What’s All the Hype about Oil Pulling?

July 10th, 2014

Many of our Clarksville TN dental and periodontal patients come by the office and ask or tell us about oil pulling. Well, we’d like to address some of the concerns about this new fad and hopefully clear some things up about your oral health.


First and foremost, it is important to know that although there has been an increase in oil pulling literature, there hasn’t been any conclusive scientific study completed on the subject. An oil-pulling routine cannot and should not replace regular dental visits and traditional at-home oral care. Also, oil pulling does not reverse the effects of tooth decay.


The procedure has been around for a very long time, about 3,000 years actually. Its origins reside in Ayurvedic medicine in India. The process involves rinsing, or swishing, about a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth (coconut oil is found to be the best). Jessica T. Emery, DMD says, “As the oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet.” Even bacteria hiding in pores and tubules are sucked out and firmly held in the solution.


The longer the oil is swished, the more bacteria accumulate within the oil. After about 20 minutes the oil should turn a milky white, at which times the person spits out the oil and thoroughly rinses with water.


Promoters claim that oil pulling has helped whiten their teeth, alleviate halitosis, and even reduce gingivitus. Oil pulling makes sense theoretically. We know that bacteria are the primary cause of tooth decay. So getting rid of the bacteria, even through oil pulling will likely improve oral health, but it is not the only or the best way we know of.


At Carter Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, our Clarksville dental office helps patients with all kinds of oral health problems, including bone grafting and oral cancer screenings. Click here or call the office today at (931) 614-6603 to schedule an appointment.