Swishing coconut oil or other vegetable oils in your mouth for about 20 minutes has been touted as a remedy for oral health problems like swollen gums. The action of such oils that is rich in Vitamin E, an antioxidant, which also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties is to “remove the toxins” from your mouth.
As with most quackery, this technique too dates back to a time when medical knowledge was lacking. For some reason, people seem to look at our ancestors as some sort of ancient mystics who had all these natural remedies for almost all diseases. The truth is much more unsettling. Even established medical doctors are known to fall for this fallacy. This research into use of Vedic mantras to help brain injury patients come to mind.
The simple fact is that they were just as ignorant as you and I. When they had a toothache, they tried chewing every stem and leaf out there until they found something that gave them a modicum of relief. This may or may not be a cure to their condition, but sure enough, it gave them momentary relief. In reality, it only may have suppressed the symptoms while the underlying problem continued to fester.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence that swishing coconut oil will provide lasting relief to gum problems. Some of the resources online that tout this remedy to prevent gum issues say that once you swish your mouth with coconut oil, you should brush your teeth and floss soon after
But wouldn’t just brushing your teeth and flossing regularly prevent gum diseases anyway?
The name itself is a misnomer as it seems to suggest that you can use oil to “pull” toxins out of your mouth. You get the same benefit by swishing your mouth with plain water as it is the mechanical act of swishing that is, in fact, pulling out the particles and bacteria from your mouth and gums.
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