Oil pulling is an alternative health practice used by people who claim the mixture possesses magical properties. They say the oil resolves a number of ailments and even transforms their dental health.


Users ingest an oil mixture of coconut, sesame, olive, and sunflower and swish the concoction in their mouth. The ancient technique originated from India. According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, users believe oil pulling draws out toxins from the mouth. They claim it kills off harmful bacteria and improves critical elements of dental health:

  1. Oral cavities
  2. Plaque
  3. Infections
  4. Bleeding gums
  5. Cracked lips
  6. Strengthen gums and roots


One study tested a group of boys with plaque and gingivitis. The group was divided in half. Researchers found that the group of oil pulling had positive results. They showed reduction of plaque and slight improvement in a gingivitis test.

In another study, a group of 60 boys and girls were tested with coconut oil. There was a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis. Coconut oil has a component called lauric acid, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.


The American Dental Association is wary of these small trials. It says there are no reliable scientific studies to show oil pulling accurately improves dental health.

“Based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. The ADA continues to recommend that to maintain good dental health you brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.”

The ADA added that brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste,  flossing your teeth, and avoiding tobacco is the best proven way for you to maintain good dental health. Dr. Jason Kboudi, who leads the team at Advanced Smile Care,  stresses that oil pulling should never replace visits to your dentist.

“Our staff is well-trained to help our patients take advantage of dental hygiene practices which are scientifically proven to work. Visits to your dentists, at least twice a year, are a big key to the health of your teeth,” said Dr. Kboudi.


Advanced Smile Care offers a full range of dental services. We have performed sedation dentistry over the last 35-years in San Antonio on thousands of patients who are anxious about dental treatment.  Our team is specially trained to make your sedation experience as comfortable and as safe as possible. Call us at 210-366-3606 to book your appointment.

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