Oil pulling: do or ditch?

What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling isn’t just a fad, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic practice is making a comeback. Believers say it is a natural way to cleanse and detoxify your mouth and body by removing harmful pathogens. Oil pulling enthusiasts claim it can help detox the body, clear congestion and improve immunity. Dental-specific claims include that it will cure gum disease and dental caries, reduce mucus, eliminate bad breath, and even whiten teeth. The practice, which originated in India thousands of years ago, involves taking a teaspoon of unrefined oil and gently swishing it in your mouth much like you would mouthwash.
Does it work?
Since scientific studies for many natural remedies lacking, the results are mainly anecdotal experiences. To Perhaps oil pulling seems to work for some and not for others is due to the difference in duration and frequency. To realize the benefits, swishing with the oil for 20 minutes is recommended. However, most people find this difficult due to the time involved and the consistency and taste. The purpose is to increase saliva to remove the plaque, but this can also be accomplished with brushing and using mouthwash or even just rinsing with water.
The claims that oil pulling result in fresh breath and whiter teeth are somewhat subjective. As for curing gum disease and dental caries, these are lacking scientific validation. Oil pulling would have penetrate plaque, a physical barrier on teeth, and penetrate deep into the gum tissues to flight the bacteria that cause these diseases.
Some adverse effects of oil pulling have been reported. They include vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, the oil can upset the plumbing in the sinks and toilets when it solidifies.
What does the ADA’s stand on it?
“Currently, there are no reliable scientific studies to show that oil pulling reduces cavities, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. The ADA continues to recommend that to maintain good dental health you brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss between your teeth once a day and don’t use tobacco.”
Perhaps its popularity in recent years is due to the interest in homeopathic health remedies. However, more solid research is needed to understand its effectiveness. Until then, it’s better to stick with what has already been scientifically proven. Not only are the conventional methods of tooth brushing and flossing less time consuming than oil pulling, but they will also avoid clogged drains.

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