Doc ET’s Thoughts #1: Oil Pulling

March 22, 2016 admin No comments exist

There has been a lot of discussion about the Ayurvedic practice of “oil pulling”. Ayurveda is ancient Indian medicine, still practiced today by yogis and health buffs. I have been asked by patients numerous times about oil pulling, so I decided to discuss it here.


What is it? Well oil pulling involves taking about two tablespoonfuls of coconut oil in your mouth, and you swish it around for twenty minutes or so, then spit it out. It supposedly kills bacteria that causes gum disease and some folks claim it reverses tooth decay! Google “oil pulling” and you’d find all sorts of dental health claims attributed to the practice.


El Camino Family Dental Practice’s stand on oil pulling is this:


Although oil pulling does not seem to be harmful, it also has little to no benefit to your dental well-being. There have been no independent US studies on the benefit of oil pulling, so we would not recommend it to our patients as part of their oral hygiene regimen.


It is difficult enough to convince patients to keep up with brushing for two minutes, flossing for one minute, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash for another minute, twice a day–proven practices that promote dental health–so why recommend twenty minutes of oil pulling that has dubious dental benefits?


If you have been doing oil pulling and you enjoy it, by all means, continue doing so. But please do not use it as a substitute for the tried and tested regimen: Brush, Floss, Rinse.


Disclaimer: The above statements are published for educational purposes only, and are not to be misconstrued as medical/dental advise, or treatment. If you have questions about your oral hygiene and dental health, please consult your dental professional. El Camino Family Dental Practice is open Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm to address your dental health concerns.

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