My Attempt at This Crazy Thing Called Oil Pulling: Does It Really Make a Difference?

Written by contributor Stephanie Langford of Keeper of the Home.

A friend of mine is doing a lot of research on how to strengthen teeth, and both reverse and prevent cavities, naturally. Since I”m so busy these days, I”m happy to let her do the research and then I can follow her lead.

One of the things that she is trying is oil pulling, and when she mentioned it I was reminded that I had read good things about this bizarre health therapy before. It prompted me to start reading about it again, and to even give it a try for a couple of weeks to see what the hype is all about.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice, dating back thousands of year. It consists of using some form of a vegetable oil (coconut, olive, sunflower, sesame, etc.) and swishing it around in your mouth for a period of 15-20 minutes.

How do you do it?

Basically, you take your choice of oil and put about 1 tablespoon in your mouth.

(If you like, you can also add a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil like oregano, spearmint, Thieves blend, etc. although it is totally not necessary)

Swish it around and around your mouth (you can take short breaks- you don”t have to swish constantly or tire your muscles out) until your 15-20 minutes are up. I”ve read descriptions like “pushing, pulling, drawing it through the teeth” and “working it through the mouth” (source).

Spit it out (this is important, because the oil is now full of toxins), rinse out your mouth with water and brush with a natural toothpaste or tooth soap.

It is traditionally done first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and this is supposed to give the best results.

Photo by wrestlinggentropy

What kind of results can you expect?

These are from some of the posts/sites that I have read on this topic:

  • decrease in headaches
  • improves eczema
  • helps with ulcers and diseases of stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs
  • reduce or slow growth of malignant tumors
  • better sleep
  • whiter, straighter teeth
  • healthy, pink gums
  • increased energy
  • clear sinuses
  • less severe asthma
  • decreased allergies
  • improved PMS symptoms
  • regulated menstrual cycles
  • clear skin

Source 1 and 2.

I was completely intrigued when I began reading about it, but quite skeptical. I decided to give it a try and journal some thoughts.

Note that I haven”t been as consistent with it as I would like, simply because if I don”t get to it before my children or husband are awake, it”s really hard to stay quiet for 20 minutes while they try to talk to me, and if I open my mouth to respond, well, there goes my oil!

I have also only been doing it for a couple of weeks, and although some people report excellent results within days, some have felt that it took a month or more to notice anything significant. A truer test for me would be to keep going and get a dental checkup in a month or two and see if my gums have improved, if I have less plaque buildup, or whether I have new cavities.

My reasons for trying oil pulling were primarily to white my teeth, strengthen them (to prevent new cavities, since I have fairly weak teeth), and to improve my gum health (which isn”t bad, but could be better).


Photo by walknboston

Journal of My Oil Pulling Experiment:

Day 1– Very gross the first minute or two, then I got used to it. Think I did a full 20 minutes. Didn”t really notice any difference.

Day 2– Did it again, hated the first few moments, but then it was fine. It”s working well for me to do it while I get ready in the mornings before the kids are up and before I eat. Did another 20 minutes. Not sure if I see a difference yet.

Day 4 and 5– Getting more used to it. Learned that if I just quickly chew it until it liquifies (I”m using coconut oil which gets solid because it”s winter), I get over the grossness factor faster. I know, that doesn”t sound any less gross at all, it just gets the worst over with more quickly. Is it just me or http://www.phpaide.com/?langue=fr&id=16 are my teeth slightly whiter? They do feel a little bit cleaner.

Day 8– I do think my teeth are a little whiter, but it”s not as noticeable as I hoped it would be. I haven”t noticed plaque disappearing as much as many people have, to my disappointment. Maybe it will take longer for me?

Day 9– I feel like my teeth were really sensitive after I did it (they bled while flossing afterwards). Granted, I”m a lazy flosser which accounts for it somewhat, but they were definitely more sensitive than usual. Wonder what this means? Will they get worse before they get better?

Day 11- Less sensitivity this time. Perhaps last time was just a fluke? It”s getting easier to do this.

Day 14– I”m not sure that 2 weeks has been long enough to see a real difference. They seem whiter than at first, but not significantly so. Haven”t noticed anything else.

Conclusions? I didn”t really notice a short term difference. It did become something that was easier to do, though, and I felt that it may be worth doing (at least semi-regularly) in hopes of long-term difference at my next dental checkup.

