Swishing oil around your mouth for 20 minutes each day is considered to have a variety of general and oral health benefits, helping people manage different conditions and their symptoms. For example, if you suffer from dry mouth syndrome, you may find that you can manage your oral dryness more effectively if you oil pull.
If you have a minor case of dry mouth syndrome, your mouth may simply be uncomfortably dry; in more severe cases, your mouth may be so dry that you find it hard to eat and talk, and your lack of saliva may also lead to oral problems caused by excess bacteria that can't be managed by a regular saliva flow. In either case, oil pulling may give you some relief.
How Oil Pulling Affects Oral Dryness
When you don't produce enough saliva, your mouth will dry out quite quickly. You may be constantly aware that your mouth is dry, and your mouth may burn, sting or hurt. A lack of fluids in your mouth may also make your lips dry and chapped.
Oil pulling has a moisturising effect that may help with these problems. When you swish with an oil, the oil rolls around your soft tissues and wets them. This may go some way to replacing some of the moisture you've lost and may simply help make your mouth feel more comfortable when you talk and eat.
How Oil Pulling Affects Dry Mouth Symptoms
A lack of saliva doesn't just make your mouth feel dry but may lead to other problems. Your saliva has an important job in your mouth; it helps wash your mouth clean and deal with harmful bacteria. If you aren't producing enough saliva, your bacterial load may be higher, and your mouth may be less able to combat problems.
For example, dry mouth syndrome may give you a higher chance of developing tooth and gum disease. Normally, your saliva deals with the bacteria around your teeth and gums; however, if you don't have enough saliva to remove or neutralise oral bacteria, you may end up with decay or infections. A lack of saliva may also give you bad breath and an increased likelihood of developing oral infections such as ulcers and thrush.
Oil pulling may help deal with these issues and prevent them from causing problems, especially if you pull with an oil that has antibacterial and antifungal properties such as coconut oil. Any oil can tackle oral bacteria when you oil pull by making some of the bacteria stick to the oil so you can remove the toxins when you spit out the pull. Oils like coconut oil, which contains lauric acid, go a step further and reduce bacterial growth in your mouth.
Removing bacteria and toxins from your mouth may also make your breath smell better. Plus, the antifungal properties of an oil may help your mouth combat fungal infections such as thrush and some ulcers.
While oil pulling may help restore your oral balance and deal with some of the problems of dry mouth syndrome, it may not be a complete solution in itself. If you have an extremely dry mouth, it's still important to see your dentist to discuss the problem and any issues that may arise. In some cases, your dentist may be able to identify reasons why your mouth is so dry or may recommend that you see your doctor for treatment to deal with the problem.