Oil Pulling & Your Teeth

using oil pulling to prevent tooth decay

Oil pulling has been popularized by recent social media outbursts. It is an ancient practice in which individuals swish an edible oil like coconut oil the same way mouthwash is used. It is believed to have many benefits like reduced bad breath, less plaque, and reduced inflammation. 

How Does Oil Pulling Work?

Oil pulling is the practice of swishing 1 tbsp of oil in the mouth for anywhere from 3-20 minutes. The oil can help kill and reduce harmful bacteria by dissolving it in the liquid oil. The lauric acid in the oil has antibacterial properties that can be beneficial.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can benefit individuals with good oral health in many ways.

Kills Bad Bacteria

A build-up of bad bacteria in the mouth can cause tooth decay and lead to other issues. Oil pulling can help kill bad bacteria in the mouth helping reduce these issues. 

Reduced bad breath

Poor hygiene can cause bad breath due to bacteria buildup. Bad breath can be reduced by oil pulling because it reduces and kills the bacteria that cause gum disease and infection.

Reduced Inflammation

Coconut oil can reduce inflammation of the gums by reducing plaque build up. Reducing plaque-building bacteria can also help with and reduce the symptoms of gingivitis.

Risks of Oil Pulling

Despite the many benefits that come along with oil pulling, there are some downsides to look out for.


If you are allergic to coconuts, you should avoid coconut oil. The oil can cause an allergic reaction the same way the fruit would.

Not Proven to Whiten Teeth

While it is believed that oil pulling can help whiten teeth, there is no scientific research proving that it does. If you are looking to whiten your teeth, talk to a dentist about other proven options.

Do Dentists Recommend Oil Pulling?

While there are no major risks of oil pulling, dentists generally do not recommend oil pulling instead of using mouthwash if you are not in good oral health. Oil pulling also should not be used to replace regular brushing and flossing.

If you still have questions about oil pulling schedule an appointment with Lakeview Dental Care at one of our conveniently located offices today!

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using oil pulling to prevent tooth decay

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