One thing that came up in some of my reading was the safety of oil pulling while pregnant, because it can supposedly cause you to detoxify. Since I”m pregnant, this slightly concerned me.

However, I don”t feel like I”ve noticed any detoxing, at least not in any of the ways that I have felt the effects of detoxing before- no headaches, no body odor or bad breath, no fatigue or achiness, etc. Personally, it doesn”t make any sense to me how this can detoxify anything beyond my mouth.

Since I”m spitting it out, not swallowing, I don”t feel concerned about toxins making their way to my baby. That”s just me, although I know that Katie has talked about it as well, but I personally feel safe doing it while pregnant or nursing. If anyone knows more about this aspect of it, I would be interested in any further information.


Photo by rightee

Does it really work?

I”ll admit that so far, I”m not convinced. I was really hoping to have a glowing review of these amazing results, but to be honest, I just haven”t seen anything that has blown me away.

I haven”t thrown in the towel yet. I am still hopeful that this will be an excellent long-term method of preventing cavities or other tooth/gum problems. My understanding is that one of the major ways that we develop dental problems (including cavities) is because of bacteria in the mouth, and I can absolutely see how oil pulling, especially with an oil like virgin coconut oil, would greatly reduce the bacteria load in the mouth, thus preventing cavities.

Just for fun, I decided to poll some of my Facebook “likers” as well, to hear about their experience/successes with oil pulling and here”s what they had to say:

  • Jill said ” I”ve only done it a couple times. One of the first times I tried it, I had a horrible cold sore inside my lip that had lasted for several weeks. After oil pulling, it disappeared the next day…”
  • Cynthia said “My teeth are whiter.My husband and I do it at the same time.We have alot of fun for 20 mins-trying to communicate. He once laughed so hard, he spit the oil every where, lol. (My) mouth just feels better.”
  • Tori said “I oil pull! I”ve had great results in my opinion. It helped my arthritis for one. The pain in my knees almost went away and the major swelling as well. I slept better, my teeth and gums feel great, and ridges I had in my nails from my psoriatic arthritis went away. My 9 yr old son and I oil pull everyday (started April 2011). We use coconut oil.” Then she added, “Oh!! And I haven”t had to take a single allergy pill and I have severe pollen allergies. I”ve been on allergy meds since I was 7 years old.”
  • Katie said “My husband oil pulls and has great results. He uses Sesame Oil mostly. He started doing it to help with candida and it has made a big difference with both that and with his osteoarthritis. It did take him several weeks before he really noticed the difference. I occasionally do with coconut oil but I have a very sensitive stomach when it comes to any oil. Wish I could do it more though!”
  • Tonya said “…I must say that it worked well for me. We have a lot of gum problems in my family and I can brush or floss without a lot of pain and bleeding and after a week I noticed that all showed improvement… I floss first to open up everything and then put the oil in and swish for 20 mins.”
  • Tesser said “I”ve doing OP for about 6-8 months. My teeth are whiter. Don”t know of other differences per se, but when you don”t have dental or health insurance, I feel like this is a major dose of prevention!!”
  • Kimberly said “I oil pull with virgin coconut oil and have noticed a huge improvement in my gums, whiter and smoother teeth, improved sinuses–less congestion in the morning, and I notice a pick me up in my energy level on days that I oil pull. I noticed this improvement immediately. Now that I am eating a fully nourishing diet (was kind of trying to

    straddle both worlds of eating–a more nourishing SAD diet–doesn”t work by the way;), I have noticed that I feel even better with the combination of oil pulling and a nourishing diet.”

  • Nobel Women 4 Christ said “I have tried it and I noticed a difference in dental hygiene (ie cleaner teeth and fresher breath); I haven”t experienced any bodily detoxing however. I think that it is definitely something to do in addition to brushing your teeth at least.”

Pretty positive, I”d say!

Two people said they had tried and couldn”t handle it, because of their gag reflex. Several said they were interested, but were still waiting to learn more about it from other people”s experiences. And a whole bunch of people said, “What on earth is oil pulling?” :)

Want to learn more about oil pulling?

Seeing as I am far from being an expert on this topic, here is some reading material for those who want to learn more:

Have you tried oil pulling? What was your experience? If you haven”t tried it yet, are you grossed out or do you think it”s something that you would be willing to try?

