What are the Oil Pulling Side Effects?

oil used for oil pulling

Interestingly enough, oil pulling has roots in ancient India as a traditional remedy that could cure over thirty diseases in the body, not just the mouth. Due to the millions of microorganisms and bacteria that live in the mouth, it is believed that the mouth is a “mirror” to the body’s overall health.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is the process of swishing around about two teaspoons or so of oil to collect and pull the bacteria from your body and mouth. Oil pulling is intended to whiten teeth and remove plaque, as well as help keep gums healthy.

The Process of Oil Pulling

Common household oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil and sesame oil are often used for oil pulling. The oil is believed to activate salivary enzymes which absorb harmful toxins in the blood streams and are removed through the tongue. In the past, we discussed the use of coconut oil for oil pulling and while not much research exists that can back the potential benefits and risks, it has become widely popular. A handful of studies do exist and have reported positive results from oil pulling. The results include a decrease in plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Side Effects

When it comes to oil pulling, there are a few things to consider. The first thing is that you should avoid swallowing any of the oil because of the high amount of bacteria it may contain after being swished around in the mouth. The American Dental Association has warned in the past that oil pulling could potentially cause an upset stomach and diarrhea if swallowed, and even lipid pneumonia if the oil finds its way into the lungs. Currently their stance is that since there is no scientific consensus on the idea that oil pulling reduces cavities, so it does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. A side effect oil pullers commonly experience is that other more effective dental habits fall off their radar, which can cause issues down the line.

It has been argued that oil pulling is not effective because the mucous membrane lining does not allow the harmful toxins to pass through. A proven way to whiten your teeth at home is using a toothpaste infused with hydrogen peroxide or just leave it up to your dentist to give you a professional whitening treatment. In terms of having a clean mouth, brushing, flossing and using mouth wash daily is the recommended process, as well as regular professional cleanings at your dentist.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.

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