WTH is oil pulling?

It’s actually really simple. Oil pulling is just swishing oil around your mouth for about twenty minutes. Since it has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, coconut oil is my favorite to use (and tastes best). It’s actually an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that has ancestral roots. Like so many ancient traditions, it fell out of favor and people now resort to teeth cleanings, teeth bleaching, harsh mouthwashes and toxic, fluoride-filled toothpaste.

What are the benefits?

I know oil pulling may seem completely odd. How could swishing oil around your mouth for twenty minutes be so beneficial?

First, understand that the health of your mouth effects the entire body. Not only are you swallowing the bacteria (both good and bad) that is present in your mouth, but oral health can also play a role in heart and overall health. Harmful bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the bloodstream, making its way to distant parts of your body and causing chronic inflammation. From Dr. Mercola,

There is one bacterium that has been causing a great deal of trouble with people’s health: Fusobacterium nucleatum, a spindle-shaped anaerobic bacterium commonly found in dental plaque. F. nucleatum is abundant in your mouth and able to coaggregate with other species.8 Three recent studies have linked F. nucleatum with serious health problems:

  1. Case Western Reserve University researchers found that some malignant colorectal tumors are caused by F. nucleatum9

  2. Harvard researchers also established a link between F. nucleatum and the initiation of colorectal tumors10

  3. A study in Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that oral F. nucleatum can lead to intrauterine infection and even stillbirth11

The bacteria that is commonly found in gum disease has also shown to be present in blood vessels going through atherosclerosis and according to Sam Low, DDS,

Inflammation is another common denominator for both diseases. When people have moderate to severe gum disease, their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that rises during whole-body inflammation, increase. CRP levels are also used to assess a person’s risk of a heart attack.

So proper oral health is preettyyyy important. Oil pulling helps:

  • gingivitis
  • halitosis (bad breath)
  • sinus infections
  • acne
  • teeth stains
  • yellow teeth
  • reduce inflammation
  • prevent heart disease
  • prevent cancer
  • strengthen the teeth and gums
  • prevent and heal cavities

How does oil pulling work?

Like I mentioned earlier, I like to use coconut oil for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is why it is so potent, making it the perfect oil to use for oil pulling. Because oil is viscous, it is able to penetrate deep into the gums and between teeth. It is able to reach places that flossing and brushing are unable to.

Bacteria and plaque are often lodged deep within the gums, mouthwash can’t reach these parts because it isn’t viscous at all. The act of swishing oil around your mouth for twenty minutes dislodges this bacteria and plaque, making your mouth (and body) a lot healthier.

My experience with oil pulling:

I love it. I recently overheard a fellow bride say that she was spending a ton of money getting teeth whitenings before her wedding. If I weren’t across the room from her and it wouldn’t have been totally obvious that I was eavesdropping, I would have told her to just oil pull!

My teeth have gotten so much whiter and continue to do so and while I had really bad teeth growing up from such a poor diet, I haven’t been to the dentist in years. Just make sure to use a good brand of coconut oil, you can find one HERE.

Why I'm Obsessed with Oil Pulling - whether you want to naturally whiten your teeth, prevent cavities or improve oral health, you need to try oil pulling!

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21911944

http://www.asiaph.org/admin/img_topic/6096Sroisiri.pdf

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/05/oral-pathogens.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/healthy-teeth-healthy-heart?page=2

45 Comments

  1. Hi, Dani. I have enjoyed reading your blog for about a year, now. Thanks, and keep it up! My question: what quantity of coconut oil should be used with each swish, and how frequently per day should swishing be done?

    • dani stout Reply

      That makes me so happy!

      I should have included this info, use a tbsp of coconut oil and 1x per day for 20 minutes is good.

      • how do you swish for 20 minutes? I can hardly swish for 30 seconds. Does it have to be 20? It sounds like a great idea! Maria

        • dani stout Reply

          It’s not an issue for me, I just do it while I’m cleaning or showering. Start with as much time as you can and work your way up. Practice makes perfect!

  2. When I first learned of oil pulling I was hooked, it just sounded right to me. Then after doing some research I read in a few places, if you do it, it messes up your dental work. People reported things such as their fillings falling out. I have a filling and I don’t that to happen (though the point is to avoid having any more!!) Have you heard of that happening? I’m now on the fence…. Great blog post! 🙂

    • dani stout Reply

      I actually have never heard of that. I oil pulled with a filling before having the filling removed (it was mercury).

