An Ancient Oral Health Practice With A Major Modern Following


For those of us that fear those dreadful dental visits, an ancient oral technique might be the answer to our prayers. Oil Pulling is a folk remedy originating from India, wherein a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut oil) is swished around in the mouth to promote oral health.

There is a level of dedication that goes along with this practice, however. While some sources have suggested swishing for 15 to 20 minutes, an article in CNN notes that experts such as Dr. Amala Guha, assistant professor of immunology and medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center, suggest two swishing sessions of four minutes each.

While the thought of so much swishing is enough to make anyone’s jaw ache, a review of the implied benefits are certainly intriguing. The idea is that the oil gathers and collects the overabundance of bacteria and plaque in our mouth that can lead to decay, oral malodor, and bleeding gums.

Although word-of-mouth (pun intended) has inspired more people to sing the praises of this ancient practice, there are efficacy studies that point to the benefits of oil pulling. The Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry revealed the results of a randomized, controlled triple-blind study on the effect of oil pulling on the Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva (A common bacterium found in people’s mouths that contributes to oral disease). It found that,

“There was a reduction in the S. mutans count in the plaque and saliva samples"…and “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”

If you’ve tried it or know anyone who has, share your experience in the comment section! We want to know what the Wellness Warriors think of oil pulling.


Read all articles by Juniper Briggs

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