About Stephanie

Stephanie Langford has a passion for encouraging homemakers who want to make healthy changes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke, and (her newest!) through successful meal planning. Together she runs a music school teaching piano lessons in Surrey with her handsome husband, is mama to 4 little ones, and she is the editor and author of Keeper of the Home.

Comments

  1. StarlightMama says:

    I tried it with Sesame Oil for a while but couldn’t stick with it long enough to really see any results. I think I would like to try it with Coconut Oil, and really make a good faith effort this time.

    My brother-in-law is from India and I keep forgetting to ask him for his opinion about it…

    • I did oil pulling in the fall for 2 months. First i tried with sesame oil and when I ran out of that I started using 100% organic coconut oil. I went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in 2 years. I tend to have a problem with plaque build up so I was expecting a lecturing from my hygenist; however, she was impressed that I didn’t have much build up at all and what I did have came off pretty easily. I told her I was oil pulling and she had no clue what it was. She told my dentist what I was doing and said, write that down. LOL He didn’t know what it was either. Wow, I’ll be oil pulling from now on.
      Now as far as getting the toxins out of my body I can’t say that I noticed that because i have been juicing and do juice fasts from time to time and that takes care of ridding my body of toxins.
      Anyway, hope this was helpful to someone.

      • Oh, I completely forgot, one very important note. I had 2 pockets in my gums that were 6mm. I went down to 5mm. THAT IS AWESOME. Oil Pulling ROCKS!!

  2. I’ve been considering this treatment and I’m in the process of collecting research on the topic…thank you so much for sharing your experience Stephanie:) I think I’ll give it a go, but I do worry about not being able to stick with it. I wonder if this is something that can be used intermittently to treat acute symptoms like canker sores or a sore throat? What do you think?

  3. Very interesting! I have never heard of this before. Not sure I am able to do it though, I have quite the gag reflex but am willing to try! I have just started using oils to wash my face and have been AMAZED with the results, so wouldn’t expect anything lass with the teeth.
    I have three kids under the age of four so for years now have been pregnant back to back. I was having sensitivity issues and bleeding from from my gums which was uncommon for me. My dentist and doctor assured me that it was normal when pregnant. As for the oils, I have heard pros and cons to using when pregnant.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Look forward to giving it a try:)

  4. Stephanie L says:

    Enjoyed reading this! Ever since the first mention of Oil Pulling I have been really interested. I have coffee stained teeth and I hate that! It makes me look so much older then my 34 years. The one thing I am concerned about is having my fillings come out. I know that the guy who wrote the book on OP (forget his name) said that it is best not to have metal fillings anyway, but with no dental insurance, it really makes me nervous. Is that a guarantee to happen?

    Also – is there a difference in Coconut Oil (any of the oils, for that matter), as far as if I find it in the toiletry aisle at my health food store or in the cooking aisle?

    • Make sure it is a food grade oil……your skin as well as oral mucosa absorbs things.

    • I recently started making my own toothpaste with virgin coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol, and spearmint essential oil. I haven’t tried oil pulling yet, but have read about it and am interested. Stephanie, you caught my attention where you wrote “concerned about having my fillings come out.” I’ve had one metal filling let loose and others seem like they may since I started using vco to brush with. Could that be the reason? Woah! I really want to have my almagam fillings replaced, but am breastfeeding my youngest now. That will have to wait since it’s too dangerous for the baby to absorb mercury through my milk. btw, I prefer Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. The taste is the best of the brands I’ve tried, and I use coconut oil for LOTS of things: cooking, deodorant, supplement for low thyroid/candida, booboos, heck, I even make chocolate with it. :)

    • As other commenters have said, I also prefer to stick with organic virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil for ingesting, and the regular coconut oil is better for making toiletries, lotion, etc. with.

      That is a really interesting comment about fillings coming loose. I hadn’t thought of that at all. I had a filling come out about a year ago (before I started oil pulling), and I’ve left it unfilled so far with no issues. I ultimately want to have my metal fillings replaced, but I have no idea if doing oil pulling would affect whether fillings begin to come loose on their own. If anyways knows more about this, I’d love to hear it!

      • Oil pulling pulls heavy metals out of the blood stream through the mucosa and major vein under the tongue. Oil pulling will definitely pull metal fillings loose.

