• What is oil pulling and how does it improve oral health?

    June 12, 2019 • BEAUTY, GUIDES

    Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that is said to purify the mouth of toxins and bacteria and improve gum health and even gut health.

    The ‘nasties’ that cause cavities are easily removed thus whitening teeth, improving gum health and alleviating bad breath amongst other ailments.

    It sounds like a too-good-to-be-true complete cure-all however there is some scientific evidence to back up these claims.

    Read on as we share why we love oil pulling as part of a natural dental care routine and how easy it is for you to start doing today.

    What is oil pulling

    Oil pulling involves holding an amount of oil in your mouth and swishing around the mouth for 5-20 minutes which works to eliminate toxins and keep your mouth healthy.

    ‘Swishing’ time is key, as the longer you keep it in your mouth, the better the results. Oils typically used are good quality and non-refined organic coconut or sesame oils.

    Benefits of oil pulling

    The act of swishing oil around the mouth ‘pulls’ the toxins out and after time whitens your teeth by penetrating and loosening plaque.

    Coconut oil is especially beneficial due to its antimicrobial properties though Ayurvedic practice traditionally uses sesame oil. Sesame oil has preventative and balancing effects and was more readily available in India in the past.

    Oil pulling at least twice a week, helps keep your mouth naturally free of toxins and bacteria, improves your breath and mouth flora, and whitens the teeth, especially in combination with activated charcoal products.

    How do you do it?

    So what are the nuts and bolts of oil pulling? Try starting with 1 teaspoon and swish around your mouth for 20 minutes. Increase to one or two tablespoons over time. 20 minutes can be difficult as the oil doubles in size as it pulls the toxins out and your mouth quickly feels full. Start slowly and work from there. The general guideline is 5-20 minutes with the longer the better. The oil will go from clear in the case of coconut oil, to a milky white colour as it fills with toxins and saliva.

    Try not to ‘swish’ too vigorously as it can be demanding on your jaw after 20 minutes. Being gentle is the key.

    When finished, always spit the contents of your mouth into a rubbish bag/bin as it could solidify and clog drains. Next, rinse your mouth with plenty of warm water and brush teeth as you normally would. Try to do first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Just be sure not to swallow the oil as you will be reabsorbing all the ‘nasties’.

    Start with a 14-day kick-start oral detox or twice a week ongoing. Temporary headaches can occur like any detox, so be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards.

    Be sure to check with your dentist for safety precautions if pregnant or breastfeeding.

    How to overcome bitter taste from oil pulling

    Using oil alone can cause a slight bitter flavour, so companies such as Black Chicken Remedies and Dr Tung’s have produced pleasant, natural flavoured oil mixtures for oil pulling.

    Black Chicken Remedies Oral Swishing Oil

    Dr. Tung’s Oil Pulling Concentrate

    Have a go at this amazingly easy, natural dental health care method and leave a comment below to tell us about your experience.

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    Further reading

    Asokan S., Emmadi P., Chamundeswari R. (2009). Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian Journal of Dental Research. www.ijdr.in.

    Asokan S., Rathan J., Muthu MS., Rathna PV., Emmadi P. Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. (2009). Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian Journal of Dental Research. www.ijdr.in.

    Kholy, Genco, Van Dyke. (2015). Oral infections and cardiovascular disease. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. www.sciencedaily.com.