Oil pulling and oral health

Oil pulling can be explained to be the process of swishing edible oil (coconut, olive, sesame or the like) throughout the mouth for usually one to five minutes, but for up to as long as 20 minutes depending on the case. Oil pulling has supposedly been practiced for centuries in southern Asia and India. 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.

How to Oil Pull
While it sounds like some kind of labor-intensive job in the resource sector (kind of like grape stomping or cattle roping), oil pulling is pretty simple.
Oil pulling is to be done first thing in the morning, before eating or brushing your teeth:

  • Take about a tablespoon of edible oil (such as olive, sesame, coconut, or sunflower oil).
  • Put it in your mouth without swallowing.
  • Swish it around for 10-15 minutes while doing your other bathroom business.
  • At the end of the 10-15 minutes, spit it out.
  • Rinse your mouth completely with warm water.
  • Floss, brush and get on with your day.

The benefits of oil pulling

  1. Whitens teeth
  2. Strengthens teeth, gum, and jaw
  3. Prevents cavities and gingivitis
  4. Helps with bad breath
  5. Detoxification of the body
  6. Relieves a headache and migraine
  7. Help to improve quality of sleep

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. All of the oils that are often used are completely edible and considered to be healthy when eaten, so they aren’t problematic when swished in the mouth. Oil pulling is observed to bring improvement in oral hygiene when practiced correctly and regularly. Limited available research on the effect of oil pulling on oral hygiene shows promising benefits of oil pulling procedure on the oral cavity.