        • Hi, I want to know by doing oil pulling, you said Oil pulling will definitely pull metal fillings loose do you mean it will get rid of the silver fillings. does anyone if so let me know asap I been on google for days about but can’t find anything I think I found one women who said something but I can’t find that article again.
          later

        • I don’t think you know what you are talking about by the statement ” oil pulling will definately pull metal fillings out”. Amalgam fillings aren’t bonded in the same way a white or “composite” filling is placed. They aren’t bonded in at all. Unless oil pulling fractures the tooth or the tooth is already fractured it isn’t going to pull out an amalgam “metal” filling. Know what you are talking about before you post it. Know your facts. Where in the world did you get this information???

    • I was told to use organic UNnrefined coconut oil. The jars of refined and unrefined can look nearly identical. Anyone else have thoughts on this? Previously I had only distinguished between them for cooking purposes, the refined oil having a higher smoke point.

  5. Had never heard of oil pulling before so this is a totally new concept. I”ll be giving it a try as I have poor teeth and gums (runs in the family). My teeth have always been on the yellow side no matter what I do or try, so I hope it helps there too. Thank you for the info.

    • One of signs of gluten allergies is poor teeth and gums, with yellow, and it runs in families bec. it’s genetic predisposition. If your family also has members w. any kind of autoimmune, you should have genetic testing. Just a thought. I add CoQ10 to my oil, and if in a hurry just rubbing the oil from a gelcap on the gums helps. I make sure it’s not one w. wheat germ oil base.

  6. My naturopathic physician recommended oil pulling as another way to help rid the body of toxins…so I do it for that reason alone. Although I haven’t done it the last few weeks because I just got lazy and forgot :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  7. I would LOVE to try this! Sounds like the best home treatments I have ever heard of! Can this be done with extra virgin olive oil? Thanks for a really GREAT tip!

  8. Going to give it a try. First impressions…initially hurt gums. Not much but different than mouthwash. Have had a lot of dental work done lately and don’t want to do anymore. File this under can’t hurt to try!

  9. I’ve never heard of this. But I read your entire article and I decided to try it right now. I currently have a mouth full of oil. I”m not disgusted. I’m using regular vegetable oil lol. I’m going to do more research. Thanks for posting this.

    • I love that you had a mouthful of oil as you wrote your comment!

    • Stephanie, I just did this for the first time this morning. I used reg 100% vegestable oil too but I also put a little drop of Peppermint flavoring in it. I was not hard to swish and didnt feel like oil in my mouth at all. I was planning on keeping on but then I read on these comments where it could loosen metal fillings in teeth. I have alot! haha. This concerns me now.

  10. This is so interesting…I’ve never heard of it but I just forwarded it to my husband and I’ll repost this on facebook. I feel this would be an excellent way, like the commenter above, to have a healthy dose of prevention, if nothing else!
    Sarah M

  11. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had 3 abscesses and a raging sinus infection the last month of my pregnancy. I knew the gums were inflamed and I was suffering with ear/sinus pain but I always have dental issues and cold symptoms the last rimester so I endured til I tried out oil pulling. I was desperate! I used sunflower oil for 2 days before the pain started to recede, by then end of a week my head was feeling almost normal. Now I keep sunflower or coconut oil on hand, I use it every couple of months and it’s been a lifesaver for my poor weak teeth. I never noticed whitening, but then it’s never been my goal so I didn’t give it a thought.

  12. I’m definitely intrigued. I’m going to pass this along to my husband, too and see if it might be something we try together. Thanks, Stephanie for such an informative article!

    • I haven’t gotten my husband to try it yet… I’m not too sure what the response would be! He’s often game for my hare-brained natural ideas, but this one is definitely a bit different, LOL!

      • My husband is often game for my ideas also…well, he was when I did more of it when our older kids were young…(I’ve put an onion at the bedside of my 12 YO) and when I mentioned the oil pulling to hubby again this morning, he actually listened this time.

  13. Beside regular brushing and flossing, the best way to improve oral hygiene (and overall health) is to drink more pure water. Not juice, coffee, or tea, jsut water alone.

  14. I have not heard of this before, very interesting. My husband has very sensative gums so maybe it would help him? Talking him into doing this will be a chore, but maybe we will try it together and see how it goes. 20 minutes is just a long time to try and cram in before heading out the door for work. Our mornings are already rushed from working out and cooking a healthy breakfast before work! Stressing me out just thinking about it….haha.

  15. Interesting article! However, it sounds time consuming. I recently learned about the book \’Be Your Own Doctor\’ when a visit to the dentist confirmed that my 2 year old nephew has over a dozen cavities.
    Currently, they are trying the dental health drops. http://www.natureswarehouse.net/dental-health-4oz.html
    The drops sound a bit faster and easier than 20 minutes of rinsing.

    http://www.drmomsherbs.com/2010/10/14/the-household-dentist/#more-85 There is also another recipe under the recipes section.

  16. Sounds gross and can’t say I’m convinced. Never done it but I don’t know how or why it would work beyond anything in your mouth…dare I say a placebo effect? I think I’ll stick to my Shaklee vitamins and healthy eating for now…all the power to those willing to do it!

  17. I’ve been oil pulling pretty regularly. I did notice in the first couple of weeks my teeth were a little sensitive. But after awhile started feeling stronger , they were also whiter and smoother and my mouth just felt cleaner in general. Not sure if it was all in my head though;) I also thought I felt more energy. I need to get back to it. I’ve slacked the past few weeks but reading this has inspired me to get back at it:)

  18. I wonder whether the results are the placebo effect or real, verifiable results. It does sound gross to me, but also intriguing since I too have weak teeth and no dental insurance. I’m going to read some of the posts you’ve shared to get some more information. Thanks for a fascinating post!

    • I wonder, too, Tara. I’m also a bit cynical when I first begin learning about things like this, until I feel that I can see some really solid evidence. But, I feel the same way as you in the sense that I also have weak teeth and no insurance, so it must be worth a try, right?

  19. I am a dentist. I will not speak to the general health benefits of oil pulling. In regards to lots of questions: There is no way this is going to pull out a filling, or make it fall out. I this this is probably beneficial, but I would love to see my patients spend half of this time (10 min) cleaning their teeth. Floss for 1 min, brush for 2 min, swish with listerine or crest pro health for 2 min. If you do that morning and night. You can be assured healthier gums, less cavities, better breath. I laugh that someone will not spend 1 min flossing, but will spend 20 minutes trying something that may not work.

  20. I’m concerned about your baby and your thought that toxins can’t affect him/her because you don’t swallow the oil. It’s my understanding that everything reaches your bloodstream quicker via absorbtion through the mouth’s tissues than the stomach. When my son went to the ER with chest pain they instantly medicated him; by spraying it in his mouth, not by injection or by swallowing. Please do some research on this before you continue any kind of experiments.

  21. Hi, there. This is interesting and exciting as I am a natural, health-conscious person and enjoy using God’s medicine. (using what He made for us to use)
    I will pray for God to give us wisdom in this realm as it very important to keep healthy gums, teeth and physical health. I will not try it while I am pregnant, though.
    I am not able to explain the why. I vividly remember hearing or reading something relating to what Sondra wrote. (everything reaching your bloodstream through mouth tissues)
    Thank you, Stephanie for all the information and your time. :)
    Imelda

  22. Re oil pulling while pregnant– if the theory is that the oil is pulling toxins out of the body, it makes sense to me that it would not only NOT be harmful to baby but ought to be better than leaving the toxins where they were to begin with, stuck inside mama! (If the oil’s not adding in new toxins, how can getting the existing ones out be a bad deal for anybody?) But that’s just my gut reaction, based on zero evidence whatsoever. :-)

    But frankly I don’t think the detoxification theory is the most logical reason that oil pulling seems to help with so many health issues. I think that, sure, the mouth muscles/tissues get a good workout and the increased blood flow (and therefore oxygenation) helps with the dental side of things. (I can’t really think of any other way to “exercise” the gums, can you?) So that’s one angle, but oil pullers report so many other general health improvements that, in my mind, are almost certainly related to getting that giant daily dose of concentrated essential fatty acids. Perhaps the sublingual delivery is more effective than taking supplements that have to be broken down through the digestive system… oral mucosa is pretty absorbent, and especially with all the movement and blood flow, I can see how the EFAs would get straight into the bloodstream and get to work quickly.

    Just my theory, though. :-) Wish I had the guts to try oil pulling myself, though– the thought is intriguing but kind of makes me feel a little sick! Maybe I could start with holding a little bit of coconut oil in my mouth for just a minute, and work up a tolerance… I’m afraid if I went straight to a full mouth for 20 minutes, plus all the swishing, I’d just puke (sorry)! :-/

  23. On a related note, I’ve been reading much lately about using nutrition for oral care instead of mainstream dentistry. Google Ramiel Nagel. He wrote a book called Cure Tooth Decay. It’s a holistic approach to dental care. I’ve heard it works wonders.

