So far, you have probably heard about oil pulling as an oral detoxification method, but do you know about all the other health benefits it offers, as well as its potential side effects? We explain this, as well as the proper way to use this method in order to gain all the oil pulling benefits and avoid possible side effects.
What is Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an oral detoxification method that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes.
As you swish the oil in your mouth, it draws all the dirt stuck between your teeth, in and around your gums, as well as the bacteria and microbes from your tongue and palate, under the gum line, and from cervices between your teeth.
All of these toxins are absorbed by the oil, and then eliminated from the mouth by spitting the oil.
History of Oil Pulling
Although you can’t imagine your life without tooth brushing, the reality is that our ancestors and probably your grandparents didn’t know about tooth brushing till the late 30s, when the first nylon bristle toothbrushes actually appeared. So, you are probably wondering how come their teeth didn’t rot, and how did they clean their teeth.
First of all, the food they consumed was real without sugar or any other additives that destroy the tooth enamel. Other thing is that they were rubbing chew sticks against their teeth, a popular teeth cleaning method among the ancient Egyptians. And lastly, a lot of people used oil pulling as an effective and simple way to clean their teeth and oral cavity.
Oil Pulling Benefits
As we mentioned, you can benefit a lot more from oil pulling than cleaning your teeth and mouth cavity. Below, we list the dental hygiene oil pulling benefits you will gain by doing regular oil pulling, as well as the systematic ones. (1)
Dental Hygiene Benefits
- Whitens and strengthens tooth enamel
- Improves bad breath
- Heals bleeding gums
- Prevents and treats gingivitis (gum inflammation)
- Reduces gum and tooth sensitivity
Systemic Health Benefits of Oil Pulling
- Improves lung function
- Improves heart health
- Eliminates or reduces acne
- Detoxifies the body
- Alleviates sinus inflammation
- Improves sleep
- Improves energy levels
- Hangover remedy
How to Do Oil Pulling
The best time to do oil pulling is in the morning before breakfast. You can do this while preparing for work. Just swish a tablespoon of any of the below listed oils around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
Don’t swallow or inhale it as the oil is loaded with the toxins and bacteria you want to eliminate from your oral cavity. After this period, spit it into the toilet or garbage, and rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Brush your teeth as usual, and you will have clean, antiseptic oral environment which helps normal flow of dental liquid that protects from cavities and disease.
What Oil to Use?
Coconut oil and sesame seed oil are the two most recommended oils for this oral detoxification method. However, you can also use olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, black cumin seed oil, walnut oil, and cedar nut oil.
Side Effects of Oil Pulling
One 56-year old Korean woman’s experience with oil pulling was discussed in The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Namely, she has inhaled the oil loaded with bacteria into her lungs, which led to four successive lipoid pneumonias. Therefore, you should not inhale the oil that contains all toxins from your oral cavity. So, if you have a constant urge to cough while doing it, this method is not for you.
Another “side effect” of oil pulling is the possibility to remove a symptom believing you have found the cure for your problem, when it actually indicates something much more serious. So, consult your doctor to make sure your migraine, acne, or eczema is not a sign of something more serious.