HEALTH | Oil Pulling? Yes, oil pulling…

Oil pulling comes from the traditional Hindu system of medicine called Ayurveda. According to Food Matters, oil pulling is a remedy for oral health and detoxification.

It involves the use of pure oils in order to pull harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and even throat. []

Some of the reported benefits of oil pulling include:


How to Oil Pull

✔ First thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything, take ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil into your mouth.
✔ Swish the oil thoroughly, making sure to pull the oil through your teeth, for approximately 10-20 minutes. DO NOT GARGLE, the oil.
✔ After swishing for a comfortable amount of time (the jaw can become fatigued), spit the oil into the trash.  I do not recommend spitting the oil in the sink, it could later contribute to a clogged drain.
✔ Rinse and brush, floss, etc., as you normally would.

**Note: Remember the oil will be toxic, do not swallow any of the oil. If you feel as though you must swallow, you’ve got too much in your mouth. Spit it out and start over with a smaller amount.

How Oil Pulling Works

While swishing the oil, microbes and bacteria that are hiding in the crevices of the teeth and gums are sucked out and held in the oil. The longer the oil is swished/pulled, the more microbes and bacteria are pulled out. If the oil has been swished long enough, it will become milky white and frothy (viscous). This is the point at which the oil is discarded and the mouth is rinsed, thoroughly.

What oils should be used?

Sesame oil seems to be the most popular; however, coconut oil has added health benefits. Other oils that can be used are extra virgin olive, sunflower, neem, peppermint, tea tree, among others. It should be noted that “sesame and sunflower oils […] both have omega 6 fats that are pro-inflammatory, and most of us have too much of these fats in our diet.” Coconut oil is best, per Chicago cosmetic dentist Dr. Jessica T. Emery, DMD, “Coconut oil is preferred because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of the bacteria whooping ingredient lauric acid. Lauric acid is very well known for its antimicrobial actions; it inhibits Strep mutans that are the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that recent studies have shown the benefit of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay.”

What Western Medicine Has To Say

Quoting Dr. Emery, DMD of

For the record, a regular oil-pulling routine should not replace routine dental visits and traditional at-home oral care. Oil pulling does not reverse the effects of tooth decay, and it’s important that patients are made fully aware of that. That being said, I do believe that it is a great supplemental therapy. The phrase “oil pulling” comes from the process of the oil being “worked” in the mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it through the teeth. This type of oral therapy isn’t new at all; it has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years.

It all makes sense from a mechanical perspective. We know the primary cause of tooth decay is bacteria. While I certainly can’t support every claim that is out there, I do believe that this simple oral health technique will likely improve dental health, and, as I’ll discuss later, it may even benefit overall health and wellness.

HEALTH How dental professionals can respond to ‘oil pulling’ patients How Oil Pulling Can Change Your Life

Disclaimer: Please remember that these tips & suggestions are based on my personal research or experience and are not meant to replace medical &/or dietary advice from a licensed health care practitioner/provider.

Enjoy life | Cynthia.

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