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Oil pulling breaking new ground: But can you swish oil for 20 minutes?

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Oil pulling, a practice used in traditional Indian culture for oral health, may have some benefits according to some modern practitioners today. Not only is this oil pulling beneficial to your gums, teeth and breath, it has been used for other medicinal purposes such as arthritis and a hangover.

CBS News reports on March 12 that oil pulling is nothing more than swishing oil, such as sesame or sunflower oil, around in your mouth as you would mouthwash. It coats your mouth and staves of teeth decay, gum disease and whitens teeth. It even promotes better smelling breath.

Oil pulling is thought to eliminate toxins from your body. Ayurveda, an alternative medicine practice, claims that oil pulling rids 30 different diseases from your body by pulling the toxins out of your mouth. Then you just spit out the oil and the toxins go with it.

Oils are alkaline based and this neutralizes the pH in your mouth. This drops the acid levels and the result is less cavities because this practice reduces the bad bacteria in your mouth.

The science behind the oil pulling makes sense, claims Dr. John C. Comisi, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry who practices in Ithaca, N.Y., but 20 minutes is a long time to swish oil around in your mouth.

For oil pulling to be beneficial, you need to swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes, which is a long time to have a mouth full of oil when you think about it. When you spit it out, you are to rinse your mouth thoroughly.

Folks find it hard to brush their teeth for two minutes, so the oil-pulling, which takes 10 times longer may be something they wouldn’t follow through with because it is time consuming.

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