Why Oil pulling shouldn’t replace your dentist
If you search “oil pulling” on Google over 7 million results come up, with an alarming number of these results claiming they don’t need to see their dentist anymore.
A number of these results even claim oil pulling “healed” their cavities. The downside to this is that oil pulling isn’t usually taken up until after the individual starts to notice discomfort, and results (if any) could take months to notice, leaving your mouth and teeth wide open to infection.
What is oil pulling?
In case you haven’t stumbled across this latest internet-phenomenon, oil pulling is where you swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for around 20 minutes; if you use coconut, sesame, sunflower or olive is apparently up to you. Oil pulling is claimed to draw toxins out of your body, improve oral health, and (apparently) heals cavities if the Google searches are anything to go by. It is said, that because of its molecular structure the oil draws bacteria into it. It’s also important to note that you should be spitting it into the bin; or else the build-up will clog your drains!
Why should my cavity be filled ASAP?
Apart from the obvious; cavities hurt! A cavity is a permanent damage to the surface of your tooth, leaving the gate wide open for further tooth decay, gum disease, infection, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss. If left unattended, an infected tooth can also lead to blood poisoning, which leads to its own set of very serious health issues. Bacteria left to spread from the exposed pulp to the surrounding tissues can lead to inflammation and even the formation of an abscess. The idea of an abscess bursting in your mouth is probably enough to influence most people to get their teeth checked.
The claims that oil pulling works have no scientific evidence to back them up, and claims state results aren’t seen for a matter of months (if at all). Where fillings or a crown take a matter of minutes, will eliminate any dead or infected pulp, and you will be relatively pain-free almost straight away.
But I’m scared of drills
It makes sense that the majority of people promoting this form of “Self-help” have had a bad experience in the dental chair or experience anxiety at the mention of a dental drill. At Honeysuckle Dental we use “Er: Yag”, a modern needle-free and drill-free laser treatment that can help with teeth whitening, fillings and root canals, soft and hard tissue surgeries as well as gum treatment.
While it makes sense that the oil may be useful for assisting with the removal of bacteria in hard to reach places, it makes more sense that the real reason “it works” is because it’s being used as a preventative measure. There are numerous health issues that go hand-in-hand with tooth decay, and with our drill-free, needle-free technology, is there really a reason you’re waiting for your symptoms to get worse (or even allowing them the time to?)