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Coconut or Sesame? New Study Reveals Which Comes Out on Top For Oil Pulling

ByKim West
Mar 14, 2014 12:09 AM EDT

This study couldn't have come sooner. Just as we had finished telling you about the benefits of coconut oil pulling, a new study has revealed which oil is the best for teeth.

Oil pulling is a dental remedy with roots in India, having started well over 3,000 years ago. Now the practice has become mainstream and the debate over which oil is heating up. When it comes to oil pulling, is coconut oil or sesame oil better for you?

Before we give away the latest study's answer, we will reiterate that oil pulling is super beneficial. It helps whiten teeth and rid the mouth of harmful bacteria, while also preventing civilities. Just swish a tablespoon of either oil in your mouth each morning. Now for the answer to this million dollar dental question.

The Huffington Post recently shared the findings of Michelle Hurlbutt, RDH, MSDH, an associate professor of dental hygiene at Loma Linda University in Southern California. The expert made the purpose of oil pulling clear by explaining the function.

"Oil pulling should not be used to treat oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay," Hurlbutt said. "It's more of a preventive rinse that could be used adjunctively with your regular mouth care routine." 

The expert compared the use of water, coconut oil, and sesame oil in three groups of experiment participants. The results revealed a very clear winner.

Hurlbutt found that those who used sesame oil each day saw a five-fold decrease in the bacteria, compared to the water group, and the coconut oil group which saw a two-fold decrease. Once all the participants stopped oil pulling, each saw the levels of the bad bacteria began to creep up again. 

Sesame oil seems to be the clear favorite in the early analysis of this practice.

In addition to her study results, Hurlbutt offered a few key tips for those looking to try oil pulling. "Don't oil pull if you're allergic to certain oils or are hypersensitive to strong tastes. And of course, don't swallow the oil -- spit it out in the trash, so that you don't swallow the bacteria you just "pulled," and also so it doesn't clog your sinks or toilets," she said.

Ready to see the results for yourself? Remember to use an edible, organic oil and let us know what you think after you've tried it! 

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