A recent study conducted in India and just published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice shows once again the health benefits of "oil pulling" with coconut oil. The study compared regular coconut oil with commercial Chlorhexidine mouthwash, and the effect on reducing Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the saliva. A control group was simply given distilled water. The study found that both the group that used the Chlorhexidine mouthwash and regular coconut oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the saliva. The coconut oil group used a method called "oil pulling," an age-old practice in India that has gained modern popularity in promoting oral and systemic health. They rinsed their mouth with 10 ml of coconut oil for 10 minutes.
A 2015 study published in the Nigeria Medical Journal looked at the effect of "oil pulling" with coconut oil on plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis. The study was conducted in the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Kannur Dental College, in Kerala, India. Oil pulling is a technique that has become popular where one takes a spoonful of coconut oil and swishes it around in their mouth (without swallowing) for 15 minutes or so. Many health benefits are claimed from following such a practice, but so far published research has only documented the dental benefits. Even "mainstream" dentists in the United States are reporting benefits they are seeing in their patient's dental health among those who regularly practice oil pulling.
"Oil pulling" is an ancient practice in Asia, but suddenly it is catching on in the United States. It involves swishing an oil around in your mouth (coconut oil is the most common one) for dental and other health benefits. Mainstream media outlets here in the U.S. are now actually reporting on oil pulling benefits, and even interviewing dentists who are giving positive reviews based on their patients' experiences.
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy used to improve dental health. One simply swishes a tablespoon of oil in one's mouth for approximately 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach before spitting it out. Because oil pulling positively affects the composition of bacteria in the mouth by killing pathogenic microorganisms, it makes sense that it would be beneficial in other seemingly related health conditions.
Coconuts are among the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet and have been a dietary staple for millennia. Western science is now “playing catch-up” to what natives of tropical regions have known for thousands of years. One of the reasons coconut is so special is that it’s a natural antimicrobial food. Coconut, especially its oil, is a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes, from viruses to bacteria to protozoa, many of which harm human health. Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Bioscience Research Institute in Ireland have discovered that coconut oil’s biocidal properties can be effective against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
[Health Impact News] A study was published in India recently comparing the effectiveness of “oil pulling” versus chlorhexidine mouthwash in preventing bad breath and the organisms that cause it. It was a small sample size for a study, but oil pulling was more effective than the chlorhexidine mouthwash when measuring marginal gingival index, plaque index, and […]