On Campus: The Weigh-In

Faculty experts shed light on news that makes us go, “wha?”

Sebastian G. Ciancio, Distinguished Service Professor and chair, periodontics and endodontics

The News:

Is there any health benefit to the current trend of oil pulling? (swishing vegetable oil in the mouth)

The Expert:

Sebastian G. Ciancio, Distinguished Service Professor and chair, periodontics and endodontics

“Oil pulling is an old concept based on ancient practices in India for treating diseases of the gums and mouth. It was believed that demons caused what today we call periodontal disease, and that oil killed the demons. However, there are no well-designed, controlled studies available to evaluate this concept; much of the data is based on patient testimonials. This is not science. My concern with using this method is that it distracts the patient from obtaining proper treatment that is supported by published studies.”