Oil pulling is an ancient technique which is being adopted by many from the Western world to fight tooth decay, bad breath, cavities and gingivitis. When done regularly, it can give you healthier gums, shinier, whiter teeth and even bring about reduction in acne and skin issues. It is completely safe and natural and you can ‘pull’ any organic oils including sunflower, coconut or sesame oil to enhance oral health and detoxify your body.In today’s guide, we will study oil pulling in detail..
How to do oil pulling
As stated above, you can use any oil to do this holistic ritual, though most experts recommend using organic extra virgin coconut oil.
- Simply take a tablespoon of coconut oil at room temperature and swish it around your mouth. Perform this swishing action for at least 20 minutes. It is best to do oil pulling at the same time each day: morning or evening before bedtime works wonders. Many oil pulling aficionados recommend pulling oil first thing upon in the morning before brushing teeth or having breakfast.
- Continue swishing the oil thoroughly between the teeth. Make sure the oil touches the insides of your cheeks and all around the gums. In the beginning, the oil will feel thick and viscous, but as you proceed, it will get easier since your saliva will mix with it and dilute it making it a lot easier to pull.
- After the time period of 20 minutes is up, spit out the oil. Do not swallow it as it contains toxins and bacteria. You may now rinse your mouth or brush your teeth with regular toothpaste, though it is not necessary.
Oil Pulling: even better than brushing!
Oil pulling is being considered even more effective than brushing and flossing combined. When done regularly, it can eliminate toxins from the oral cavity. However, if your dentist has specifically asked you to floss and brush, we recommend you use both-oil pulling as well as brushing. Many scientific studies have been performed on this technique, particularly to determine its effect on gingivitis and plaque. Majority of the tests confirmed the safety of the technique on both oral soft and hard tissue. Here are the details:
Test: 10 subjects performed Oil Pulling daily (along with their other oral hygiene measures) for 45 days, using refined Sunflower oil. Their Plaque and Gingival scores were assessed periodically through modified PHP and Gingival indices. The results were subjected to t-test and Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: The reduction in plaque and gingival scores from baseline to 45 days were found to be statistically significant.
History of Oil pulling
Oil pulling isn’t new at all. It has been practiced for years by followers of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science. Oil pulling dates back centuries ago and has been mentioned in sacred texts of Charaka Samhita and Sushratha’s Arthashastra. The oil you pull acts as a cleanser and pulls out debris and bacteria from the gums as well as toxins from the oral cavity. This expels harmful substances from the mouth. As a result: your teeth and gums function better. The technique does not harm the good flora in the oral cavity and only gets rid of the cavity-causing bacterium.
Can oil pulling reduce plaque?
There are billions of microorganisms living in our mouth. Over 600 different species of bacteria, fungi and viruses make their home in the human mouth. Many food items we eat, especially sugary foods, coffee and other acid producing agents like alcohol, coffee etc interact with the bacteria producing byproducts. Over time, these byproducts irritate the delicate gum tissues causing gingivitis. Lack of saliva (that results from poor oral hygiene and insufficient water intake) causes these byproducts to accumulate further in-between the teeth. They eventually harden into tartar and plaque. The bacterial colonies in the plaque continue abrading the dental enamel which, overtime, causes dental cavities.
Mouthwashes and toothpastes do not always work
Unfortunately , people believe that mouthwashes and chemical filled toothpastes are enough to take care of these oral issues. This is not the case. Despite regular brushing and flossing, more and more people are suffering from oral issues than ever. If statistics are to be believed, nearly 65% of the population aged 70 and above will lose almost all of their teeth.
Prevent root canals and fillings
Unfortunately, dentists are denying this precious knowledge about oil pulling. They are opting to fill cavities using root canals and other invasive and expensive techniques.The study above has shown clearly that people with mild to moderate levels of plaque and other oral issues can benefit by pulling oil regularly. There were absolutely no harmful or adverse effects on the dental enamel. More than 50% people also reported improvement/reduction in their Gingivitis symptoms where mouthwashes only reduced it by 25-30%. It is no wonder that researchers have concluded that oil pulling is an effective technique and a practice that should be adopted by all.
Salient features of oil pulling
- Actively fights oral infections
- More effective in combating plaque and gingivitis than regular brushing, flossing and mouthwashes
- No harmful effects on teeth
- Reduced dental sensitivity to cold and sweets
- Improved appearance of teeth-whiter and shinier teeth
Conclusion: everyone should be oil pulling for improved oral health!