Oil Pulling

There has been a lot of media attention recently about oil-pulling, as a way of preventing dental decay and gum (periodontal) disease, as well as a way of combating halitosis. Oil pulling involves swishing coconut, (or some other kind of oil), around the teeth and gums for 20 minutes. The claim is that the oil “pulls”disease-causing bacteria out of the mouth. This method of oral hygiene has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years, long before the bacterial nature of the disease was known. While there is limited scientific evidence for any long-term benefits, anything that reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth can be helpful. The problem, as anyone who has tried to brush for two full minutes knows, is that twenty minutes of swishing is a long time. As a practical matter, brushing and flossing thoroughly does an excellent job of removing most of the pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria in about three minutes. An additional thirty seconds of rinsing with Listerine or chlorhexidine gluconate will prevent most dental disease.-

 

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