Is it time for a dental checkup?

Mouthwash vs. Oil Pulling for Gum Health: What’s the Difference?

Jump To:
Request an Appointment Today

Questions or concerns about a specific dental service or procedure? Contact us now.

Find A Location

Maintaining optimal gum health is critical to overall oral hygiene. Healthy gums protect against gum disease, tooth decay, bone loss, and gum recession. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and other systemic diseases.

Gum health mouthwash and oil pulling are two effective methods you can use to improve gum health – but how do these two approaches differ, and which is the best for you? This guide offers a deep dive into the science behind gum health mouthwash and oil pulling, how they work, and which is the best option to keep gum disease at bay.

What Is Gum Health Mouthwash?

Mouthwash for gum health has been a go-to solution for oral hygiene for decades. The active ingredients in gum health mouthwash include antiseptics, such as chlorhexidine, chlorine dioxide, and cetylpyridinium chloride. 

These ingredients kill harmful bacteria in the gums, teeth, and mouth, helping to reduce plaque, gum disease, bone loss, and bad breath. They enter deep gum pockets, penetrate the gum tissue, and eliminate bacteria that cause gum disease.

Mouthwash, however, doesn’t replace your regular brushing and flossing routine. Use gum health mouthwash as an additional step to your daily oral hygiene. The key to effectively using mouthwash is choosing the right product and using it correctly.

How to Use Mouthwash for Gum Health

Using mouthwash requires a multi-step process. It might appear as a simple swish-and-spit solution, but there is more to it than that. Follow these steps:

Start with a Clean Mouth

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth for two minutes. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and brush with gentle circular motions. Floss between your teeth and gum line to remove stuck-on food particles. Allow a few minutes before using mouthwash, so the fluoride penetrates your enamel.

Pour the Mouthwash

Measure out the recommended amount of mouthwash and pour it into the cup. You will need to pour 3–5 teaspoons, which will vary depending on brand and type. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid over- or under-using mouthwash.

Swish the Mouthwash

Take a sip of mouthwash and swish it around your gumline, teeth, and tongue for 30 seconds. Avoid swallowing the mouthwash, as it can be toxic if ingested. You can set a stopwatch or timer to keep track of the minutes.

Spit It Out

Once you have swished the mouthwash for the required time, spit it out in the sink. You can also rinse with plain water to remove any remaining residue.

Use mouthwash twice a day for optimal results. Essential oils in gum health mouthwash can also help to freshen your breath, leaving you with lasting freshness, confidence, and a radiating smile.

Oil Pulling for Gum Health

Oil pulling is a holistic gum health practice that involves swishing oil around the mouth and gum line to cleanse the teeth and gum tissue, prevent plaque build-up, and remove harmful bacteria. 

It is an ancient Ayurvedic natural healing practice used for centuries in India and recently gained popularity as an effective gum health remedy. The traditional Ayurvedic rituals use sesame oil, but dental professionals recommend coconut oil instead.

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent that destroys strains of gum disease-causing bacteria. The fatty acids in coconut oil penetrate deep gum pockets, bind to harmful bacteria and toxins, and remove them from the gum tissue. 

Coconut oil also promotes beneficial oral bacteria growth and a healthy oral microbiome. You can also use sesame or olive oil if you don’t like the taste of coconut oil.

How to Use Oil Pulling

Oil pulling for gum health requires some dedication and commitment. You need to use it for at least 15–20 minutes a day, and it takes some time to develop the habit. It’s best to oil pull early in the morning on an empty stomach before brushing your teeth. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of your preferred oil in your mouth.
  2. Swish the oil around your gum line, teeth, and tongue for 15–20 minutes. Don’t swallow even a tiny amount, as it can be toxic.
  3. Spit out the oil in a trash can once done. Avoid spitting into the sink as an oil build-up can lead to clogging.
  4. Rinse your mouth with plain water or a saline solution to remove the remaining residue.
  5. Brush your teeth as usual with fluoride toothpaste.

Getting started with oil pulling can initially seem daunting due to its long swishing time. You can, however, start with shorter sessions of 5–10 minutes and gradually work your way to 20 minutes. Make it part of your morning routine, set a timer, and use it consistently. You don’t need mouthwash if you oil pull, as it provides the same cleansing benefits.

Mouthwash vs. Oil Pulling: Which Should you Choose?

Mouthwash and oil pulling are both effective gum health remedies. They help to reduce bacteria, bad breath, plaque build-up, and inflammation. Oil pulling, however, offers a more holistic approach to gum health. It uses natural ingredients and helps promote a healthy oral microbiome essential for overall gum health. Its other benefits include:

  • Longer freshness: Unlike mouthwash, oil pulling provides lasting freshness due to its anti-bacterial properties. It binds to harmful bacteria and toxins, removing them from the gum tissue.
  • No harsh chemical ingredients: Oil pulling uses natural ingredients that are gentler on gum tissue and won’t cause gum irritation or sensitivity. There is no need for alcohol, dyes, or synthetic flavors, which are common ingredients in mouthwash.
  • Teeth whitening: Coconut oil has teeth-whitening properties, which can help to reduce discoloration and yellowing, leading to a brighter, whiter smile.

A downside to using oil pulling for gum health is its long swishing time. Mouthwash can have more annoying and even potentially dangerous side effects, including:

  • Canker sores: The high alcohol content in some mouthwashes can cause gum tissue to dry out, leading to painful canker sores.
  • Short-term freshness: Mouthwash only provides short-term freshness since it doesn’t remove bacteria or toxins from the gum tissue.
  • Oral cancer risk: Experts warn that some mouthwashes contain carcinogens that can increase the risk of oral cancer. The debate has been going on for years, but further research is required to prove this.

It’s up to you to decide which gum health remedy works best for you. Oil pulling is the way to go if you’re looking for more natural, long-term gum health benefits, whereas mouthwash might be the better option for you if you’re after a quick, short-term gum health solution. 

Don’t forgo the basics, however, regardless of which gum health remedy you choose. It’s important to keep up with regular brushing and flossing and to visit your dentist for regular gum health check-ups and dental cleaning

Seek Medical Help for Optimal Gum Health

Remember that it’s best to seek advice from a qualified medical professional if you’re worried about your gum health and want to take a more proactive approach. A qualified dentist will provide a personalized gum health plan tailored to your needs. They will also diagnose gum health conditions early, so you can start treatment before the condition worsens. 

 The Dental Team are gum health and dental hygiene professionals with over 20 years of industry experience.. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment for gum health advice and treatment today. 

More Blog Posts

Request an Appointment Today

Questions or concerns about a specific dental service or procedure? Contact us now.

Upcoming Holiday Hours

Our offices will be closed on April 7-8, 2023 in observance of the Easter holiday.