  3. I’ve been OP with a good quality sunflower, but can now afford the switch to coconut oil. I’m having a really hard time letting it melt in my mouth without swallowing because I also eat coconut oil everyday. Ideas?

  4. stacey hansen Reply

    hello! what a great post. I was reading in a different post about oil pulling that it should be done in the morning before you eat anything. when do you oil pull?

    • dani stout Reply

      I actually do it in the morning before I eat anything! It’s most convenient for me. But I think anytime would be fine.

  5. I have started oil pulling tonight!! I cannot wait to see the outcome! My question is.. Am I suppose to melt the coconut oil before or let it melt in my mouth?? I melted it the first time! Seemed like the right thing to do!! 🙂

    • dani stout Reply

      It doesn’t matter, I don’t melt it prior to oil pulling. Saves a step.

  6. Where can I buy this? I found some on amazon, but was wondering if this was at something more convenient. Like a Target or Walmart? I wouldn’t know where to look for it in stores

  7. Hi Dani, I am so eager to work this into my routine, but I when I have made attempts my gag reflex goes crazy. Do you have any tips to help overcome my weak stomach? Thanks.

    • dani stout Reply

      Honestly, the best one I have is practice makes perfect. And don’t tilt your head back.

      It took me a long time to get used to it but it DOES get easier, just keep at it!

    • You may start with much less than a tablespoon, maybe a teaspoon, and work your way up over time. This may make it a bit easier. It’s certainly worth it!

    • Add a drop of pure peppermint essential oil. It settles the stomach and leaves you minty fresh!

    • dani stout Reply

      I would think it’s fine but detoxing is so tricky while breastfeeding and it varies for everyone. I would double check with a holistic doc if you have the option.

  8. This is an amazing! I haven’t tried it yet, but I am going to in the morning! My question is this, a tablespoon doesn’t seem like a lot, could you use more? I have coconut oil that is melted.

    • dani stout Reply

      You can absolutely use more. Use as much as you feel comfortable with.

      • My oil is hard wax like. Do I mix it with water and then swish??

        • dani Reply

          You put the chunk of oil in your mouth, it’ll turn to liquid pretty quickly.

  9. Sarah LaSalle Reply

    I have terrible teeth so this sounds like an appealing option over going to the dentist. Do you have to pull oil with coconut or would olive or other oils work as well?

  10. what do you use to brush your teeth with after you oil pull? Have you had any cavities since you been oil pulling?
    Thanks

  11. I am 62 & have some extensive crowns & bridges, will this damage or discolor them?

    • dani stout Reply

      It shouldn’t but you can check with your dentist.

  12. I do so appreciate the details in this article! My dentist recently discovered my first cavity EVER (early thirties.) I decided to try some alternatives to a filling after noting other deeper natural pits in my molars and decided I don’t want this to be the first of many.
    Do you happen to combine OP with fatty oil supplements and/or vitamin D?
    Thank you!!

    • dani stout Reply

      I do! I use both Green Pastures and Nordic Naturals cod liver oil.

  13. I’m 64 am being treated for periodontal disease and have one implant. Will this help me and be safe for my implant?

  14. Hi..I have Butcher Boy Coconut Oil..
    Can I use this for pulling?

    • dani Reply

      I’m not familiar with it. As long as it’s non-hydrogenated and preferably organic, it should be fine.

  15. It says Butcher Boy Non hydrogenated 100%Pure Refined coconut oil..

  16. Hi I’ve been doing alot of research on OP you should definitely do it in the morning as it pulls the toxins from your body hence why you do it for 20 mins. Do not swallow as it will be packed with toxins! Then brush your teeth I’m personally a ‘mud mouth’ lol. Clay is also amazing for your teeth. Then swish some salt water after to make sure all toxins are eliminated. Love this page.

  17. Anneke MIGOM Reply

    I dare testify that this is a miracle treatment ! I had a tooth nerve exposed with severe pains results. But even after just three times OP, the pain is gone and my teeth feel like I have undergone a decalcification ! Every time I’ve done an OP, it feels like a miracle for my poor and bad teeth ! A real super highly recommended for anyone (even for dogs, I suspect!).

    Greets from Antwerp – Belgium

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