Health with Dr. Paula: Oil pulling

Health with Dr. Paula: Oil pulling

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – There's a health fad that's gaining popularity called oil pulling.

If you're not sure about what it is, Dr. Paula Walker King from Columbus State University stopped by the morning show to explain what exactly oil pulling is.

Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth to remove toxins and reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

While oil pulling isn't a new trend, although it is gaining increasing popularity.

The oil pulling has been used for thousands of years as an Indian (Ayurvedic) folk remedy.

In order to "oil pull," you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes. The main benefit of doing this is that it reduces the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Sesame oil and coconut oil are the two most common oils used.

There may be negative side effects if improper technique is used including:

  • dry mouth
  • excessive thirst
  • facial muscle stiffness
  • loss of sensation or taste in the mouth.

Remember: oral health is connected to overall health. Poor oral hygiene is connected with:

  • Cardiovascular issues e.g. heart attack/stroke
  • Elevated blood sugar in diabetics
  • Lower birth-weight babies in pregnant women
  • Sinus problems, e.g. sinus infection
  • Ear infections

The American Dental Association cautions that because of a lack of evidence, they do not recommend oil pulling as a replacement for standard oral health care such as flossing and teeth brushing.

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