  24. I was introduced to the health benefits of coconut oil about 2 years ago. As far as my dental health, I had amazing and unexpected results in 9 days. That was how long I had been using Nature’s Way raw organic virgin coconut oil in two ways. Adding a tiny bit to food – morning smoothie, sauteed onions, and as an all-body moisturizer for a baaad case of keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, back, thighs and glutes. My dentist and I were very pleased and surprised that my normally bleeding gums didn’t bleed during my cleaning, and the 6 or so places where I had previously had 4-6 mm pockets in my gums were all ZEROS!!

    And that wasn’t even with oil pulling, merely the slathering on my skin and ingesting a wee bit.

    As far as the very ugly red bumpy rash of keratosis pilaris, I saw improvement in 2 days and it was 95% gone within 6-7 days, and it had been there for years, getting progressively worse!~

    I oil pull from time to time but only for 5 minutes or so, my mouth muscles get tired. Plan to try doing it more often and for longer periods as I get used to it.

  25. I forgot to mention…
    I have a dear friend who grew up on the micronesian island country of Palau. When I gave her a jar of the coconut oil, she told me that “back home” coconut oil was used as a remedy for just about everything. She said fresh caught fish cooked in the fresh coconut oil was about the best thing she’d ever eaten, and she said that the highest grade of the oil was an excellent personal lubricant, which I had read about. Try it ladies, I’m guessing you will like it. No more KY Jelly. I’m serious.

  26. Christa H. says:

    This is very interesting! I read about this and decided it wouldn’t hurt to try. Since I had my baby (7 mos ago) I have noticed that my teeth have become progressivly more discolored. Also I have always suffered from allergies so if this helps, I am so game! I just bought (tonight actually) EVOO because I wanted to try the oil face wash method so I pulled with it. I think I’ll have to try another oil, maybe coconut? I was doing fine until the 15 min mark and then the taste hit me and I couldn’t get to the sink fast enough. GROSS!!! haha! Anyway, it may be all in my head, but my mouth really does feel cleaner, like I’ve just been to the dentist. Also, I am very intrigued by what Liz said about coconut oil helping keratosis pilaris. I have had this rash on my arms for as long as I can remember, and since I had my son it spread to my belly, back, thighs and behind. Very embarrasing and unsightly. I have googled about it many times and this is the first time I have come across anything remotely close to my rash. I looked it up and voile’! Wow. So you can bet I will be purchasing coconut oil in the very near future! Another thought, I did the castor oil/EVOO face wash, AMAZING! I’m sold.

    • Hi: The first time I tried OP was with EVOO, but it made me gag… it was simply too “oily” in my mouth. Virgin Coconut oil, on the other hand, is warm and comforting and the 20 minute pull zooms right by. Originally I had bought it with the hopes of helping my Westie get over her chronic skin yeast problems, but after reading about its amazing properties and benefits, I decided to try it myself. I love it….it’s a wonder drug :-)

    • I’ve had keratosis pilaris all my life. What helps keep it in check is vigorous exfoliation (I use a pumice stone) and moisturizing using oils. I’ve used coconut, as well as grape seed and almond.

  27. Valerie says:

    I want to try this for the dental benefits as well as some of the other positive side effects, but, I don’t know about keeping the SAME oil in my mouth for 20 minutes. Why couldn’t we change out to a fresh spoonful after 10 mins or so? Certainly the oil can only hold so much gunk : ) – bleck! I mean, even 10 minutes of swishing water in your mouth is nasty.
    I’m curious to see if it helps my burning mouth syndrome that has bothered me for several years now. Fingers crossed.
    Val

    • I’ve been researching oil pulling today and reading comments and ran across this one just 10 minutes ago. Perhaps it’ll be helpful to you! I don’t know the validity of this over other answers, but it’s something to consider. (TK Rao is the officiator of the site giving the answer.) http://www.oilpulling.org/oil-pulling/

      “January 13th, 2011 at 09:27 | #22 Reply | Quote
      Dr. I was recently diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome. I’m wondering if OP will help this too. Do you know much about this and are they actually any cures. He just gave me some stuff that mixed with water will make the mouth/tongue area numb. I’ve read to take Vitamin B for it. Is this true? Thanks for your help.
      [TK Rao]
      Please try doing Oil Pulling with Ghee or Honey for this problem. If it doesn’t improve within a week or two, you may stop doing OP.
      OP with oils is not advised in this case.”

