Rinsing your mouth and mouth washing with oil is an ancient practice that involves shaking the oil in your mouth to eliminate bacteria and promote oral hygiene. It is often associated with Auyrveda, a traditional system of medicine in India. Studies suggest that shaking the oil in the mouth can kill bacteria and improve dental health. Some alternative medicine professionals also claim that it can help treat various diseases. Although it is not entirely clear how oil extraction works, it is claimed that it “extracts” bacteria from the mouth. It can also help gum hydration and increased saliva production, which can reduce bacteria. Some types of oil also contain properties that can naturally reduce inflammation and bacteria to promote oral health.
However, research on mouthwashing with oil is limited, and there is much debate about how beneficial it really is. This article examines some of the science-backed benefits of rinsing your mouth with oil and then explains how to do it to maximize the benefits.
1. It can Kill Harmful Bacteria in Your Mouth:
There are approximately 700 types of bacteria that can live in the mouth, and up to 350 of them can be found at any given time in the mouth. Certain types of harmful bacteria can contribute to problems such as tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. Several studies have shown that rinsing your mouth with oil could help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth. A two-week study, 20 children used a standard mouthwash or rinsed their mouth with sesame oil for 10 minutes daily. After just one week, both mouthwash and sesame oil rinse significantly reduced the number of harmful bacteria found in saliva and dental plaque. A recent study found similar results. He had 60 participants who rinsed their mouth using mouthwash, water or coconut oil for two weeks. Both mouthwash and coconut oil reduced the number of bacteria found in saliva. Decreasing the number of bacteria in the mouth can help maintain proper oral hygiene and prevent some conditions.
2. It could Help Reduce Bad Breath:
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is a condition that affects approximately 50% of the population. There are many potential causes of bad breath. Some of the most common are infection, gum disease, poor oral hygiene and tongue lining, which is when bacteria get trapped in the tongue. The treatment typically tries to eliminate the bacteria, either by brushing or by an antiseptic mouthwash such as chlorhexidine. Interestingly, one study found that mouthwashing with oil was as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing bad breath. In that study, 20 children who washed their mouths with chlorhexidine or sesame oil both caused a significant decrease in the levels of microorganisms that are known to contribute to bad breath. Although more research is necessary, mouthwashing with oil can be used as a natural alternative to reduce bad breath and could be as effective as traditional treatments.
3. It can Help Prevent Tooth Decay:
Cavities are a common problem that stems from poor dental hygiene. Poor oral hygiene, eating too much sugar and an accumulation of bacteria can cause tooth decay, which leads to the formation of holes in the teeth known as cavities. The bacterial plaque forms a coating on the teeth and is composed of bacteria, saliva and food particles. Bacteria begin to break up food particles, forming an acid that destroys tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Several studies have found that rinsing your mouth with oil can help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, preventing tooth decay. In fact, some research has found that rinsing your mouth with oil can decrease the number of harmful bacteria found in saliva and bacterial plaque as effectively as a mouthwash.
“Decreasing these strains of bacteria by rinsing your mouth with oil could help prevent tooth decay and reduce the risk of cavity formation”.
4. It Seems to Reduce Inflammation and Improve Gum Health:
Gingivitis is a type of gum disease marked by red and swollen gums that bleed easily. The bacteria found in the bacterial plaque are an important cause of gingivitis, as they can cause bleeding and inflammation in the gums. Rinsing your mouth with oil can be an effective remedy to improve gum health and reduce inflammation. It works primarily by the decrease of harmful bacteria and bacterial plaque in the mouth that contributes to gum disease, such as Streptococcus mutans. The use of certain oils with anti-inflammatory properties such as coconut oil can also help reduce the inflammation associated with gum disease. In one study, 60 participants with gingivitis began rinsing their mouths with coconut oil for 30 days. After a week, they had reduced amounts of plaque and showed an improvement in gum health. Another study in 20 children with gingivitis compared the effectiveness of rinsing their mouth with sesame oil and a standard mouthwash. Both groups showed a decrease in plaque, an improvement in gingivitis and a reduction in the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. While more tests are needed, these findings suggest that rinsing your mouth with oil may be an effective complementary treatment to prevent plaque formation and promote healthy gums.
5. May Have Other Benefits:
Although proponents of mouthwashing with oil claim that it can benefit a wide variety of other benefits not mentioned above, research on the benefits of mouthwashing with oil is limited. That said, the anti- inflammatory effects of rinsing your mouth with oil can have a beneficial effect on certain conditions related to inflammation. Although no study has evaluated the effectiveness of rinsing your mouth with oil under these conditions, its potential to relieve inflammation may be a great possibility. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence that rinsing your mouth with oil could be a natural way to whiten your teeth. Some claim that it is able to remove stains on the surface of the teeth, resulting in a whitening effect, although there is no scientific research to support this.
6. Cheap and Easy to Add to Your Routine:
Two of the biggest benefits of rinsing your mouth with oil is so simple and so easy to do that it can be incorporated into your daily regimen. In addition, it only requires one ingredient that can be found right in the kitchen, so there is no need to buy something. Traditionally, sesame oil has been used to rinse your mouth, but other types of oil can also be used. For example, coconut oil has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can be especially useful for rinsing your mouth. Olive oil is another popular option thanks to its ability to fight inflammation. To begin, have only 20 minutes each day to rinse your mouth with oil and use the extra time to perform various tasks at home, all this while improving your oral hygiene.
How to Rinse Your Mouth with Oil in 4 Simple Steps?
Rinsing your mouth with oil is easy to do and involves only a few simple steps. Here are the 4 simple steps to rinse your mouth with oil:
- Measure a tablespoon of oil, such as coconut oil, sesame or olive oil .
- Shake the contents around your mouth for 15-20 minutes, being careful not to swallow any amount of liquid.
- Spit the oil in a trash can once it’s finished. Avoid spitting it in the sink or in the toilet, as this can cause an accumulation of oil, which can lead to clogging.
- Rinse mouth thoroughly with water before eating or drinking something.
Repeat these steps a few times a week or up to three times a day. If you wish, you can also start working to increase the duration of the process, starting with a mouthwash for just 5 minutes and increasing the duration until you can do it for a full 15-20 minutes. For best results, most recommend doing this early in the morning on an empty stomach, although it can be adopted based on personal preferences.
Some studies suggest that rinsing your mouth with oil can decrease harmful bacteria in your mouth, prevent plaque formation and improve both gum health and oral hygiene. However, research is relatively limited. Also, keep in mind that you should not substitute for traditional oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth, flossing, cleaning routines and consulting a dentist about any oral hygiene problem. However, when used as a complementary treatment, rinsing your mouth with oil can be a safe and effective natural remedy to improve oral health.