• Lydia Ojuka Riley

Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

Its so easy to neglect oral health, until you experience some paiin, then it becomes impossible to ignore.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, a whopping 3.58 billion people of the world population suffer from varying degrees of tooth decay and oral problems. Even the most industrialized countries witness 60-90% of there school children and adults suffer from chronic dental caries.

Shocking isn’t it? Do you or your kid suffer from excruciating and chronic toothaches?

Well, maintaining mindful oral hygiene is the solution. And oil pulling could provide the perfect respite. Its easy, cheap and provides an array of benefits.

Oil pulling is essentially an ancient method where one has to hold oil extracted from plants, such as coconut, sunflower and sesame in the mouth for about 20 minutes in order to experience a multitude of health benefits. It is basically swishing of oil around in your mouth to eradicate oil soluble toxins.

Some popular extracts used in oil pulling are made from variants of sunflower, sesame, olive, palm, and coconut. However, one of the most popular and easily available ingredients for oil pulling comes from coconut. Well, there's a downside to it. Coconut oil solidifies under 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) thus creating a chunk which is hard to move around in the mouth. So if you are an ardent fan of natural medicines and coconut seems like a one-stop solution, this is what you could do.

Mix coconut oil with the correct balance of sunflower oil and sesame oil, and you could avoid the solidification. Let’s delve further into the theories and benefits of Oil pulling.

A Brief History of Oil Pulling

The history of oil pulling traces back to India, where it was used as part of natural healing practices described in ancient Ayurveda texts such as Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. The oral health practices of Ayurveda included crewing on sticks and eating herbs, as well as oil pulling.

Original practitioners of oil pulling were known to use sunflower and sesame oils as a way to prevent bleeding gums, decay, dryness of throat, oral odor, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.

The Key Benefits of Oil Pulling

1. A Healthier Mouth

Oil pulling, known to generate antioxidants, help to damage the cell wall of microorganisms and kill them. These oils will attract the lipid layer of bacterial cell membranes and cause it to stick with the oil. This oil will then coat the teeth and gingiva and also will prevent bacterial and plaque formation. As a result, plaque-building bacteria responsible for dental caries, gingivitis, and bad odor are removed making gums pinker, teeth whiter and fix the problem of bleeding gums. It also serves as a great remedy of chapped lips.

2. Antiseptic Measures

As already mentioned, we find that Coconut oil is the most popular oil that is used mostly due to its antiseptic properties. Coconut oil has a high saponification index. It contains lauric acid which can react with alkalis present in salivae, such as sodium hydroxide and bicarbonates to form sodium laureate-soap like substance, which reduces plaque accumulation, demonstrating cleansing action capabilities.

3. Natural and less staining

Regular uses of mouthwash can create a plethora of problems. Mouthwashes usually contain phenol and stannous fluoride which results in staining. Needless to mention, stannous and zinc salts have organoleptic problems. So irrespective of what the Television commercials claim, mouthwashes are never the perfect solution to your dental owes. Luckily, there’s coconut oil to your rescue which doesn’t have any adverse effect such as brown staining and altered taste sensation.

Oil Pulling is an Effective Supplement to Regular Oral Care

Oil Pulling has been used for centuries as detailed earlier and it has shown improvements. However, due to the lack of more research and experimentation, the American Dental Association often discourages the techniques of oil pulling. Yes, oil pulling shouldn't be considered as a substitute for regular dental hygiene process such as brushing and flossing. It is an effective supplementary process that has been practiced for centuries.

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