3 Myths About Dental Oil Pulling

Fans of natural health solutions often claim that oil pulling can solve all kinds of dental problems. However, most of these claims are simply myths, and following their advice can actually harm your mouth. Here are three common myths about the so-called benefits of oil pulling.

Oils Kill Bacteria

Many fans of oil pulling claim that swishing oil around in one's mouth can kill bacteria, reducing the risk of plaque and gum disease. In reality, some oils do have antibacterial properties, like geranium and orange oils. Studies have found that these oils are effective in inhibiting certain kinds of bacteria and fungi, however, that doesn't make it a viable solution for helping your mouth.

There are two easy ways to kill bacteria in your mouth: brushing your teeth and using mouthwash. Oil pulling can potentially slow the growth of bacteria, but it doesn't kill it.

Oil Loosens Plaque

Another common claim is that swishing oil between your teeth can loosen plaque. Oil can potentially lift some plaque, but it's not any more effective at it than swishing any other liquid in your mouth.

Plaque is sticky in nature, and clings to your teeth and gums. This is why one of the most effective ways to get rid of it is to brush your teeth; the friction is what loosens and removes the plaque.

However, if you want an extra tool to help destroy plaque, try using a water flosser. Water flossers have been found to be 29% more effective at removing plaque than floss. On top of that, water flossers can be used on the entire surface of the tooth, not just between teeth.

Oil Repairs Cavities

Finally, some oil fans claim that oil pulling can stop the progression of cavities, or even heal them. Remember, if a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and this claim is no different.

However, it should be pointed out that technology to repair cavities without drilling is on its way. Scientists have developed ways to repair the damage that tooth decay causes in a process called remineralization.

Oil pulling doesn't pose any serious risks to your teeth and gums, but you should never use oil pulling as a replacement for traditional methods of cleaning your teeth. Oil pulling isn't a miracle cure; the simple tasks of flossing and brushing, as well as seeing your dentist regularly, will keep your mouth healthy. For more information, contact local clinics like Kappenman Family Dental.