  And surprisingly enough, or maybe not, there have actually been side effects with this practice.

It’s not up to us to tell you whether or not you should be oil pulling. While there’s no scientific evidence that shows the benefits, there’s also none that shows it doesn’t benefit.  But it’s important you stick to the recommended daily routine:  brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, maybe rinse once a day, visiting your dentist twice a year.  It’s not a rigorous routine, and it’s certainly far easier than swishing around oil in your mouth for 20 minutes at a time.

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Dr. Del Greenhalgh
Green Family Dental
10510 Montwood Drive
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 778-4681