What is Oil Pulling??
Oil Pulling originated in India (as far as we know) and dates back centuries as one of the oldest techniques used for oral health. It’s, essentially, the practice of swishing oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes to both detox and cleanse the teeth and gums. One added benefit to its cleansing effects?? Whiter Teeth!! Oh, but that’s not all.. there are TONS of other health benefits to oil pulling.
You can simply search oil pulling results in google and see the many testimonies of oil pulling. Some of the claims are that it helps with skin conditions, headaches, asthma, bad breath, cavities, hormone imbalances, receding gums, and even helps to reduce your appetite.
Of course, I’m not claiming that it’ll “cure” anything, but I can tell you some of the benefits I’ve experienced from oil pulling almost daily for the past year….
At the very least, I can testify oil pulling to be very beneficial (as you’ll read below) with no major side effects or down sides as long as you use a good quality oil.
Benefits I’ve Received from Oil Pulling…
I’ve been oil pulling almost daily for about a year. I won’t lie – it does take some getting used to in the beginning! Swishing oil around in your mouth is not something we, here in the West, are accustomed to.
I use one tablespoon of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which I highly recommend by the way (reasons below), and swish for about 5 minutes. Eventually, I worked my way up to 10-15 minutes. Side Note: Even if I only have 5 minutes to swish, I still notice a difference.
First, I noticed how clean my teeth felt afterwards. Then, after about one week of oil pulling daily, I noticed my teeth getting whiter. And, I didn’t necessarily notice how white they had gotten until I saw a picture of myself I had taken at a group event. I was like “WOAH – my teeth look extra white in this pic!!” – Lol. And, if I miss a week or so of oil pulling, I really do notice a difference in the whiteness of my teeth.
Next, I began to notice a few places where I had some sensitivity before had completely gone away! To be more specific, I had one tooth in the back of the mouth that would get extremely sensitive when drinking or eating something really cold. After a few weeks of oil pulling daily, the sensitivity no longer existed. I’m not saying it was healed (because I know how “sensitive” some people are to claiming a “cure”), but I am saying that the sensitivity completely went away in that tooth… like completely!
Which Type of Oil Should You Use?
Based on all of my research prior to beginning my Oil Pulling journey, the two most popular oils for oil pulling is Sesame Oil and/or Coconut Oil. Personally, I chose to use Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil because I’m very familiar with the antibacterial properties it possesses. I’m sure you couldn’t go wrong with Sesame Oil, but I believe if you’re going to take the time to do it, you may as well get the most out of it.
Here are some of the added benefits of using Coconut Oil:
- Antibacterial – kills bacteria that may lead to gum disease and throat infections
- Antifungal – destroys infections-promoting fungus and yeast
- Antiviral – kills dangerous viruses that can lead to influenza, measles, hepatitis, and more.
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation and repairs tissue
- Antioxidant – protects against free radical damage
- Antiparasitic – assist in ridding the body of parasites
How Does it Work?
The concept of oil pulling is incredibly simple. You, simply, swish 1 Tablespoon of a plant-based oil (I recommend coconut oil) in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Then, you spit it out and rinse really well.
Here are a few tips based on my own experience:
- In the beginning, I could only swish for about 5 minutes, but I still noticed a difference. Even today after about a year of oil pulling, I still only swish for about 10 minutes on most days. The point is – just because you can’t do 20 minutes every single day doesn’t mean you won’t see drastic results.
- Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, I fill a small pot or bowl with about 1-2 inches of hot water and let the jar of coconut oil sit in it for a few minutes so it’ll melt into a liquid. I find it much easier to tolerate this way.
- I set the timer on the stove and get other things done while oil pulling (this makes the time go by faster).
- Be sure to actually “pull” the oil between the teeth, not just swish like mouth wash. This ensures the oil gets in between the teeth really well and is able to pull more bacteria from the gums.
- Once finished, spit the oil out in a trash can (it may clog up the sink) and do not swallow as the oil is, hopefully, full of toxins, bacteria, etc. If the oil is white and cloudy when you spit it out, that means you just spit out a bunch of toxins!
Side Note: It’s best to oil pull in the morning on an empty stomach
Some Other Benefits of Oil Pulling May Include…
- Overall strengthening of the teeth, gums, and jaw
- Prevention of cavities, plaque, and even gingivitis
- Inflammation reduction
- Decrease teeth sensitivity
- Prevention of halitosis (bad breath)
- Balance hormones
- Relief of headaches
- Aids in overall detox of the body
- Helps with insomnia
- Relief from sinus congestion
- Helps control acne in some people
- May reduce appetite
A few Studies to Support the Benefits of Oil Pulling…
Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265
Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study