Oil pulling. No, it does not have to do with digging beneath the dirt to fill up expensive barrels. Gaining ground in recent years, oil pulling describes swishing around coconut oil in the mouth in an effort to pull bacteria from your mouth and body. Though its health benefits have been debated for some time, people who use it tend to swear by it. Daily oil pullers report improvements in dental hygiene, such as whiter teeth and healthier gums, as well as a detox of the body.
While it may be rising in popularity, the practice is far from new. Oil pulling was invented thousands of years ago by Ayurvedic medicinal practitioners who utilized it for its cleansing properties. In the ancient Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, oil pulling claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases, spanning from migraines to asthma.
Until recently, it’s been hard to find qualified experts in the scientific or dental community to back up these health claims. Now, some dentists have spoken up about the resurgent trend.
Jessica Lo, a dental hygienist, said she saw a healthy transformation in her patients who oil pulled, according to Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV.
“Specifically the patients that had periodontal disease – they’re the ones that had the gum infections, the inflammation, the bleeding, the tenderness, the bad breath,” Lo told WRTV. “This is amazing, because I’ve been able to whiten my teeth and not have sensitivity.”