Posted in Dental Product Trends

Coconut Oil – I tried it and here’s what I found

Update For At–Home Applications 

Author: Dr Rita Trakhtman, cosmetic dentist, East St Kilda

“Oil pulling” is the procedure of swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes. This action is supposedly to draw out toxins in your mouth. Oil pulling, also known as  “kavala” or “gundusha”, isn’t new at all; it has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3000 years.  Nowadays, it’s been revamped and marketed as a treatment to benefit the health of your gums and whiten your teeth. I often get asked by my patients if brushing your teeth with coconut oil works. Unfortunately there are no high quality, peer-reviewed data on this form of treatment. So to answer this question, I thought I would conduct a little experiment on myself to see if this treatment works.

My first experiment: 

I added oil pulling to my morning routine. I first brushed my teeth and then applied coconut oil to my teeth and gums and left it for 20 minutes. I did this for 7 days. My results were as follows:

  • The whiteness of my teeth remained the same
  • The healthiness of my gums remained the same

Results: Coconut oil did not add value to the health of my gums or the whiteness of my teeth.

My second experiment:


I swapped my regular oral hygiene routine for oil pulling for 2 days. I brushed my teeth with coconut oil and left the oil in my mouth for 20minutes. Here’s where it got interesting.

My results were as follows:

  • My teeth were covered in plaque
  • My gums were sore and a bit of inflammation started to creep up

Results: Coconut oil didn’t have an effect at plaque removal and did not prevent gum disease from occurring.

Conclusion: At the very least, we know cleaning our mouths with coconut oil can’t hurt us, as long as keep up with your home oral care. Oil-pulling should not replace regular oral hygiene practices and routine dental visits . Oil pulling alone does not prevent tooth decay or gum disease.


Upcoming dental product reviews:

  • Charcoal toothpaste
  • Bicarbonate soda
  • Whitening toothpaste – Colgate Optic White, Oral-B 3D White Range


Author: Dr Rita Trakhtman, cosmetic dentist, East St Kilda



An online healthy lifestyle blog from a dental point of view - Advice on how to live a healthy lifeSMILE :)

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