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Oil Pulling and Dental Health

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Oil pulling has been around for about 3000 years in Ayurvedic Medicine and is known for its oral and systemic health benefits. Oil pulling is discussed about in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala or Gandusha, and it claims to have cured around 30 systemic diseases.

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How Do You Oil Pull?

Oil pulling is done by taking approximately 1 tablespoon of oil into your mouth and swishing it around for about 20 minutes. The longer you swish and pull the oil through the teeth and mucosa, the bacteria, viruses, and microbes get pulled out into the oil. It is said, that once the oil has turned white, it is ready to be spit out. It is very important not to swallow the oil which is full of bacteria.

How does the Bacteria get into the Oil

The bacteria or microbes get pulled into the oil solution like polarization of a magnet. Most microbes within the mouth consist of a single cell with a lipid, fatty membrane and when this membrane comes in contact with the fatty oil; It naturally attaches to it.

What Oil Do You Use?

The most common oil that is in use for oil pulling is the all mighty coconut oil. In earlier Ayurvedic medicine, Sesame and Sunflower oils were used for oil pulling. However, recent evidence is questioning the use of these oils because of the fats involved which we already get in our western diets. Coconut oil is a better solution because of its proven benefits and because it contains lauric acid which is proven to be a game changer against bacteria in the mouth.

Why Should you Oil Pull

A study was done in 2009 on the effects of oil pulling with sesame oil on plaque induced gingivitis and was compared with a chlorhexidine mouthwash. 20 young boys with gingivitis were used for the study and were divided randomly in 2 groups of 10 (1 group oil & 1 mouthwash). “Overall results concluded that the study revealed a reduction in plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque.”

Another study in  2005 at Forsyth Institute in Boston, documented that oral cancer patients had higher levels of bacteria such as C. gingivitis and P. melaninogenica, and S. mitis. As well as it has been proven that bacteria in the mouth has the ability to travel within the blood to the heart.

This can then trigger major infections and heart attack risk. When patients have high loads of bacteria in their mouth and other ailments such as gingivitis; It creates a perfect storm for the bacteria to get into the blood and travel easier throughout the body.

Speech Language Pathologists have a whole line of work that is dedicated to oral health and how it affects aspiration in older patients. One of the main reasons older patients die is secondary to swallowing bacteria loaded saliva into the lungs. Once a patient has dementia or other ailments such as a stroke, then the patient is high risk for swallowing problems and bad oral health. This alone proves how important it is to take care of your mouth.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been around for a long time and the benefits for the entire oral cavity and also systemically throughout the body are well known. While oil pulling does have documented results it should not replace routine dental cleaning.

It is also appropriate to have a reference and a good Dentist Office such as Hamptons Dental for any inquiries on your dental health for a second opinion.

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What Does Removing the Bacteria Do?

  • Claims to cure 30 Systemic diseases such as diabetes, migraines, and asthma
  • Whitens Teeth
  • Has an antimicrobial characteristic
  • Reduces inflammation of the gums
  • Energizes the body
  • Boosts Immune system
  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Increases health of oral mucosa
  • Helps sore throat when gargling
  • Helps with skin
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Helps bad breath

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