Is there any real evidence that supports the benefit of oil pulling?
There has been a bit of buzz amongst my patients regarding oil pulling. Oil pulling is the use of natural oils such as coconut oil, or sesame oil as a mouth wash. I get asked several times a month about the benefits of it and never had an answer for it until now.
Looking all over the internet, I found that oil pulling goes back many years to the ancient Hindu culture. As I do with any new dental procedures or materials, I try to find and read research articles and decide for myself the validity of the research materials. As an example, I do not listen to every dental representative.
According to each representative, their product is the best product and are much better than their competitors products. We take courses put on by our dental societies to find that they are sponsored by big dental material distributors. It is not easy to decipher through mounds and mounds of information to determine the better materials. What I have learned is to look at reputable research materials. As an example, research presented by dental material representative carries vary little weight. On the other hand research done by universities with thousands and thousands of test subjects spanning decades of data carries more weight. Having said all that, I find very little research to actually substantiate the claims of oil pulling. Many articles speak of the benefits, yet do not tell you how that the oil pulling actually provides the claimed benefits nor do they provide any evidence of any research done what so ever.
Oil pulling seems to be only a fad since there is very little evidence to support its benefits. There is very little harm and cost associated with oil pulling. If you want to use this technique, use it as an addition to current flossing and brushing recommendations and not as a replacement. I like to hear how you feel about this.