Dental health is crucial to one’s overall well-being. Several infections of the mouth can cause other problems within the body. Heart disease, stroke, dementia, and respiratory problems have links to poor dental health. To help keep your body healthy, regular visits to the dentist are recommended. What about between visits? What is the best way to keep your mouth healthy?
Coconut Oil Toothpaste
Coconut oil toothpaste might be the next step in dental health. Due to sensitivity, over the counter toothpaste and rinses are just too irritating. Many will be happy that a coconut oil alternative is being researched.
Coconut oil has been all the craze lately and for a good reason; it is amazing. It has high antibacterial properties that hold significant benefits to the mouth. In a recent study from the Athlone Institute of Technology on different oils and their benefits toward mouth health, coconut oil was shown to be the best. This oil is an excellent antibacterial agent, as its digestive enzymes prevent bacteria growth in the mouth. This includes bacteria with the S Mutation.
Streptococcus and S Mutans are acid-producing bacteria which are the main culprits for the decomposition of teeth in adults and children. They get energy from sugar and cause an acidic environment in the mouth, which demineralizes the tooth structure, and the tooth gets spoilt.
Dr. Damien Brady, the lead researcher from Athlone Institute of Technology, stated, “Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
Another common practice with coconut oil is oil pulling. You simply swish one tablespoon coconut oil in the mouth for 5-20 minutes on an empty stomach. Once finished, spit out the coconut oil. It is believed to help remove toxins and bacteria. This practice also improves dental health.
On the other hand, we will suggest a natural toothpaste recipe which contains coconut oil:
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2-3 tablespoons baking soda
- 15-30 drops of lemon, thieves, or peppermint essential oil
Mix all the ingredients, and use the paste like any other.
Afterward, spit the oil, which will absorb the bacteria from the mouth, and leave the teeth clean, healthy, and white.
There’s still much research to be done on the subject, but according to most specialists, this technique is in no way harmful to your oral health, and the benefits are proven to be effective. Have you tried it? Let us know the results in the comments.
Coconut Oil Pulling
The use of coconut oil has gained popularity in improving your dental health, specifically a method called oil pulling. Oil pulling is not some new wave health practice. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic medicinal practice that dates back over 3,000 years. It’s a process where you swish a small amount of coconut oil around in your mouth to kill unfriendly bacteria, keeping your whole mouth clean and fresh.
The term ‘oil pulling’ refers to the way you work the oil in your mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it through your teeth to get into every nook and cranny where bacteria like to hide. The theory behind the practice is that the fat molecules in the oil attract and bond with the fatty membrane that surrounds each microorganism cell. Once you spit out the oil after it has done its job, the collected bacteria goes out with it.
As mentioned above, oil pulling is an ancient practice traditional of Ayurvedic medicine, a system of medicine with roots in the Indian subcontinent. We know it dates back well over 3,000 years because it is referenced in the Charaka Samhita, a Sanskrit text written on traditional Indian medicine, where the practice is referred to as Kavala Gandusha or Kavala Graha.
The text claims that oil pulling can cure about 30 systemic diseases including chronic headaches, migraines, diabetes and several skin conditions. While this ancient practice is relatively simple and straightforward, there are many misconceptions about how it’s done.
How To “Oil Pull”
First, the oil you use: several types of oils have been used for oil pulling including sesame oil and sunflower oil, but the most recommended type is coconut oil for a few reasons. Half of the fat in coconut oil is composed of lauric acid, which has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and inhibits the growth of the primary bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay. It is recommended that you oil pull on an empty stomach, which makes first thing in the morning an ideal time to do it.
To pull, put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and slowly start to swish, swirl and ‘pull’ it around your mouth and through your teeth. Set a timer and continue to do this for 20 minutes before spitting it into a trash bin and thoroughly rinsing out your mouth. As the oil gets swished around it becomes cloudy and white and becomes a thinner consistency as it mixes with saliva. Make sure you do not swallow the oil as it will contain all the toxins and bacteria you’ve gotten rid of.
Are there any benefits to oil pulling?
There are many supposed benefits of oil pulling, as we mentioned previously, the ancient Ayurvedic medicinal text lists over 30 illness and diseases that can be treated with this technique, but it’s important to note that none of these benefits have been scientifically proven as research is still in development. Still, there are many first-hand reports of success from people who’ve taken up this practice.
One of the cosmetic benefits of oil pulling is that it claims to whiten teeth, this is because the oil’s antiviral and antibacterial properties remove stain-causing bacteria making your teeth look pearly white over time. It’s also said that oil pulling can increase energy levels by reducing the workload of the immune system, thanks to the removal of bacteria in the mouth. Oil pulling also claims to have a detoxifying effect on the body, by removing bacteria in the mouth, inflammation is reduced which reduces the occurrence of disease and illness.
Other beneficial claims of this practice, oil pulling is said to reduce chronic headaches and migraines. This is supposed to eliminate harmful bacteria, reducing the toxic stress load on the body, and helps lessen the occurrence of headaches and migraines.
The benefits of the oil pulling practice are even said to extend to the skin, as conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and other skin issues can be managed and even drastically reduced. One definite benefit of oil pulling is that it does help promote better oral hygiene as it does reduce the bacteria levels present in the mouth. This can reduce tooth decay, freshen breath and help cure gingivitis caused by plaque build up.
As with most alternative health practices, there is a fair amount of controversy that surrounds the process and claims of oil pulling. Part of the skepticism is that none of the health benefits that are thrown around by advocates are backed by scientific evidence. Some dentists are in favor of the practice, but others say they see no significant changes in the oral health of patients who practice this technique.
There can also be some negative side effects if the technique is not practiced correctly including dry mouth, muscular stiffness, excessive thirst and loss of sensation or taste in the mouth. It’s incredibly important to ensure you don’t swallow any of the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly after oil pulling to ensure you don’t ingest the toxic bacteria that has been collected. You should also avoid spitting the used oil down the drain because it can build up and eventually block your pipes.
As with most alternative health practices, there is a fair amount of controversy that surrounds the process and claims of oil pulling. Part of the skepticism is that scientific evidence backs none of the health benefits that are thrown around by it’s advocates. Some dentists are in favor of the practice, but others say they see no significant changes in the oral health of patients who practice this technique.
There can also be some negative side effects if the method is not practiced correctly including dry mouth, muscular stiffness, excessive thirst and loss of sensation or taste in the mouth. It’s incredibly important to ensure you don’t swallow any of the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly after oil pulling to ensure you don’t ingest the toxic bacteria that has been collected. You should also avoid spitting the used oil down the drain because it can build up and eventually block your pipes.
Ultimately the decision to give oil pulling a try is entirely up to you. There is little harm in giving it a try, but there are a few things to keep in mind: primarily, the fact that oil pulling takes time and dedication. It can take months of routine daily swishing before you begin to see or feel any improvements, and of course, there could be no improvements seen at all.
It can be difficult for some people to keep swishing and to pull the oil for the recommended 20 minutes, but if jaw fatigue occurs, you probably need to slow down. The other issue can be volume, as the oil collects saliva, it starts to increase in size. So if this happens to you, try reducing the amount of oil that you start with until you feel comfortable.
Let us know if you´ve tried this method. Have you seen any results? Tell us in the comment section.