Oil Pulling, What Is It?


Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurveda technique to clean the teeth. There are many benefits to oil pulling-some of the benefits goes to the gum, to clean the teeth, to clean the mouth at once and return appetite for some people. At the same time, the antiseptic properties does not come with negative side effects and potential dangerous chemicals in some factory made toothpaste widely distributed.

Oil Pulling

This is a technique of cleaning the mouth and removing bacteria by swishing oil in the mouth. Currently, oil pulling is lacking in evidence on how effective it can be, but many people swear by it and have experienced the effects.

In theory, oil pulling is a very simple practice. Take in one tablespoon of your preferred oil, swish it leisurely into your mouth for 5-20 minutes and spit it out into the trash (spitting in the sink may result in clogging). Rinse the remaining oil with warm salt water, brush the teeth and floss as normal.

The most recommended oil to be used for oil pulling is coconut oil. It is said that amongst other oils, coconut oil has the right benefits for oil pulling. It contains an addition of lauric acid, which is known for antimicrobial agents that could prevent tooth decay and plaque. Coconut oil is also said to be antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse, which makes it ideal for reducing inflammation and oxidation in the mouth. Not only is it beneficial to the teeth, but gum health will be maintained with regular oil pulling.

However some people might not stand the taste of coconut oil, which is why you can choose other carrier oils as an alternative. Sesame oil, olive oil and sunflower oil are some of the oils that you can use. Essential oils such as tea tree oil, oregano oil or lemon oil could be added to strengthen the antibacterial properties of oil pulling.

Tips to start oil pulling:

  • Start slowly. You can start oil pulling by oil pulling for just 5 minutes on the first day and adding time onwards. The longer you pull, the more toxins are being taken out.
  • Don’t be too forceful with it. Be careful of putting too much energy into it, as you can get a stiff jaw. Just use gentle pushing, pulling and sucking through the teeth.
  • Don’t swallow the oil. One of the things that you should never do is swallow the oil. It has already contained all the bacteria from your body. If you can’t handle it, spit it out immediately in the nearest trash can.
  • Avoid using too much oil. If you find it hard not to swallow, then it means that you have too much oil in your mouth. Simply spit the oil out and take in a smaller amount.

Benefits of oil pulling:

  1. Whiter teeth: Those who have tried oil pulling have reported whiter teeth in just a matter of days. Not much research has been done of the effects of oil pulling on the aesthetics of the teeth, however people who has tried it have confirmed this particular effect.
  2. Cavity and gingivitis prevention: Remaining food creates plaque, which is a layer of bacteria, saliva and food particles. If left alone, bacteria would break down the food particles and create acidity which would destroy the tooth enamel. Bacteria in the teeth could also create infections, resulting in inflammation and gum bleeding. One of the effects of oil pulling is to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, which is why oil pulling could help minimize the chances of gum disease and cavity.
  3. Better breath: Bad breath is something that affects a major part of the population. Reduce bad breath by regularly practicing oil pulling. Its tendencies in reducing bacteria also contributes to better breath in general. In fact, it was reported that children who pulled using sesame oil experienced the same benefits with those who are using chlorhexidine (disinfectant and antiseptic).
  4. Less jaw pain: It is unclear why oil pulling is able to this, but those who suffer from jaw pain, sleep problems and sinus problems report an improvement after oil pulling. The pulling movement while oil pulling seems to help loosen up some of the jaw and neck muscles that are experiencing tension. Antibacterial properties also helps reduce the discomfort that many people seem to experience.
  5. Alleviation of headaches, hangovers, skin issues and hair, sleep problems, hair luster, joint pain and sinus issues: Anti-bacterial properties of oil pulling seems to have helped a variety of body issues. Some of the most difficult skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis are reported to experience an improvement since they started oil pulling. Hair and joints are also body parts that experience an improvement. Hangovers, sinus problems and headaches seems to vanish the moment oil pulling is done.