Is Oil Pulling really good for you?

Klennerable questions…I saw a post on Pinterest talking about oil pulling. It claims that it takes toxins out by washing your mouth with either vegetable oil or virgin coconut oil. This one girl even said that she lost weight and her teeth got whiter.. Are there any advantages to oil pulling?

The Beauty Brains responds:

This is the first time I’ve heard weight-loss claims attributed to oil pulling but this ancient process is widely claimed to help detoxify the body. While I put absolutely no faith in the anecdotal claims of these detox benefits there does appear to be some evidence that the procedure has a positive impact on oral health.

Test results for oil pulling

One study shows swishing sesame oil in the mouth improves reduces gingivitis and plaque. There was a net decline in mean plaque scores from baseline to 45 days amounting to 0.81±0.41 (p<0.01). Another study, as reported by the British Dental Association, shows that “pulling” with coconut oil can reduce cavities. They found that that “coconut oil strongly inhibited the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans – a major cause of caries.” However, the coconut oil may need to be “pre-digested” with an enzyme to make it most effective.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Getting rid of toxins by oil pulling is a myth but it may provide benefits to your teeth and gums. Talk with your dentist for a better understanding of how to make oil pulling a part of your complete oral health regimen.

References: J Oral Health Comm Dent 2007 ;1(1):12-18

TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria. African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. < TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria