Oil Pulling… Yes or No

27 Mar


My wife and I both brought this idea up on the same day without knowing that the other was thinking about it. What is it you ask? Oil pulling.  I have been reading a lot of blogs lately about the benefits of oil pulling and it is something that is quite intriguing.  First lets start with what it is:

The concept has evolved from ancient tradition as a way of keeping your teeth clean back during a time when they didn’t have tooth brushes.  You take a teaspoon to tablespoon of oil (sesame seed oil supposedly works the best but more on that later) and then you swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Apparently 20 minutes is the key to this whole experiment.  While you are swishing it around you are supposed to focus on pulling it through the spaces of your teeth. When the twenty minutes is up, you simply spit out the oil (do not swallow) and then brush your teeth.

Sesame oil is the most recommended oil because apparently it works the best, but I’ve also seen blogs suggest using olive oil and even coconut oil. Coconut oil, it is suggested, has properties that help promote the removal of bacteria in the mouth and prevent tooth and enamel repair.  Many sites suggest that the pulling of the oil has many benefits including:

  • cleaning your teeth
  • whitening of your teeth
  • repairing damaged teeth
  • preventing bacterial growth and plaque
  • improving gingivitis
  • removing toxins from the body (through the blood vessels)
  • much more

While I am a bit skeptical about the whole removing toxins from the body benefit, the others seem pretty legit. It makes sense that if you swish around oil in your mouth, it creates a slick and toxic environment for bacterial growth. 1 the sugar doesn’t have a way of sticking to your teeth and giving the bacteria food to feed on and 2 the oil is slick enough to get down in between the teeth and gums creating that same environment.  I think the real key to this method is the 20 minutes because spending 20 minutes using the muscles of your mouth increases the blood flow to the area bringing in more nutrients to the gums and teeth that allow for greater repair and white blood cell increases that help with the gingivitis.  I am sure that mouthwash products like Listerine and Colgate could do the same thing, but lets be honost, with the stinging effects of these products, it is hard to swish them in your mouth for more than a minute.

It is an interesting concept that I think my wife and I are going to try. We’ll let you know how the results turn out. For our experiment, we’ll be using the coconut oil. There are several reasons that we plan to use it including that we use it all the time in cooking as well as the taste. I love the taste of coconut oil and just don’t think I could handle the sesame seed or olive oil.

Have you tried oil pulling? If so what results have you seen from it? If not, would you like to join me in this experiment and why?



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