In short, yes. I tried this ancient Indian homeopathic method myself over the past month and I am already experiencing the benefits of oil pulling. I had my first cavity when I was 22 years old, and after having some very painful surgery to correct a bad filling, I was left with chronic jaw pain, extreme sensitivity on my right side of my mouth, and had developed a night clenching habit that caused me to wake up with a massive headache every morning. My dentist’s solution was to sell me a $500 custom mouth guard to wear at night. Now I know I can pass on that torture device and spend that cash on a new pair of shoes (or boatloads of coconut oil).
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing about 2 teaspoons of organic sesame or coconut oil in the mouth first thing in the morning for 20 minutes to extract toxins, bacteria, and parasites to improve oral and overall health. While some say 5-10 minutes is all you need, experts including Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing, say 20 minutes is best. Your saliva activates enzymes in the oil that stick to toxins and bacteria and pull them to the surface, which is how the practice of oil pulling gets its moniker.
Oil Pulling Benefits:
- Natural whitening of teeth
- Reduction of gum inflammation and bleeding
- Prevention of tooth and gum disease
- Bad breath reduction
- Treatment of TMJ, headaches, and acne
- Hangover and allergy symptom relief
- Treatment of eczema, arthritis, and stomach discomfort
- Relief of tooth and jaw sensitivity and pain
…and countless others.
After a month of adding this practice to my morning routine, I no longer wake up with a headache from night clenching, and my teeth are whiter and feel cleaner and smoother. Before I started oil pulling, the right side of my mouth was so sensitive from the surgeries, I could not eat or drink on that side whatsoever and I had a swollen lymph node on that side of my jaw. The node has dramatically reduced in size, and I can now use that area of my mouth with no pain or discomfort. In addition, my allergy symptoms have reduced dramatically. There are some seriously tall claims floating around, but these four benefits are enough to make me a lifetime member of the oil pulling cult.
Oil Pulling Tips:
- Use only organic, unrefined oil. If you don’t, you may do more harm than good. I use Dr Bronner’s Fresh-pressed Unrefined Virgin White Kernel Coconut Oil.
- If the oil is too cold or grainy at first, let it warm up and melt in your mouth for about 20 seconds before you begin swishing.
- If the amount of oil becomes overwhelming, spit a bit out. Do not swallow the oil; it contains the gross stuff you’re trying to get rid of.
- Never spit the oil into your toilet, sink, or shower drain as it can congeal in there and clog your plumbing. Simply spit the oil into a garbage can when you’re done with your 20 minutes.
- 20 minutes can seem like a long time, so keep busy while you oil pull. Take a shower, check your emails, do the dishes, anything to take your mind off the clock.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water afterward and then brush your teeth to flush out any remaining toxins.
Have you tried oil pulling? Share your experience below!