Although you may not see a direct connection, but your dental health is important for your overall health. In other words, keeping your teeth clean and healthy means much more than having a beautiful smile.
Now, while you probably brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and have regular checks at the dentist’s, this isn’t always enough. Even if you have your teeth scaled and polished, treated with fluoride and x-rayed, these dental procedures are not always the best options. Why?
The Dangers of Conventional Dentistry
To start with, X-rays have been proven to damage tissues at the basic DNA level. Although dentists reassure it’s a safe procedure, there’s mounting evidence that frequent x-rays are far from beneficial.
The second health threat is fluoride. Again, dentist and hygienists claim it’s safe, but a number of studies reveal it’s a neurotoxin. What’s worse is that it has never been proven that it really prevents the appearance of cavities.
On the other hand, we are so afraid that if we don’t go through such procedures, we’ll end up with a root canal or other traumatic dental interventions.
The Better Way to Clean your Teeth
Although most of you probably haven’t heard of “gundusha” or “kavala”, an old Ayurvedic method for cleaning the mouth called, you are likely familiar with “oil pulling” – the English term for the same method.
What you do in this treatment is take a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes once a day. The effects of this mouth- and teeth-cleaning method are amazing. The oil removes the harmful bacteria accountable for plaque and gum disease.
It’s also important not to swallow the oil, but spit it out after you’ve done swishing. In the end, wash your mouth and brush your teeth.
You may find it difficult at first to keep the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes and this is OK. That’s why we recommend starting with a 10-minute treatment and gradually increase your time. During the treatment, your saliva breaks down the oil making it less viscid and foamier.
Oil pulling is not just an old technique for mouth cleaning. The efficacy of this treatment has also been proven by science.
According to one study, “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.” These results can be achieved in only 10 days.
A separate study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2014 examined the effects of (sesame) oil pulling as opposed to chlorhexidine mouthwash on bad breath.
The study found:
“Oil pulling with sesame oil is equally efficacious as chlorhexidine in reducing oral malodor and microbes causing it. It should be promoted as a preventive home care therapy.”
But, coconut oil may be even more beneficial. This is what scientists have found about this oil:
“The oil film thus formed on the surface of the teeth and the gingiva can reduce plaque adhesion and bacterial co aggregation…The significant reduction in gingivitis can be attributed to decreased plaque accumulation and the anti-inflammatory, emollient effect of coconut oil.”
It’s All in the Motion
It’s important to have in mind that keeping the oil in your mouth is not enough for the treatment to be effective. It’s the swishing that helps remove harmful bacteria from the surface of the teeth as well as from the surrounding tissues. The combination of the powerful antiseptic properties of coconut/sesame oil with the method of swishing is what gives the desired effects.
A final note, this method may be extremely beneficial for keeping your mouth and teeth free of bacteria, but it should never replace flossing and brushing. That’s why you should only use it as an additional mouth-cleaning treatment along regular brushing/flossing.