Does Oil Pulling Really Help Your Teeth?

Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash

In recent years, oil pulling has emerged from the depths of traditional medicine to become a trending topic among natural health enthusiasts. Originating from ancient Ayurvedic practices in India, oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil) in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes to improve oral health. But does it really work?

The Theory Behind Oil Pulling

The principle behind oil pulling is relatively straightforward. Supporters argue that the oil acts as a magnet for bacteria, fungi, and other debris in the mouth. The idea is that these microorganisms are encapsulated by the oil, which is then expelled when you spit, leaving your mouth cleaner and your teeth brighter and healthier. 

Scientific Evidence

There is a limited, but growing amount of research on oil pulling. Early research shows promise for oil pulling’s impact on oral health, including reducing harmful bacteria and improving gum health. However, stronger evidence is needed, especially regarding claims of teeth whitening.

Bottom Line

There still needs to be more research into the topic, but it certainly won’t hurt your teeth or gums to try this ancient method. So if you have 15 minutes to spare and a bit of oil, why not give it a shot?