Break out the coconut oil! A trend has gone viral: oil pulling. So, what is oil pulling? It's taking about a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil (or sesame oil) and swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes, before spitting it out. The idea is that the oil is attracting bacteria and body toxins, leaving your teeth whiter, your gum and jaws healthier and less sensitive, and your overall health improved.
One blogger remarked, "I have been sleeping much easier which is a big feat for this insomniac, my teeth have been much less sensitive to hot & cold, & the best result of all- MY JAW PAIN HAS DECREASED TREMENDOUSLY!!! I have major jaw issues & awful TMJ. Last week it started to get bad, lock jaw, spasms, shooting pains– I oil pulled and it all went away. That is enough for me to do this for life."
Dr. Jessica Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft Chicago, says there's nothing wrong with the practice: "From a dentist's perspective, tooth decay is caused by bacteria and studies suggest that coconut oil treated with enzymes (which is like the process that occurs when you have oil in your mouth), the enzymes in your saliva break down. It seems to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. I have not tried oil pulling personally but think I may jump on the bandwagon to see for myself. No solid proof that it works but it certainly makes people feel better. Your cheeks may get tired but I say 'swish away'."
Just remember: if you do try it, remember to AVOID swallowing the oil (you have to get the bad stuff out, not keep it in!) and don't spit in the sink (it can clog your pipes). Instead, spit into your trashcan or a bag that you throw away.
Will you be trying this new trend?