Today’s Timothy G. Mahoney DDS post looks at oil pulling, an alternative dental health practice that has been generating a lot of buzz around Wetaskiwin. Oil pulling has been a part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is the practice of swishing oil in the mouth for twenty minutes to benefit the teeth, gums and overall health and well-being. The oils most commonly used are coconut oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil.
Proponents claim that it detoxifies the mouth, cleans plaque, reduces inflammation, cures bad breath, whitens teeth, kills infection, and boosts the immune system. Some advocates even claim that it “cures” cavities and periodontal disease.
What does the American Dental Association say about oil pulling? Here is an excerpt from a May 2014 article:
To date, scientific studies have not provided the necessary clinical evidence to demonstrate that oil pulling reduces the incidence of dental caries, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of currently available evidence, oil pulling is not recommended as a supplementary oral hygiene practice, and certainly not as a replacement for standard, time-tested oral health behaviours and modalities. The ADA recommends that patients follow a standard oral hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, using ADA-Accepted products. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth help prevent cavities and keep gums healthy.
Timothy G. Mahoney DDS cautions patients not to replace brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings/exams with oil pulling.
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