What is Oil Pulling

Gums and teeth are a primary concern for all of us and now we’re going to learn what we can do at home for just pennies to help both.

Most people have never heard of oil pulling. The process is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth for a short time each day and that this action helps improve oral health. Just as with Oil Cleansing for the skin, the principle of “like dissolves like” applies, as oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.

It should be noted that a variety of oils can be used for oil pulling. Since sesame oil is easily obtained and a staple in India, the studies below were conducted using it. Virgin coconut oil contains lauric acid a powerful antiviral and antibacterial, making it extremely popular to use in oil pulling in other world cultures.

In 2009 a study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research found that when compared with mouthwash, oil pulling reduced plaque, modified gingival scores and lowered microorganisms in the plaque of 20 adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis.

In 2014 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research a study was published using 60 students at Maharani College. The results of that study showed that oil pulling helped to reduce the malodor and oral microbes as much as a chlorhexidine treatment. And in 2011 the Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry found oil pulling as effective as chlorhexidine for treating bad breath.

Many people have had the following effects of oil pulling:

  • Cures tooth decay
  • Kills bad breath
  • Heals bleeding gums
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Soothes throat dryness
  • Prevents cavities
  • Heals cracked lips
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Improves acne
  • Strengthens gums and jaw

Photos of teeth being whitened using oil pulling can be found on the Internet, along with a number of personal stories from people trying the process. Some users of oil pulling even say it prevents cavities since you’re pulling the bacteria from the mouth. I’ve not found a study to confirm that yet.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling

The methods are very simple, but it does take time and it does produce better and better results the longer you do it. The belief is that since coconut oil is antibacterial and antiviral by nature, it will kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth and also extract any impurities from your body.

  • Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth. I also pour a few drops of Brushing Blend or Essential Oil into the mix. (Just make sure any essential oil is safe to use in the mouth).
  • Swish for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.
  • Spit oil into the trash can. Especially if you have a septic system like I do… don’t spit into the sink! Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria and plaque that are now not in the mouth!
  • Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). Occasionally, I swish with salt water which seems more effective but is also more work.
  • Brush well. I prefer to brush with Brushing Blend or homemade toothpaste to make sure any remaining bacteria is removed. There are two other traditional Ayurvedic methods that are also used: Kavala and Gandusa.

If you don't like the taste, add a drop of peppermint to the oil before your start.

If 10-20 minutes sounds like a long time simply do oil pulling while in the shower or while driving to work in the morning or while doing work around the house to help pass the time

Don't start with too much oil. The saliva will build up in the mouth along with the coconut oil. If you end up with too much as you go along, just spit out the excess and continue.

Most research has found the morning before you eat to the best time to oil pull. Science finds it creates an easier environment for oral health.

Take before and after pictures. This is a cumulative process and to see the real results you need to give it 30 to 45 days of daily consistent use. If you take photos you won't just imagine something has happened, you'll be able to see it in front of you.

Oil pulling is said to prevent cavities, reduce plaque buildup and strengthen your gums. It’s also said that the coconut oil will prevent many sicknesses from taking root in your body because of the antiviral and antibacterial nature of coconut oil.
Dentists have mentioned that oil pulling has no conclusive evidence that it works. Because of this, normal brushing and flossing should not be forgotten just because one does oil pulling. The best course of action will be to brush and floss daily and also spend a few minutes doing oil pulling. You can do both. Oil pulling is not a mutually exclusive activity.

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