Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oil pulling testimonial

I've written before about oil pulling, an ayurvedic practice that involves swishing a mouthful of oil around in the mouth for 10-20 minutes first thing in the a.m. One web-site proclaims that "regular application of this treatment by reversing [this natural bodily intrusive element evinced by the microflora] so that wellness is the dominant state of the human body is likely to increase the average human lifespan to approximately 150 years, double the present life expectancy."

Well I don't know about that, I don't even get what this authority is talking about. A small study from India(1) concluded, however, that oil-pulling daily for 10 minutes caused a significant decrease in oral Streptococcus mutans (the bacteria that promotes tooth decay) within 1 week of starting the practice.

I recently visited my dental hygienist for a check-up and cleaning. I have practiced daily oil pulling with sesame oil for 5 of the 7 months since my last visit with her. The conclusion? Less stain despite daily coffee, no difference in plaque, very healthy gums, and--best-of-all for me--no sensitivity in the lower teeth to her merciless probing. She was so impressed by the sparkle of my front teeth (so shiny, per her, "they look like glass") that she plans to recommend the practice to others.
1. Asokan, S et al. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry 2008. Vol 26, Issue 1, pgs 12-17.


kenju said...

This is extremely interesting and apropos in my household - we need it badly! Is sesame oil the proper choice or does it matter?

femail doc said...

The 'authorities' on this suggest sesame or sunflower oil, cold-pressed. Don't get toasted sesame, it's gross. My friend just gave me a bottle of avocado oil to try; she swears by it. No taste at all with that. Start brief, it takes some getting used to.

kenju said...

I'll start searching for the oils after our decorating season is over. Thanks!

Jenna B said...

Yep, my pearlies are ... pearlier! I MUCH prefer plain (untoasted) sesame oil. I notice a positive difference, and I'm looking forward to dentist's reaction later this month. So far, quite good!