Is Coconut Oil Pulling Safe for Your Teeth?
Posted on 3/21/2022 by Janie Scholes
|Perhaps you have heard of “coconut oil pulling” and while it seems to be the latest tide, oil pulling isn't a new thing; it has been around for almost 3,000 years. Ancient Indian medicine used it for essentially everything. Many people in primeval India believed that oil pulling treated numerous illnesses and diseases and could even freshen your mouth. However, that does not necessarily conclude whether oil pulling is actually safe, particularly for your teeth.
Coconut Oil Pulling
People use the coconut oil pulling technique to try and remove harmful bacteria within the mouth that contribute to plaque. It involves swishing around coconut oil in your mouth just the same way you do with mouthwash. Many people opt for coconut oil because of its pleasant taste and the additional health benefits it offers. Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powerhouse. Additionally, it contains lauric acid, which helps ward off bacteria associated with tooth decay.
Oral Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling
When you swish coconut oil around your mouth, it removes harmful bacteria that lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Furthermore, coconut oil pulling preserves good bacteria, meaning it promotes optimal oral health. In fact, the oil may be as good as the main ingredient used in mouthwash known as Chlorhexidine.
Moreover, coconut oil pulling is able to prevent gingivitis. It removes gingivitis-causing bacteria from the mouth. Additionally, coconut oil, with its anti-inflammatory properties, is able to reduce inflammation, a main symptom of gingivitis. Coconut oil pulling helps eliminate bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bad breath arises from the smell of gases and chemicals that bacteria in the mouth release. So when coconut oil removes bad bacteria within the mouth, it, in turn, helps prevent or reduce bad breath.
What is the Take Here?
Although coconut oil pulling can eliminate things like bacteria, gingivitis, and bad breath, it cannot guarantee optimal oral health on its own. Even when used alongside flossing and brushing, it is not enough. You will still need to reach out for regular checkups and cleanings. Besides, coconut oil isn't medicine because no scientific evidence proves that. Also, it's rated PG-13, meaning it is not safe for kids under the age of 13. If swallowed or choked on, the oil fat can get into the lungs, and could even cause lipoid pneumonia, though in rare cases.
Before you incorporate coconut oil pulling into your oral hygiene routine, first talk to our periodontist. Schedule an appointment with our team if you want to find out more about coconut oil pulling and how to maintain proper oral hygiene.