8 Oil Pulling Benefits to Maintain Dental Health

Updated on December 9th, 2019
Oil Pulling Benefits

Smile is the most beautiful thing that you possess. But are you taking care of your precious smile? Good oral hygiene adds beauty to your smile and keeps the mouth and gum infections away. We know that oil pulling is the practice of swishing or swirling the oil in the mouth for prolonged periods to enjoy certain health benefits. Oil pulling can get rid of toxins and oral bacteria in the body that are soluble in the oil, thereby making you enjoy overall oral health.  Are you excited to know more about oil pulling benefits? Be patient and read on to see the oil pulling benefits.

Although oil pulling has been around for the last 3,000 years or so, it became a significant trend in the 1990s after a Russian physician, Dr. F. Karach, wrote about its health-boosting potential.

According to a review in The Journal of Ayurveda(1) and Integrative Medicine (J-AIM), Ayurvedic practitioners claim oil pulling can cure 30 different diseases, including many illnesses that have nothing to do with the mouth.

What is Oil Pulling and Is It Beneficial?

Are you curious to know what oil pulling is? Well! Continue to read. Oil pulling is an oral health practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth for a prolonged period, typically 5-20minutes. Although oil pulling has been around for 3000 years, it became a trend after the 1990s after Dr. Karach a Russian physician wrote about its health-boosting potential.

Ancient ayurvedic medicines prescribed oil pulling for oral hygiene due to its great benefits. Also, ayurvedic practitioners claim oil pulling can cure 30 different types of diseases such as illnesses that have nothing to do with the mouth.

Scientists from the University of Oxford concluded that oil pulling is free from significant dangers, is cost-effective and that it “may have beneficial effects on dental hygiene.”

[Also Read: Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth]

How Does Oil Pulling Work for Oral Hygiene?

There are two oil pulling techniques: Gandusha and Kavala. Gandusha is an ancient technique of holding the liquid in the mouth of 3-5 minutes. The liquid is then spat out, and the process is repeated. In Kavala, you fill your mouth with fluid and hold it there for a couple of minutes, swish it around the mouth, and later, spit it out. It is repeated 2-3 times and does not exceed more than 3-4 minutes.

In Ayurveda, many different oils can be used depending on the physiology and condition of the person. The results can be seen in a few months with benefits such as reduced plaque, stronger gums, and cavity prevention.

Oil pulling(2) detoxifies the oral cavity by drawing out the impurities accumulated in it. The coconut oil pulling contains lauric acid and well known for its antimicrobial properties and can fight off yeasts, bacterias, and viruses.

[Also Read: Benefits of Coconut Oil]

What are the Benefits of Oil Pulling That Make it an Excellent Pick for Oral Health?

1. Oil pulling for Gum Health

Oil pulling for Gum Health

Gingivitis is a type of gum disease caused by plaque and is marked by swollen red gums which bleed easily. Luckily, oil pulling can be the sole remedy to reduce inflammation and enhance gum health. Oils like coconut oils contain anti-inflammatory properties, that also aid in reducing gum inflammation.

A study with 20 individuals with gingivitis compared the effectiveness of oil pulling with sesame oil and a regular mouthwash. The results claimed oil pulling as a more useful supplementary treatment that promotes healthy gums. Oil pulling decreases the plaque formation and harmful bacteria in the mouth that contribute to the gum disease.

[Also Read: Treat Gum disease with Natural Remedies]

2. Oil Pulling For Teeth

Anecdotal evidence suggests that oil pulling can whiten teeth by clearing stains from the surface of the teeth.  Swishing too can whiten teeth, but only if done regularly. Swishing with sunflower oil or sesame oil can remove the dirt, toxins, and stains on the surface of the teeth.

3. Prevents Cavities

Cavities are a common problem for everyone across the world, and that which stems from tooth decay. Excessive sugar intake and poor oral hygiene, and plaque build can also cause cavities. Plaque is comprised of food particles, saliva, and bacteria that form a coating on teeth.