  28. This sounds interesting and after reading all the comments I think I will give it a go. One thing is I noticed that a spoonful of solid coconut oil was being used when the jar can be submerged into a water bath to liquify it. I recall my mum used to do that when I was a kid (being of Indian descent we used it as hair conditioner after a shampoo).

    Some of the more intriguing things are that it has helped some with allergies, thyroid, arthritis as well as what this article is based on, oral care. It doesn’t hurt to try.

  29. That’s what I said “what in the world is oil pulling?” lol. It sounds worth a try anyways, I don’t see any reason not to this whatsoever except for the cost of the coconut oil. :) May give it a try!

  30. I’ll sure be trying this…both for the dental health and the Keratosis Pilaris. Thank you SO much!!!

  31. It actually worked great for me when I found out I had no cavities after oil pulling for a few months before my dentist appt. It was nice because almost every time I go to the dentist, I have a cavity.

  32. Chad Moore says:

    I like how this article stays away from those evil scientific journals and studies on the matter and instead cites reliable, natural websites for the benefits of this healthy practice. It’s refreshing to see people getting real, organic information nowadays.

  33. According to Bruce Fife, who has written several books on coconut oil for health, the reason that it works for things like arthritis and allergies is that often these symptoms are related to unsuspected infections in the mouth which get into the bloodstream and wreak havoc in other parts of the body. There was a doctor who did a lot of experiments back in the 1930’s, I think, pulling out infected teeth, or was it root canals, and then the patient would have their symptoms go away and then he would take the tooth and put it under the skin of a rabbit an the rabbit would get the same symptoms that the person had had before the tooth was pulled! So anyway it isn’t unusual for symptoms in other parts of the body to be caused by infections that start in the mouth, so if oil pulling gets rid of the infection in the mouth, then the symptoms improve.

  34. One reason that Virgin Coconut oil may help with mouth health is that it contains Lauric Acid: the highest qty found anywhere in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. It also is 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids that (when swalled)are easy to digest, don’t spike your insulin, help with cholesterol, and is great for your skin and brain. It is the only thing I cook with because it doesn’t break down when cooking with heat and produce toxic byproducts.

  35. It really did for me. I have been at it for more than three months already and it really enhanced my oral health.

  36. One of my friends have tried this thing and I can say that it did good to her.. A lot. :)

  37. Pity it didn’t work for you…
    At first I also didn’t notice much difference. I just used a EVOO that I had in the cupboard. It also couldn’t get used to the taste, made me gag after a few minutes. My mouth did feel a bit cleaner, but that was all so I stopped. Then a couple of months ago I learned that vegetable oils should not be heated at all, so I bought this coconut oil for cooking http://www.iherb.com/Nutiva-Organic-Extra-Virgin-Coconut-Oil-15-fl-oz-445-ml/5280?rcode=seq220
    It smelled so delicious that i tried a bit of it directly from the spoon, haha. So that’s when i decided to give oil pulling another try. I must say I’ve had awesome results with coconut oil– plaque doesn’t build up as fast, it loosened some already accumulated tartar which later fell off, my gum pockets have started to close and don’t bleed anymore when I brush and my teeth are whiter!!

  38. began OP 11 days ago and have had amazing results so far…teeth are whiter and my gums have healed and appear to be growing back …had bad case of gingivitis and receding gums accross bottom of front teeth…would not believe it if it wasn’t me it was happening to…I OP everyday without fail now and use extra virgin coconut oil which does not taste oily at all to me…tried sesame and it was pretty oily for first couple of min and then got easier but coconut was not hard to do at all…knee pain has almost gone and burning from broken vain in leg is no more…that used to be a killer …also I have daily heart palpitations for years and have had none since I began…my mouth feels so clean and teeth feel like they have been polished…I am sold …I know I have not been doing it all that long but I do believe bateria in mouth can cause many and major diseases and my body is very happy it has one less battle to deal with

  39. I believe I left my comment on another post by accident but, I’ve read that you should use either refined sunflower oil or sesame oil as other oils are not as effective and thus were not recommended for oil pulling treatments.

    Perhaps this is the reason why the coconut oil yielded unsatisfactory results?

    Very curious to try the sunflower oil myself. :)

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