Maintaining your oral hygiene is as important as personal hygiene. There are several methods that dental health experts recommend for better oral and dental health.
But did you know there is one oral hygiene practice that involves the use of oil? Crazy, right? This practice is known as oil pulling. Although, don’t get confused with the terminology.
Today, here you will get to know in detail about what oil pulling is, its benefits, how to do it, and possible risks if any.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an oral hygiene practice where you have to swish oil inside your mouth as you do while using mouthwash. Want to know the origin of oil pulling?
It is an Ayurvedic natural remedy! So, it is an ancient oral routine. Also, you must be thinking about the fact that you have to put oil in your mouth and rinse as odd! Most of us will feel the same way.
As we said, the method of oil pulling is almost similar to mouthwash. The only difference here is the duration you swish the oil inside your mouth.
How to perform oil pulling?
Oils that you can use for this oral hygiene routine are coconut oil, sesame oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil.
- Take one tablespoon of the oil in your mouth.
- Sit someplace comfortable with your back straight with your chin up.
- Now, swish the oil all around inside your mouth.
- Beginners can try this routine for five to ten minutes. As you continue this oral routine later, you can increase the duration gradually.
- As you rinse with the oil, make sure you continue to breathe normally.
- Avoid swallowing the oil during the process, and once done spit the oil in a garbage container. Spitting the oil in your sink will block the pipe systems.
- Brush your teeth after discarding the oil from your mouth. We would advise you to use a different toothbrush for this purpose. You can also use lukewarm warm to rinse your mouth to remove any residual oily aftertaste.
How often should you practice oil pulling and when?
There is no hard and fast rule in this case. You can try oil pulling every day, once or twice a week, once or twice a month as per your comfort level. You do have to be consistent here, only then you will get to see the results.
Always practice oil pulling before you brush your teeth after waking up in the morning and an empty stomach.
What are the benefits for oil pulling?
The thing about the oil pulling benefits is a bit controversial, as there are fewer medical studies done on this subject. Keeping this point aside, for now, these are a few known oil pulling health benefits:
May reduce the accumulation of harmful bacteria
Believe it or not, the human mouth consists of innumerable bacteria, some of which are beneficial for us, and some of them may be detrimental to our health. We know, what a frightful thing to read!
The harmful bacteria can cause several diseases and dental issues such as tooth decay, cavity, gum diseases, bad breath.
A study reveals that oil pulling with coconut oil can help to lower the presence of bacteria in your saliva, saving you from a lot of mouth diseases.
Promotes a healthy heart
But how? The more the accumulation of bad bacteria in your mouth, the more these bacteria will end up either in your bloodstream or your intestine, affecting your health.
Reduce issues of bleeding gums
Bleeding gums along with swelling are the worst and the discomfort is understandable. This dental condition is commonly known as Gingivitis. The development of plaque around your gums is one of the primary factors causing Gingivitis. The bacteria Streptococcus mutans occur abundantly in the plague, which is killed off as a result of oil pulling.
No more stinky breath
Having bad breath can be pretty embarrassing, especially if you have to kiss someone! This condition is also known as Halitosis.
Few common reasons for bad breath are:
- Overall poor oral health
- Too much bacteria in your mouth, leading to gum disease
- Unclean tongue
The regular way of treating bad breath is using commercial mouthwashes, but you can also utilize the oil pulling benefits to reduce the mouth odour.
Lowers the chances of cavities
Cavities are another classic example of poor oral hygiene. There are two basic factors here as to why cavities form:
- Not brushing teeth properly or poor overall oral hygiene
- Consuming too many sugary products
Out of all the other ways to keep cavities at bay, oil pulling may also help in this case.
Complications associated with oil pulling
Since this oral hygiene routine has minimal scientific evidence, there are only two known possible complications that may occur as a result of oil pulling:
- May upset your digestive system
This complication may arise only in case you swallow the oil during the practice. There have been reports of diarrhoea as well due to oil pulling.
- Lipoid pneumonia
According to the American Dental Association, a person may also suffer from lipoid pneumonia in case the swished oil reaches the lungs somehow. This causes inflammation in the lungs.
A scientific review suggests that oil pulling can help in the improvement of oral hygiene if you practice the routine regularly and in the proper manner. But it would be wrong to try oil pulling as a completely alternative method of maintaining oral health.
Another point that you should keep in mind if you are keen on trying oil pulling- Be sure of the oil that you will be using, otherwise, you may suffer from an allergic reaction while you try oil pulling in teeth.
It is a good thing to take proper care of your mouth and teeth and is actually pretty important. As Marilyn Monroe said, A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear. Now, when you smile, the first thing people see is your teeth, which is why maintaining oral hygiene is essential.