Oil pulling is an ayurvedic practice in which coconut oil is swished in the mouth for a set period of time to improve oral health. As with many holistic and ayurvedic practices, the oil pulling benefits long purported by natural healthcare practitioners have now been scientifically confirmed. But how, exactly, does oil pulling help improve oral health?
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Coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial, making it ideal for oil pulling. When used for this purpose, the oil’s natural properties work to literally pull bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health it was found that oil pulling was particularly effective at removing Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria most associated with gum disease. This study prompted the NIH to state bacteria reduction related to oil pulling was “statistically significant” in helping reduce risks for gum disease and tooth decay. However, while oil pulling can be a wonderful addition to your daily routine, it should not be seen as an alternative to brushing, flossing, and regular visits with Dr. Negru.
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