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New oil pulling trend may lead to healthier mouth

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

There's a new health trend hitting the U.S. called oil pulling, and it's catching on with people in the Upstate.

It's a type of holistic medicine that some say has been used for nearly 5,000 years in India.

To do it, you swish oil in your mouth for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes and then spit it out. Health experts say the best type of oil to do this with is coconut oil, but they say you can also swish with sesame seed and extra-virgin olive oil.

The immediate benefits they say are a fresher, cleaner mouth and improved gum health.

"Your teeth will feel like you've just had a cleaning at the dentist," said Terry Hall, owner of Creative Health on Main Street in downtown Greenville. She says the antioxidants and other active ingredients in the oil pull out bacteria in your mouth.

Some say they even experience a natural whitening effect of the teeth as well.

Taking it a step further, Hall says you can add essential oils to the oil you swish for added health benefits.

"If you add one drop of oil, it can go with whatever other problems, if you have acne in your skin, if you've got a colon problem, if you got digestive problems, there would be different oils you would add to the coconut or sesame seed oil," said Hall.

Not all dentists are on board with the new trend, saying there isn't enough research to know whether or not oil pulling really does anything at all.

Doctors, however, say there's no health risk to swishing oil.

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