Oil Pulling is currently one of the most popular “healthy living trends”. I notice so many people talking about it and trying it out but why do we really do it? Are people oil pulling just because everyone is doing it? Or is there really some good information out there on the benefits of this simple daily habit? As much good information bloggers and the web are giving us on oil pulling there are just as many questions and speculations on whether it really works or question if it is even worth doing. I wanted to dig a little deeper to give my readers some solid information on oil pulling as well as go into what oils you can use and which ones are considered best. We have to clear up the bad rumors somehow right!
So What is Oil Pulling? For those who have not heard of it…
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy that has been around for thousands of years. It’s a practice that is said to have many health benefits and helps achieve better oral health all together. You swish a good quality oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes 1-2 times daily. It is supposed to literally “pull” the toxins out from your mouth especially in the morning. It is great for adults and children alike, you just need to teach the little ones how to do it properly. One of the best things about oil pulling is that it helps reduce that nasty stinky morning breath everyone worries about. No more sealing your mouth shut until you brush your teeth! :0
Does it actually work, If so How?
From Personal Experience I would absolutely say yes and I have many other friends and family that swear by it too. Trust me I do hear those critics out there claiming that it’s fake, or that there is no scientific research behind it etc.I truly believe different people get different results with anything whether scientific research is behind it or not. There are plenty natural remedies that have been around for ages that seriously work and have not been “scientifically” researched on. Why you ask? It’s probably because someone wouldn’t be making money out of natural remedies people can just do themselves at home. The people who pay for things to be scientifically researched on are usually those who gain something out of it. That is just my 2 cents on the matter and I’m in no way saying that evidence from something studied in a lab is bad, I just feel like there are so many other approaches to medicine and health that again have been used for centuries and they are ignored in today’s society due to all of the factory refined chemical products studied in a lab that supposedly heal everything yet cause major side effects. Many of these natural methods and remedies were around before there were laboratories to do research on them and to me that doesn’t mean they don’t work! With natural remedies it is rare that a remedy would cause side effects or do more harm than good, therefore do some research first and try it for yourself!
How does it work?
Oil pulling again is said to “pull” the toxins out through your mouth. According to Enlightened Dentistry New York it Pulls toxins from the mucus membranes of the mouth via the meridian system
OIL PULLING: Everything You Need to Know about Oil Pulling Therapy states that Micro-organisms are single celled organisms with a fatty layer surrounding the cell. They are attracted/cling onto the oil in your mouth
Dr. Paul Vernon Erwin Biological Dentist DDS “you don’t want a totally bacteria free mouth, you need good bacteria. Most mouth washes kill even the good bacteria. Vitamins and minerals are absorbed while pathogenic microbes are bound up in the oil for removal
It makes sense as to why oil pulling heals and is good for more things than oral health alone since a good majority of toxins that enter our body come in through our mouth. Toxins are also said to bind to fat cells therefore when you swish the oil in your mouth those fat cells bind to the oil for removal. How simple right!
What is it good for?
Overall I have noticed a lot of different benefits of oil pulling. My teeth became a lot whiter and brighter after months of doing it almost every morning, my mouth felt a lot fresher throughout the day and especially when I woke up. There are mornings where I don’t have bad breath but most mornings it is very mild compared to when I don’t oil pull for a while. My tongue stays a lot cleaner, my lips don’t become as dry although I also do other things to keep them soft. Overall my mouth feels cleaner. I also know many people suffer from tonsil stones and it isn’t usually a problem for me but I remember when I had just started oil pulling I had one and it seemed as though oil pulling for a week or two dislodged it and I haven’t had any others since. Throughout the day plaque and food builds up on your teeth and oil pulling helps with that as well. Here is a decent list of what oil pulling is known to help with. I myself haven’t experienced a lot of the problems it is said to help with but according to many holistic dentists these were the benefits other people got out of oil pulling;
For Oral Health:
-Promotes Healthier Stronger Teeth, Tongue, and Gums and helps detoxify them
-Reduces the risk of Tooth Decay, Oral Infections, and Gum Disease
-Acts as a natural anti-bacterial agent in your mouth and is said to be as effective as chlorhexidine which is a chemical solution used for oral problems
-Helps with relieving tooth pain
-Re-mineralizes tooth enamel
-Reverses Gum Infections and helps remove yeast infections from mouth
-Heals in mouth sores, cuts, etc. quicker
-Helps whiten teeth
-Improves throat dryness
Other Possible Health Benefits:
-Ayurvedan practices claim that it can cure 30 different systematic diseases
-Provides Sinus and mucous relief for pharynx and esophagus
-Reduce Migraines and Headaches
-Promotes better sleep, helps with insomnia and helps your body feel more energized
-Healthier Skin, reduced acne and eczema,
-Promotes a healthy metabolism, helps level out hormones and balance chakra energy
-Improved Digestion by helping the stomach and small intestines
-Helps reduce body inflammation and aides in detoxing the body especially from heavy metals
-Improved kidney function
-Promotes stronger bones and joints and is said to also help with existing joint pain and arthritis
-Helps with blood sugar level control
–Enlightened Dentistry New York says you see quicker results with acute infections but with chronic health issues may take longer to see results
Proper Way to Oil Pull
In the Morning when you first wake up, prior to drinking or eating anything and before brushing your teeth is the best time to oil pull. Yet you can still do it during the day or at night before bed and still reap the benefits.
1. Take 1-2 Tablespoons of the oil you choose and place it in your mouth.
2. Start to swish and push oil through your teeth, under your tongue and all over your mouth. Integrative Dentistry- Dr. Mitch Marder DDS Recommends you keep your chin up so the oil touches all portions of the oral cavity
Do this method for 20 minutes 1-2 times daily. If you can’t handle 20 minutes in the beginning start with 5 and work your way up, but for optimal results you should do it for the full 20 minutes.
