Oil Pulling is trending. Does it work?


Oil pulling is an ancient practice that is traditionally done in Southeast Asian cultures, where oil is swished in a person’s mouth for 20 minutes daily.  People who practice oil pulling claim that swishing any type of oil in your mouth every day will whiten your teeth, reduce bacteria, strengthen your gums and jaw, improve skin, clear your sinuses, prevent ​bad breath and even protect against heart disease, as well as Alzheimer’s Disease. However, other than anecdotal claims, there is no research to back-up these benefits. Dental professionals cannot prove that oil pulling indeed does work. Researchers need to further investigate oil pulling and its benefits to oral and overall health.

However, there re also no negative effects known to be caused by oil pulling either. Thus, if you can tolerate swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes daily, and you are curious to see if it does, in fact, whiten your teeth, or reduce bad breath, then try it at home. Just don’t swallow the oil! Coconut oil, or olive oil are commonly used in this practice.

Nothing replaces the benefits of regular dental visits, and dental exams and professional hygiene maintenance. It is also important to brush and floss twice daily!

I hope I’ve satisfied your curiosity, or even peaked it!

Best, Dr. Frankel


* Information for this article was gathered from US News and World Report.

“Coconut” by Hafiz Issadeen is licensed under CC BY


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