The Trending Ancient Practice!
WHAT IS OIL PULLING?
Oil Pulling is a natural remedy for reducing decay and gum disease causing bacteria in the mouth. It is a trending ancient Indian, Ayurvedic medical practice, dating back some 5000 years. This practice has gained traction as a means of promoting oral health and detoxifying the whole body.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil in the mouth, in order to cleanse it of bacteria, fungus and other disease causing micro-organisms. As we know, our mouth is an entry way for bacteria into our bodies. It is thus thought that the oil collects these organisms by binding to their cell wall during the swishing process and rids us of them when it is expelled.
It is also thought that the process activates enzymes that supposedly extract toxins from the body! How this comes about is questionable because we are not actually consuming the oil as it is considered toxic due to being full of bacteria. We can conclude, however, that since bacteria causes inflammation of the gums and that in turn affects the rest of the body, getting rid of these bacteria in the mouth and reducing the inflammation will hence help the body and keep it feeling healthier and protected.
- The oil has antimicrobial properties (ie. it kills bacteria).
- Saponification happens during the oil pulling process. Basically you make a type of soap in your mouth, and that process leads to greater cleansing of your mouth and teeth.
- The viscosity of the oil and the environment created after the oil pulling process creates an environment that limits bacterial and plaque adhesion to the surfaces in your mouth.
- The insoluble fat in oil tends to disperse widely in the saliva, possibly allowing them to clean in hard-to-reach places during pulling.
Of course, it is highly recommended that a combined complete care practice of: reducing sugary and acidic food, brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, daily flossing and seeking professional advice and cleaning treatments will help you, not only maintain a healthy mouth but also a healthy body.
HOW IS IT DONE?
Oils such as coconut oil, sesame oil and olive oil are all suitable for this practice. The thick consistency of the oils helps collect the bacteria. Since most cooking oils are thick, they are suitable and it only depends on the taste preference. Some homeopathic medical practitioners state that; sesame oil contains additional health benefits due to the high concentration of vitamin E and antioxidants.
Oil Pulling is suggested 1-3 times a day before a meal. Most people do it first thing in the morning while getting ready for the day.
- Take one tablespoon of oil.
- Swish in the mouth for 10-20 minutes.
- Spit out.
- Immediately brush your teeth.
IMPORTANT: Don’t swallow any of the oil. It’s FULL of BACTERIAL TOXINS.
OIL PULLING VS. PLAQUE
A peer-reviewed study in 2007, tested the effect of oil pulling on plaque in a group of 10 males, aged 19-21, over a period of 45 days. This group practiced oil pulling daily for 8-10 min. using 10-15 ml of refined sunflower oil. The study noted a gradual decrease of plaque. The longer the group performed oil pulling the greater the decrease of plaque, thus, decreased amounts of gum disease and decay causing bacteria.
Limited studies have shown oil pulling to be a beneficial natural practice to oral health. It helps reduce plaque, gingivitis, dental caries and bad breath. Keep in mind that more comprehensive studies must be done, however, to prove that this practice is conclusively beneficial to oral health. There has been no final consensus on oil pulling’s mechanism(s) of action and the above listed mechanisms are simply theories at this time. However, there is some scientific evidence regarding the saponification theory mentioned.