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What is “oil pulling”?

“Oil pulling” is taking a sip of coconut oil, closing your lips, and forcing the liquid back and forth between your teeth with a swishing motion for a few minutes, then spitting it out. It is promoted as a holistic way of cleaning your teeth and gums. While it does not replace traditional brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings, there may be some benefits from its use. 

While you may not find it appealing to swish for several minutes with coconut oil, some patients are eager to explore holistic methods to improve their oral health. While we are not endorsing oil pulling, some individuals may find it helpful, particularly for reducing gum inflammation.  Indeed, oil pulling reminds me of another practice known as “water flossing,” which has also been shown to reduce gum inflammation.

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Dr. Kuhl was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. After receiving his Bachelors degree at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, he returned to his hometown and graduated from the University of Louisville Dental School in 1985. That same year he formed a group private practice in West Palm Beach. Over the next several years he also worked in public health and was a charter member of the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

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