Much like an oil change in a car pulls out dirt and debris, oil pulling with a healthy oil in your mouth can keep your mouth fresh, whiten your teeth, and some believe it acts as a detoxification. Skin improvements have been reported as have a host of other ailments including migraines. I was skeptical at first, but began the practice around 2014. I’ve personally noticed whiter teeth and healthier looking gums. I’ve not had any cavities in the last 6 years since I started oil pulling regularly. Oil pulling is supported by modern scientific evidence as well as ancient ayurveydic medicine. If you’re looking for a book on the topic, check out “Oil Pulling Therapy” by Dr. Bruce Fife.
Oil pulling is considered by many to be a “Folk Remedy,” but anyone who uses this term in a derogatory manner toward the practice is simply ignorant on the subject. The amount of credible scientific studie
s on oil pulling the last decade is staggering. Studies have shown that oil pulling creates powerful antioxidants which destroy microorganisms’ cell wall to kill them. Other studies have shown that bacterial growth and plaque formation is inhibited by oil pulling. Dry mouth and chapped lips have also been proven to be helped by oil pulling.
One study of 60 individuals aged 16-18 noted, “50% decreases in gingival and plaque indices after four weeks.” A randomized, controlled study in 2011 determined coconut oil was as effective at reducing bad breath and gingivitis as mouth wash. A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study in 2009 determined that oil pulling for just one minute a day after brushing your teeth helped with plaque and gingivitis.
“The oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.” – 2009 Randomized, controlled, triple-blind study
To try this, twice a day, take 2 teaspoons of oil and swish in your mouth for 20 minutes – pulling the liquid from cheek –to-cheek and pulling it between your teeth. It’s also a good workout for the muscles around your jaw. DON’T SWALLOW and when you’re done put it in the toilet as the oil contains toxins or could re-harden and clog your sink. Notes: This should NOT(!) be done by people with metal dental amalgams in their teeth and It’s crucial you use a GOOD QUALITY clean oil – I use organic, extra virgin, UNREFINED coconut oil. If 20 minutes seems like a long time – incorporate it into your morning routine during the shower. If you’re allergic to coconut oil, try sesame oil.
Sources: TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria. African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. ; S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari.Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 Mar ; HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis. Journal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007 ;1(1):Pages 12-18 ; S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models. Asia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. ; http://wellnessmama.com/7866/oil-pulling-for-oral-health/. Peedikayil F.C., Sreenivasan P., Narayanan A. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – a preliminary report. Niger Med J. 2015;56:143–147. Asokan S., Kumar R.S., Emmadi P., Raghuraman R., Sivakumar N. Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2011;29:90–94. Asokan S., Emmadi P., Chamundeswari R. Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian J Dent Res. 2009;20:47–51.