Study Proves Effective Against Plaque-Induced Gingivitis
An interesting holistic option for keeping your teeth healthy is known as Oil Pulling. This ancient means of cleaning teeth has its origin in India and dates back at least 2,500 years. A recent study compared the effect of oil pulling on plaque-induced gingivitis to using a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine (common in most mouthwashes). They concluded:
“There was a statistically significant reduction of the pre- and post-values of the plaque and modified gingival index scores in both the study and control groups (P < 0.001 in both). There was a considerable reduction in the total colony count of aerobic microorganisms present in both the groups.
The oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.”
And in another study, oil pulling was shown to be equally as effective against halitosis (bad breath) than mouthwash!
So what is oil pulling?
Generally organic sesame oil is used; however coconut oil is also commonly used (I personally prefer coconut oil).
First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, swish 1 tablespoon of either oil in your mouth without swallowing it. You don’t have to swish hard, just move the oil around your teeth, and also try to squeeze the oil in-between your teeth. Over time, the plague that is stuck under your gums loosens and will be released allowing the gum to heal. Ideally, this should be done for 20 minutes, but I have found that 8-10 minutes works as well. When done swishing and squeezing, simply spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with sea salt.
Interestingly, many people report health benefits beyond healthier gums and teeth including:
- Reduction of headaches (including migraines)
- Reduction of sinus congestion
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Less allergies
I believe this natural option is certainly worth the consideration. Especially since studies are proving that they are just as effective, or more effective than the chemical counterpart. Hopefully, in the near future, more U.S. dentists will advocate for natural means of dental health. After all, even the World Health Organization has recommended the effective alternative to the toothbrush, the Miswak, in international consensus reports on oral hygiene!
But oral hygiene is only part of the equation. There are other reasons for inflamed gums, namely a chronically poor diet full of processed foods. Luckily you don’t have to wait for the future to make better choices today! By choosing more fresh foods (ideally organic), you can significantly reduce the inflammation in your body and improve the health of your gums.
There are cultures today that have impressively healthy teeth and gums, never visit a dentist, and hardly ever brush their teeth! How can this be? They are able to maintain a state of overall good health, including oral health, due to the quality of the food they consume and the lack of toxic chemicals in the environment. Unfortunately, once these cultures are introduced to “modern society”, and all that it entails, a significant decrease in teeth and gum health soon follows. Weston A. Price, DDS wrote an intriguing book regarding this phenomenon entitled, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You can read this ground-breaking book online for free HERE.