Oil Pulling

Have you oil-pulled today?

By Alison Logee, RDH, Ayurveda and Reiki Practitioner

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice that involves the swishing of sesame, coconut or sunflower oil, in the mouth.  It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that helps detoxify the body.  The swishing activates enzymes that draw out toxins.  Scientific studies show that it also supports oral health by reducing the amount of streptococcus mutans, which are cariogenic bacteria that break down enamel, causing tooth decay.

Oil-pulling helps minimize gingivitis by ”pulling” toxins out of the gums, cheeks and tongue, which enable these soft tissues to heal  properly without the constant invasion of destructive bacteria.

The idea is to continually disrupt or “break-up” the colonies of bacteria.  You will immediately notice less bleeding and progressively firming gums.  People with dry mouth or sensitive teeth will have some relief because of the lubricating property of the oil.

Pour one tablespoon of oil into your mouth and continuously bring it through your teeth and swish it around so that it comes in contact with all soft tissues.  As your saliva production increases you will sense the oil starting to thin.  One of the things you may notice is the loosening of phlegm at the back of your throat.  You may have to spit out the contents and refresh with a new spoonful of oil.  The procedure helps decongest the sinuses as well.

At the end of 15 minutes, do not swallow but spit the oil out.  You will notice the watery texture and whitish appearance of the waste.  Immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water.  You have just “detoxified” your mouth and your body.  There is plenty of literature on line that will go into deeper explanation of oil-pulling and its beneficial effects on various conditions and diseases.

Oil-pulling can be added to your daily regime of proper brushing, flossing and tongue scraping.  It is recommended to be done first thing in the morning, before drinking or eating.  If you are dealing with advanced gum or bone disease conditions, it is imperative that you seek the professional advice of your Dental Hygienist or Dentist.