What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing oil around In your mouth for a set period of time. It draws out the toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.
Dating back to around 5,000 years ago, oil pulling was originally used for healing purposes to treat all kinds of oral issues with sesame and sunflower oil being the predominant base used at the time. Recent studies show that when compared with our usual mouthwash, the method of oil pulling with sesame oil does in fact reduce plaque. The growing trend in the 21st century towards using natural, organic products wherever possible has meant that oil pulling has seen a comeback, as people embrace this traditional and wholly natural way to look after their teeth. Coconut oil is often favoured above the original oils, as this oil also has many benefits for your whole body such as burning fat and balancing hormones. Additionally, coconut oil has been seen to have the ability to help protect against tooth decay.
What are the key benefits of oil pulling?
- Treats bad breath. A 2011 study found that oil pulling is as effective as chlorhexidine (medical disinfectant and antiseptic) in the treatment of bad breath.
- It improves tooth sensitivity. Many users of oil pulling who previously suffered from tooth pain, noticed a difference in the sensitivity of their teeth.
- It helps to whiten your teeth. As oil is a fat it naturally attracts the microorganisms in your mouth, enabling the oil to collect the bacteria and for you to then dispose of. Because the microorganisms make up the plaque which forms on your teeth you are then removing the plaque leaving your teeth cleaner and whiter in appearance.
- It helps to clear your skin. Oil pulling removes toxins from your body that would otherwise remain within your bloodstream. Once these toxins are removed it enables your skin to heal, reducing acne, rashes and redness.
- Prevents Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease caused by the accumulation of bacteria on your teeth, known commonly as plaque.
- Oil Pulling improves your overall health. Many people claim to feel more energised after adopting oil pulling as part of their lifestyle.
- It also has been seen to help treat as many as 30 diseases including headaches, diabetes and cancer.
How do you go about oil pulling? A simple guide to getting started:
- Oil pulling should be carried out first thing in the morning before drinking or eating.
- Begin by putting up to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth. Swish the oil gently around, avoiding swallowing it, for up to 20 minutes. The longer you do this the more microorganisms the oil with collect whilst in your mouth.
- Once the 20 minutes are up spit the oil in the bin, not your sink as the oil can clog up your pipes over time.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
- Finally complete the process by brushing your teeth as usual. It is important to realise that this is not a substitute for brushing your teeth.
- Do it daily or as often as you can. Usually people try to do it at least 3 times a week.
Our modern diets are very different from 5,000 years ago, as our teeth are now exposed to processed sugars and many more unnatural substances. Oil pulling should be carried out alongside your usual brushing but it would replace your mouthwash.
I hope you now know a bit more about oil pulling than you did before and are inspired to try it for yourself considering the numerous benefits, let us know when you do!