Simply put, homeopathic solutions are an alternative form of treatment, whether they are administered in medical or dental settings. These solutions are also highly controversial forms of treatment, and for this reason, the benefits and effectiveness of such treatments – regardless of where they are practiced – are widely debated. One area where homeopathic treatment and remedies are starting to emerge is in the dental field.
Homeopathic dentistry is also commonly referred to as “holistic dentistry” or “biological dentistry”. That’s because this type of dentistry takes into account a person’s physical and emotional health, and uses natural therapies to treat any conditions. While holistic dentists all vary, there are a few examples of homeopathic dental at-home remedies that many people swear by. One of them is known as “oil pulling”.
Oil pulling 101
This homeopathic remedy is supposed to serve as a teeth-whitening, plaque-killing, body-improving method. Simply put, oil pulling involves putting a tablespoon of coconut oil inside your mouth and swishing it around for 15-20 minutes. The oil is supposed to capture bacteria in your mouth by pulling it into the oil and dissolving it. Following the expiration of the 15-20 minutes, you just spit out the teaspoon of oil and brush your teeth. Sesame oil is another type of oil that is often used in this process.
According to certain reports, oil pulling is supposed to help whiten teeth, reduce bad breath, reduce plaque and tartar buildup and detox the body to help cure cavities, migraines and more.
So what’s the real verdict on oil pulling? Studies indicate that while it mildly may improve the likes of gums and oral health, there’s no evidence that it helps cure cavities or reduce tooth decay. Additionally, oil pulling cannot claim to prevent disease and the benefits other parts of the body outside of the mouth are limited. In fact, research indicates that pulling oil is about as effective as “pulling” water or anti-bacterial mouthwash. What’s more is that oil pulling can also present several negative side effects, such as dry mouth, thirst, exhaustion or even loss of sensation in the mouth. For these reasons and the overall lack of research and evidence involving this practice, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling. Instead, the ADA simply recommends that you stick to a regime of brushing at least twice per day, flossing at least once per day and rinsing with mouthwash.
So while the homeopathic remedy of oil pulling may be popular right now, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. And the facts are that it won’t reverse tooth decay, prevent disease and it absolutely should not replace conventional oral care techniques such as brushing and flossing, not to mention seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning at least once every six months. What’s more is that dentists do not recommend it. The verdict is still out whether there’s any benefit at all to doing it, but even if there is, it’s not any greater benefit than you’re likely to experience by rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
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For more information on dental recommendations for the best possible oral health, contact Caven Dental today.