The bacteria break down the food particles and form an acid that destroys tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay. Several studies have found that oil pulling may decrease the number of harmful bacteria found in plaque and saliva as effectively as a mouthwash. Oil pulling weakens the stains of bacteria and reduces the risk of cavity formation.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Cavities]

4. Reduces Bad Breath

Approximately, 50% of the population is reported to be suffering from halitosis, commonly known as bad breath. The potential causes include tongue coating, poor oral hygiene, and gum disease, and infections. Research done with 20 children, involved rinsing with either sesame oil or chlorhexidine.

The research showed a significant decrease in levels of the microorganisms known to contribute bad breath. Therefore, oil pulling may be used as a natural alternative to reduce bad breath and could be more effective than other treatments.

5. Kills Harmful Bacteria

Several studies claim that there are approximately 350 types of bacteria that can live in your mouth at any given time. Certain bacteria can cause gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay.

A recent study found similar results that had 50 participants rinse their mouths using either mouthwash or coconut oil for two weeks. Both coconut oil and mouthwash were found to reduce the number of bacteria found in saliva.

6. Relieves Inflammation

Research claims that coconut oil pulling can rescue inflammation. The benefits of oil pulling also include its anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory effects of oil pulling have a beneficial impact on certain conditions linked to inflammation.

A 2015 study suggests that oil pulling with coconut oil reduces plaque build-up and could help prevent plaque-induced gingivitis.

7. Boosts Immune System

Oils like coconut oil are a storehouse of fatty acids and vitamin A that are necessary to strengthen your immune system. This is the reason why oil pulling has remained a part of ayurvedic traditions for 100 years. Oil pulling keeps cancerous cells, oxidative stress, and infectious bacteria at bay.

8. Handy and Best Option

The most significant oil pulling benefits is how easily it can be incorporated and how simple it is to be done into your daily regimen. Traditionally, sesame oil has been used for oil pulling which can be found right in your kitchen.

Oils like coconut and olive oil possess potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be especially useful for oil pulling.

How to do Oil Pulling at Home?

Oil pulling involves just a few simple steps and easy to do regularly. Here are the easy steps to do oil pulling

How to do?

  • Measure one tablespoon of oil such as olive, sesame, or coconut oil
  • Swish the oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes and make sure you do not swallow any as it contains toxins and microbes
  • Make sure oil reaches each part in your mouth
  • Split the oil out after swishing the oil and brush your teeth carefully
  • Rinse your mouth well using water before drinking or eating anything
  • Repeat regularly for at least 1-3 times a day best result

Best Time to Do Oil Pulling and How Often Should You Do It?

You may be wondering about the best time to do oil pulling and how often should you do it? If yes, read to know the answer to your odd question. The best time to do it is within the first hour of waking up and the last hour before bed. Do it 1-4 times depending upon your health history Doing it 3-4 times daily is an effective way if you suffer from a root canal.

What are the Possible Side-Effects of Using Oil Pulling?

  1. Oil pulling causes the mouth to dry, and fills your throat with mucus, causing constant cough.
  2. Some anecdotal evidence shows sudden flu-like symptoms after oil pulling
  3. Oil pulling for 15-20 mins continuously could cause stiffness of jaw muscles.
  4. You could experience a loss of appetite if you ingest a small amount of oil while swishing it. Ensure you do not swallow any oil while swishing.
  5. Oil pulling causes nausea as it is done on an empty stomach and taking a little amount of the oil which contains toxins and bacteria can also lead to nausea.
  6. After oil pulling, the mouth is extremely dry since the oil mixes with the saliva and is completely removed from the mouth.

Earlier, it was believed that aging causes cavities and gum disease. But now after reading this article, the myth is busted. With the proper oral health care, you can keep your smile right till the end. The oil pulling benefits are intensively discussed above and will give effective results for your oral health. However, keep the side effects in mind while you practice oil pulling for your oral health.

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