Make sure you DON’T Swallow the oil even if it is a little bit since it is loaded with bacteria
3. Spit the out the oil, preferably in the trash since the oil, saliva, and bacteria have been known to clog up your drains overtime
The oil should be watery, foamy and a white milky color. If it is still oily then you haven’t done it long enough
4. Rinse with warm water or warm salt water
5. Brush your teeth like you normally would after you are finished.
How to Choose an Oil
It seems as though everyone has a different preference of which oils to use. The most common is coconut oil which I use regularly, but my favorite is sunflower oil. I do tend to mix it up throughout the year. You can use various oils each with different benefits Check out my Carrier Oils Guide for more information. Regardless of the oil you choose make sure it is Organic, Unrefined, Cold or Expeller Pressed, also raw is always better and so is extra virgin (again this info is in the carrier oil guide if you want to read further into what oils are best. But here are the most popular oils for oil pulling;
Sesame Seed Oil
Sunflower Seed Oil
Wellness Mama adds Charcoal to her coconut oil which charcoal on its own absorbs toxins and this is a bit of a bonus when oil pulling
Dr. Mercola says you can add a bit of Manuka honey to your oil. Manuka honey is one of the most healing honey’s in the world
Dr. Laura Lawson DDS says you can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oils for taste and scent. You are not consuming the oils so this would be fun to try. Spearmint would be a great addition.
I think oil pulling is an excellent routine to add into your day and the best time to do it is while you are doing something else. I generally wake up and start oil pulling right away while I get ready, shower etc. Then I brush my teeth after. Oil Pulling is obviously recommended by Holistic/Biological dentists and that to me is enough evidence to proceed with my oil pulling habits even though I personally have noticed my own results. I tend to get frustrated when other dentists, doctors, or normal people are adamant about how it is a hoax when they haven’t tried it for themselves. Even for those who have, it may not work for everyone there is no need to bash other people based on what works within their lifestyle.
I have heard of people eliminating brushing their teeth because oil pulling helps them a lot and I can see how it is possible yet I still think brushing your teeth with a natural toothpaste is a good thing and would be an added benefit to oral health even if the oil pulling takes care of most of your oral care. The thing about natural remedies is that there are no bad side effects so for those worried about it harming them, that isn’t something you need to worry about. I encourage you to try it out and see what it does for you as well as try out different oils for oil pulling to find your favorite. Just remember natural practices take more time before you see results.
Sources, Information, Quotes and other places to read more on oil pulling
Assure a Smile Holistic Dentist in Miami -“Online, oil pulling has received thousands of positive reviews from individuals who notice stronger teeth, brighter smiles, and healthier gums after just a few weeks of oil pulling. Many studies also indicate that this type of therapy is an effective way to improve oral health.” Recommends Sesame Oil and Coconut Oil
Indianapolis Dentistry- Dr. Ted Reese, DDS, MAGD “Dr. Reese, being an Indianapolis holistic dentist, believes in the beneficial health effects coconut oil pulling can do not only to your teeth but to your overall health as well.” Recommends Coconut and Sesame Oil
- Oil pulling reduced counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay – in the plaque and saliva of children.2 Researchers concluded, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”
- Oil pulling significantly reduced plaque, improved gum health and reduced aerobic microorganisms in plaque among adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis3
- Oil pulling is as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and reducing the microorganisms that may cause it4
- Oil pulling benefits your mouth, in part, via its mechanical cleaning action.5 Researchers noted, “The myth that the effect of oil-pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken and there are clear indications of possible saponification and emulsification process, which enhances its mechanical cleaning action.”
Recommends Coconut Oil
Dr. Paul Vernon Erwin Biological Dentist DDS “We’ve seen remarkable results in patients who have turned to oil pulling to take control of their periodontal health – much healthier gums, much smaller pockets.” Recommends Sesame or Sunflower Oil
Enlightened Dentistry New York “Oil pulling is a super simple healing process for the oral cavity and the entire human body. The results of this healing process may cause astonishment, but by experimenting with oil pulling therapy, everybody can see results on their own. For acute infections the results are very quick, but for chronic health challenges, one may have to practice oil pulling for months before long term results are noticed. ” Recommends Coconut Oil
Dr. Charles Newens DDS “There is a trend that promotes swishing coconut, sesame or olive oil in your mouth to “pull” harmful bacteria from your mouth, teeth and gums. It is an ancient remedy for oral health and detoxification. It is done by taking a teaspoon of desired oil and swishing around for 15 minutes a day to detoxify your mouth. It is based on the simple premise that bacteria get stuck to the oil and is removed. There is no harm done by doing this but it requires one to do it for 15 -20 minutes a day most people don’t have that time. Also it may extract “good” bacteria while it is detoxifying. ” Recommends Coconut, Sesame or Olive Oil
Integrative Dentistry- Dr. Mitch Marder DDS You can try using herbal remedies like the goldenseal and oils. Another is called “oil pulling”, very helpful to detox the mouth and the gut of toxins and pathogens. Usually, we recommend coconut oil. This must be done each day for about 20 minutes.
Dr. Laura Lawson DDS “As the cost of this technique is quite low, we encourage you to try it out for a month and see how it effects you! Our patients and staff members who have tried this technique have been very happy with the results and we have noticed whiter teeth, reduction of joint pain, and tighter gums as some of the most common benefits.” Recommends Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil, and Olive Oil
Feel Free to Contact me or comment if you have any questions on oil pulling 🙂