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The Power of Two

Slippery Oral Hygiene

Published July 3, 2014 10:06 AM by Eleanor Wolfram

Even toddlers re taught early about the benefits of using a mouthwash to reduce the onset of cavities

There are countless name brand and generic washes available that advertises to do just that. But recently a friend mentioned that rather than purchasing washes, they are embracing the environment-friendly approach of alternative the chemical washes with oils. It seems that you can literally swish your mouth out with oils, such as coconut, clove oil, sesame, or sunflower oil to and combat cavities and gum disease.

My friend went on to say that many store bought washes contain ingredients such as, but not limited to ethyl alcohol, methylparaben, hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine gluconate, coloring, perfumes, and preservatives. Since many of these chemical names are tongue twisters, her comment about having an au natural dental approach sent my curiosity soaring on how would this work?

I began my investigation of reading articles expressing the opinions of lay persons, health experts and dentists. Proponents of the oil gargling method claim that natural oils can actually prevent decay, aid in helping gum bleeds, and reduce plaque buildup. The ancient practice of Ayuvedic Medicine, which is known for herbal approach, supports the “oil pulling” (as it is called since “pull” out harmful toxins from mouth). Many practicing the method for hundreds of years expresses that the process works in making the mouth healthier.

Researchers express that studies show an oil wash can reduce strep bacteria. In fact during the Society for General Microbiology’s 2012 conference, the Athlone Institute of Technology of Ireland reported Streptococcus strains found in the mouth can be reduced with the use of coconut oil.

The biochemical sense which supports the method as we eat foods, our mouths creates an acidic environment. The acid lowers pH level giving rise to unhealthy bacteria which then leads to cavities. Since natural oils are alkaline based, swishing the mouth with oil neutralizes the pH and reduces the acid levels, thereby reducing the risk of cavities. So when the oil used as an alternative to store bought chemical washes; and the oil is swished and gargled with; and finally spit out followed with a clean water rinse, the toxins are expelled from the mouth.

All I have to say is based on published oil gargle research studies; it appears that my friend is not on a slippery slope.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram

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