Some swish daily with cooking oil
By Dominic Binkley FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
FRED SQUILLANTE DISPATCH Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice of swishing edible oil every day and then spitting it out.
Emily Knife wanted an alternative to antibiotics when a tooth she had pulled led to an infection in her tooth socket last year. She tried oil pulling.
“I oil pulled for three days, twice a day, and it pulled the infection right out,” said Knife, a holistic nurse with Great Nursing Care in Reynoldsburg.
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice of swishing a tablespoon of edible oil such as coconut, sesame or sunflower in your mouth every day for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.
A few of the many health benefits ascribed to it include whiter teeth and protection against bad breath, tooth decay and gingivitis. Some advocates also claim it boosts overall health and well-being by improving blood pressure and reducing rates of diabetes and heart disease.
However, research has shown only that oil pulling might help with some oral hygiene such as inhibiting plaque formation, said Dr. Lyla Blake-Gumbs, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine.
“A couple of small studies show that there were some reduced numbers of caries (tooth decay) in people that did oil pulling regularly,” Blake-Gumbs said. “Most of the other benefits of oil pulling really haven’t panned out.”
The lipids in the oil trap bacteria and other organisms in the mouth and reduce their ability to multiply, Blake-Gumbs said. Spitting out the oil removes them before they enter the rest of the body. But without data on the oral and blood bacterial counts of people who oil pull regularly, it’s hard to tell whether this reduction is clinically significant, she said.
Still, she said she might recommend oil pulling in cases such as Knife’s, when an infection in the mouth is just starting to brew or if someone is prone to tooth decay. “The downside is very low risk, and you may have some potential benefits there,” she said. The only side effects are upset stomach and diarrhea from accidentally swallowing the oil, she said.
Dr. Angelo Mariotti, a dentist and professor at Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, said oil pulling shouldn’t replace traditional brushing and flossing, because of the lack of scientific evidence. “I wish this were something that had some substantive information behind it that shows it works, but at this point, it’s not much more than a folk remedy,” Mariotti said. (yep, a folk remedy that has been done for generations, on thousands! Jan)
The American Dental Association feels the same way. It says existing studies are unreliable and have not provided the necessary evidence to prove that oil pulling works. The ADA also says that mouthwashes that carry its seal of acceptance have been found in studies to reduce plaque and gingivitis if swished in the mouth for 30 seconds twice a day. (Proved unreliable? . .so what has dentistry done that’s so great; we still get carries, infections and this professional process can’t seem to help us prevent all these problems? Simple baking soda to brush and warmish-hot sea-salt water to irrigate produces a truly healthy, alkaline, chemical-free mouth. A fresh, clean mouth is our first line of defense in maintaining superior immunity along with our gut. Jan)
But Knife said oil pulling shouldn’t be ruled out just because of a lack of scientific data.
“Unfortunately, I think our culture is based more on facts from studies and medicinal usage rather than what the Earth has given us to utilize in our care,” she said. “I don’t buy into any of that. I just go off of what I’ve learned from it myself.”
Knife, who usually oil pulls with coconut oil for about 15 minutes every few days, said oil pulling has also worked for her as a remedy for colds and hangovers, and she has noticed that her teeth are whiter, too. She recommends it to her patients and neighbors. “People think I’m crazy when I talk about it,” Knife said, “but I know what I know from self experience and from other people experiencing great results, too.”
(More from Jan:
I am grateful to have found this recently in the paper. . .pretty gutsy for a nurse to speak out like this – – Brava Emily!
Think I’ve posted on oil pulling before a time or two. I do it myself — not as often as I should, but do enjoy it and see a healthy difference. . .I highly endorse this. I know for sure that I frequently put up refreshing articles on brave Dentists who found a better way of serving people in their dental needs. Tho they are not all the same, still, generally they seem to preach a similar routine. And they have been deeply harassed and sometimes even stripped of their license because of the standards they endorse. After all, they seem to be criticizing one of the major “Sacred Cows” of the establishment.
Allow me to do the stream-of-consciousness thing now on excerpts of stuff I’m remembering from some of them: Eliminate sugary stuff, eat wholesome fresh foods. Try to include beef broth from pastured cattle. (Make it yourself from bones from the butcher; use in soups, stew or what have you- – special nutrient there won’t get in many other ways) Don’t brush after meals as teeth are more vulnerable then; can floss or irrigate with salt water using something like a Water Pic, etc. Brushing after a meal tends to destroy the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride is toxic and should not be used orally at all. Many indigenous people the world over, many of which never brushed were not bothered by carries. Their diet was simple but healthy for their area.
A few of those dentists whom I’ve posted here have gone on to explain thoroughly the structure, care and needs of teeth. It has helped me a lot. Tho I’ve spoken of this before, I’ll just mention that I haven’t been to a dentist for quite a while. When I finally did go, this man said he could fix my mouth up as good as new for around $28,000. Shock nearly did me in. . didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. What old lady living on social security could react otherwise? Good healthy, strong, near-perfect teeth run in my family. Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t have done it! He had tried to remove a molar for me and couldn’t do it. . .claimed I was too sensitive and tense. . .that’s why I was feeling the pain. Well, I’ve still got that tooth’s root living in my mouth; but I have learned rather a bit more than I used to know about teeth , so I’m doing fine, thank you. I’ve shared almost everything I know or have learned with posts on “smokinchoices”. Picked up a little from John at Learning Herbs — got me started. Carefully studied the contents of the spectacular products the lady at Living Libations sells thru David Wolfe at Longevity Warehouse (which is all organic and rather costly). . .she is amazing and I introduced some of what I got there in my own formula that I make for myself.
Well, I do go on, don’t I? Whadaya gonna do. . . I’m a sharer. . . Jan)