What’s the Deal with Coconut Oil Pulling?

coconut oil pullingOil pulling is an age-old detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that uses natural substances to detoxify the mouth – teeth and gums. Evidence suggests that this remedy removes harmful bacteria, improves the health of gums, and naturally whitens your teeth.
 
The technique involves swishing about one to two tablespoons of oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes each day to improve your oral health. The oil effectively cuts through plaque on your teeth to remove toxins without disturbing your teeth or gums. It is essentially substituting your mouthwash with high quality organic oil that “pulls” harmful bacteria off your teeth and gums.
 
The longer you pull and push the oil around your mouth, the more microbes you pull free. It is recommended that you swish the oil until it turns to a milky white, indicating that the bacteria, viruses, and other microbes have been pulled off. This usually takes about 20 minutes, after which you spit out the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
 
In many cases, oil pulling has been claimed to help:
 
● Reduce gingivitis
 
● Alleviate halitosis – bad breath
 
● Whiten teeth
 
● Relieve tooth and gum sensitivity
 
● Prevent cavities
 
What oils are used?
To begin with, you should note that most microbes found in the mouth comprise a single cell. Cells are surrounded with a fatty membrane, which is essentially the skin of the cell. When these cells come in contact with oil (fat), they naturally hold on to each other.
 
People use a range of oils for this purpose, including sunflower and sesame oil. However, these oils are high in omega 6 fats, which are pro-inflammatory. So, coconut oil is preferred.
 
About half of the fat in coconut oil consists of lauric acid, which is known to fight bacteria. Studies have shown that coconut oil:
 
● Moisturizes the skin
● Improves digestion
● Balances hormones
● Balances blood sugar
● Improves energy
● Kills Candida
● Decreases wrinkles and age spots
● Burns fat
● Increases HDL and lowers LDL cholesterol
 
In addition, research suggests that the oil is highly absorbable, which means that you can gain these benefits by simply oil pulling.
 
Final Note
Oil therapy is claimed to be both preventative and curative, with numerous benefits that reach far beyond dental health.
 
Note that regular (4-5 times a week) oil pulling is not a substitute for traditional at-home care and dental visits. As good as this 3,000 year old practice may be, it does not reverse the effects of tooth decay & should be used as a supplement.
 

Water is Essential to a Healthy Smile!

water essential oral healthThere is no argument about the numerous benefits of proper hydration for your health, skin, and general wellbeing. Drinking water is also important for your oral health, in combination with regular brushing and flossing, good nutrition, regular dental visits, and good lifestyle habits.

Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Oral Health


 1. Rinses sugars and acids from your mouth.


Acidic and sugary foods promote the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth and the demineralization of tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars from the items you consume and convert them to lactic acid. The consumption of acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus further increases the acid content in your mouth.
 
The longer the acids remain in your mouth, the more your tooth enamel is eroded. Drinking water after meals and drinks helps to flush sugars away and dilutes the acids in your mouth to minimize any damage before you have a chance to brush and floss your teeth.

2. Combats dry mouth.


Saliva plays a vital role in your mouth, and when the supply runs low, sipping water can help prevent a dry mouth and maintain some of the functions of saliva, which include:
 
● Balancing the pH level in your mouth by diluting the acids formed in the mouth that may erode tooth enamel causing tooth decay
 
● Washing away food debris in your mouth
 
● Facilitating swallowing of food and drinks
 
● Maintaining strong teeth by washing them with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate
 
● Inhibiting the growth of bacteria that may lead to chronic bad breath or halitosis
 
Drinking water can help reduce some of the risks of diminished saliva secretion as you work on a more permanent solution, or just to augment the functions of saliva.

3. Prevents tooth staining.


There are many foods and drinks that can discolor your teeth, including candy, berries, deep-colored sauces, tea, coffee, and wine. If you don’t rinse your mouth with water after consuming these foods and drinks, you allow them to penetrate your porous tooth enamel and dentin, resulting in stained teeth. Experts recommend that you swish water in your mouth after consuming any food or drink to flush away anything that may cause staining.
 
Lastly, it is worth noting that drinking fluoridated water can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Water fluoridation is regulated by the government as a preventive measure for tooth decay. It is an important accomplishment that has been identified by the US CDC as one of the health achievements of the 20th century. That said, you should discuss with your dentist whether you need to supplement your fluoride intake depending on the state of your teeth.