Does oil pulling help sensitive teeth?
There is some anecdotal evidence that oil pulling does help reduce sensitivity in teeth, but results vary. However, some people have reported that it actually increases sensitivity in teeth. There could be various reasons for this:
- Not everyone is using the same oil - some people may be using sesame seed oil and some may be using coconut oil, which is less acidic
- Not all coconut oils are the same - even within coconut oils, there is a wide variance from manufacturers on how coconut oil is produced
- Dental conditions may vary - depending on the condition of their teeth and gums, oil pulling may not even be recommended - consult your dentist first
While some report that oil pulling helps them with their sensitive teeth, the reasons for this can vary. Some people report a 'tightening' of the gums around tooth and so if the reason for tooth sensitivity is recessed gums, there may be some relief from oil pulling.
If you have sensitive teeth, some people have reported relief from ozone therapy or from a typical 'sensitive toothpaste' used to diminish teeth sensitivity that contains anti-tooth-sensitivity agents as potassium chloride, potassium nitrate and potassium citrate.
How does oil pulling work?
Microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell, which are covered with a lipid (fatty) membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with the fat in oil they naturally adhere to each other. The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. After roughly 20 minutes the person spits out the oil and rinses thoroughly with water to rid the mouth of those microbes.
What is the best oil to use?
People have used different types of oil such as sesame and sunflower oil, but these oils are acidic and pro-inflammatory. Coconut oil is preferred because it's less acidic (some brands are actually alkaline), which won't damage your tooth enamel. Also, coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid, which is known to help fight microbes in the mouth.