Does Oil Pulling Work for Teeth Whitening?

Oil pulling reduces harmful bacteria in your mouth and decreases your risk of some health issues. Unfortunately, no evidence suggests it draws toxins from the blood or whiten’s your teeth.The practice of oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy claiming to whiten teeth, freshen breath, and significantly improve oral health. Based on the claims, coconut oil pulling to whiten teeth has become increasingly popular.Many proponents of the remedy swear by it, claiming it improved their health in many ways. This post tries to understand whether truth exists behind the claims or if oil pulling is another floating trend.

What Is Oil Pulling and How It Functions?

Oil pulling entails swishing oil in your mouth like a mouthwash. In Indian folk remedy, oil pulling has been prevalent for thousands of years. When pulling oil, you can take a tablespoon of oil in your mouth to swish it around for 15 to 20 minutes. The primary benefit of oil pulling is the reduction of harmful bacteria in your mouth.Your mouth has 700 species of bacteria, primarily harmless and some harmful. They are responsible for creating a biofilm on your teeth’ dental plaque.While having some dental plaque on your teeth is normal, if you allow it to get out of hand, it causes various problems like cavities, gum disease, and lousy breath.Oil pulling is straightforward because swishing the oil in your mouth helps sweep bacteria and dissolve them in the liquid. You can use any oil for pulling, but extra-virgin coconut oil is popular because of its pleasant taste. Coconut oil also has a fatty acid profile, with high amounts of lauric acid having antibacterial properties.

Coconut Oil Pulling Reduces Harmful Bacteria in the Mouth

Streptococcus mutans is the primary bacteria in your mouth responsible for plaque development and tooth decay. Studies among adults indicate oil pulling daily for ten minutes significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in about two weeks than distilled water. In addition, studies on children concluded coconut oil effectively functioned as a chlorhexidine mouthwash by reducing Streptococcus mutans. While the studies appear promising, additional research is needed to compare the effectiveness of coconut oil to other oils.

Oil Pulling Helps Reduce Plaque and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums occurring when your immune system attacks the bacteria in the plaque. Studies conducted on adolescents in 2009 indicated sesame seed oil pulling and chlorhexidine mouthwash had similar results to confirm oil pulling and mouthwash are more effective against gingivitis. In addition, coconut oil pulling also delivered similar benefits after a month-long study on 60 adolescents pulling oil daily and reporting significantly reduced markers of gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Reduces Bad Breath

Lousy breath, also called halitosis, results from chemicals and gases created by bacteria in your mouth, and it is associated with infections, gingivitis, and overall inappropriate oral hygiene. The dentist in North Highlands, CA, recommends getting rid of bacteria to improve oral health and reduce the likelihood of lousy breath. Studies with sesame oil pulling delivered similar results as chlorhexidine mouthwash to prevent bad breath. However, additional research is needed to ascertain whether coconut oil pulling provides similar benefits.

Benefits and Misconceptions about Oil Pulling

Oil pulling as many misconceptions. One standard claim promotes that oil pulling for teeth whitening is beneficial. Unfortunately, no evidence exists to confirm the benefits. Some proponents believe oil pulling helps draw toxins from the blood, working as a detox without evidence to support the idea. Finally, no scientific evidence exists to confirm the remedy helps treat diseases other than those impacting the mouth.

Oil Pulling Is Ineffective for Teeth Whitening

Oil pulling helps reduce the risk of bad breath, cavities, and gingivitis. However, many health claims are associated with oil pulling without scientific evidence to support them. You can use oil pulling as a complementary strategy to improve your oral hygiene. However, if your teeth are discolored to make you consider teeth whitening near you but leaving you fearful of a dental visit, you must refrain from using oil pulling to whiten your teeth.Dentists provide safe and effective teeth whitening treatments to brighten your teeth painlessly in one or multiple appointments depending on the intensity of the discoloration. Therefore instead of trying remedies without scientific evidence, it helps if you seek teeth whitening from a dental professional instead of considering pulling oil.Oil pulling is purported to provide some health benefits for your oral health. However, if you need teeth whitening to brighten your smile, consider visiting Watt Antelope Family Dentist for the treatment instead of pulling oil. Oil pulling for whitening teeth has no scientific evidence making it better for brightening your teeth.