The term “oil pulling” may sound painful. There’s no “pulling” of anything physical, the process of oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice.
In a nutshell: you simply swish in your mouth around 1/2 tsp. of pure oil; coconut oil, olive oil, etc. You will also need an antimicrobial oil such as oregano or lemon oil. This draws out toxins and other harmful bacteria from your mouth in as little as 9-14 minutes. (Be sure to avoid gargling the oil as you could accidentally ingest it.) This is because it improves your microorganism balance in your mouth – thus improving your health. Then it is simply a matter of brushing your teeth as you regularly do.
Here are 4 incredible reasons why oil pulling is a phenomenal habit to start.
- Better Than Brushing
Oil pulling should never replace brushing and flossing – it is a complementary technique.
Here’s why: oil pulling binds, traps and exterminates bacteria that are in the deep pockets of your teeth. It even reportedly cleanses areas around your root canals.
Root canals, if you don’t know, play host to countless bacteria. Needless to be said, these are difficult to reach with a standard toothbrush. This fact alone is why oil pulling is significantly more beneficial than simply brushing/flossing – and should be used in tandem with pulling.
Think of the popularity of using lavender essential oil in tandem with dish soap as an all-purpose cleaner. The oil “boosts” the cleaning strength of the dish soap. In this instance, both the dish soap and toothbrush could “use” some help.
- Could Help Reduce Bad Breath
Bad breath’s name is halitosis. You undoubtedly know someone or two who has bad breath – you’ve possibly even had bad breath, yourself! (I know I do first thing in the morning. My partner lovingly calls it “dragon breath.”) Other symptoms may be an oral infection or gum disease. The reason it smells foul is because of the tongue, which is suffocating under a bunch of bacteria. Since oil pulling is just as effective as an anti-septic mouthwash. Be sure to talk to a dentist who has passed his/her RDA exam.
- Reduce Gum Diseases
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection in your mouth. Specifically, the tissues that hold your teeth together deteriorate. The most common cause of periodontal disease is the lack of a proper brushing/flossing routine. This leads to gingivitis – having gingivitis is never fun since your gums are swollen and easily bleed. The culprit here is the bacteria found in plaque (one being Streptococcus mutans). You can already see how oil pulling since it eliminates bacteria, reduces the tragedy of gum disease by lowering inflammation. In a study, 60 people treated their mouths with coconut oil for 30 days – after that time, they showed lower amounts of plaque.
Oil pulling is simple enough to do; it can easily be turned into a habit for improving your oral health if you have 10-15 minutes to spare. It costs no major time, and it is extremely cheap to do. Chances are, you most likely already have everything you need in your kitchen. Search your cupboards for sesame oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. These oils are highly anti-inflammatory and are antibacterial.
While oil pulling should never replace brushing and flossing regularly, it’s a tremendous complementary strategy for upgrading your health hygiene. The benefits we’ve discussed here is just the start. Before beginning, talk to your doctor or dentist about your interest in this subject.