Part 2: How to ‘Oil Pull’, Cautions and Myths!

Author: Dr Aushi Patel

Have you ever tried ‘oil pulling’? Are you wondering what oil pulling is? To many of us, it sounds a little odd! That said, over the last few years the practice of oil pulling has become a popular topic of discussion across social media and health sites. In this blog, learn what oil pulling is and what the oral benefits are. Then stay tuned for part 2 of this blog next week where we will look at 6 steps to safe and effective oil pulling, along with myths and cautions.

What is ‘oil pulling’?

Oil pulling is an age-old technique (originating as an Ayurvedic practice) that uses oil to detoxify the body and promote dental health. It involves swishing a good quality organic oil (these days most recommend organic coconut oil) inside your mouth each morning on an empty stomach. Oil pulling works to draw out any bacteria and impurities while cutting through plaque and potentially whitening teeth.

Oral Benefits

There’s a lot of misinformation about what oil pulling can (and cannot) do for oral and overall health. What do I believe it has the potential to do?

Coconut milk glass jar with nuts and oil bottles, fresh coconut flakes.

1. Reduce the short-term risk of gingivitis

Regular oil pulling might help you avoid the challenging and potentially dangerous form of gum disease known as gingivitis.

When your gums become swollen, inflamed, and tender, it may be a sign you have gingivitis. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should definitely take them seriously, as untreated gingivitis can eventually lead to major oral health issues like periodontitis.

The good news here is that oil pulling reduces gingivitis-causing plaque.

This may be because, during oil pulling, the oil acts as an emollient. Essentially, the oil suds up a little like soap, cleaning the teeth and gums from unwanted build-up.

Clinical trials (short term studies only at present) have been conducted to analyse the effect of oil pulling on the plaque known to cause gingivitis. These found statistically significant improvements in plaque after oil pulling.

2. Kills cavity causing bacteria

Overgrowth of certain harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The good news? Oil pulling can get rid of potential harmful bacteria in your mouth just as effectively as the chlorhexidine found in conventional mouthwash.

Oil pulling also carries a bonus benefit that most mouthwashes do not – oil pulling kills harmful bacteria that can cause cavities without also drastically reducing the good bacteria your mouth needs to stay healthy.

Note: This effect only seems to occur after at least three weeks, though — just one reason why coconut oil pulling should be used as a long-term dental health regime, not a quick fix.

3. Beats bad breath

If you struggle with bad breath or “halitosis,” you’ve probably relied on mouthwash to correct the condition. But as it turns out, that may not be the best solution.

The alcohol in many mouthwashes dries out the inside of your mouth, which, in turn, reduces the amount of saliva you can produce. That’s bad news, since saliva ensures that certain bacteria don’t propagate, and that oral pH remains steady.

Unlike most mouthwashes, oil pulling is able to support your saliva’s efforts in disorganising bacteria without killing the good bacteria and drying your mouth out.

Learn more about oral care and book an appointment today at or call us on 9264 5195.

Anokhi is a holistic dental practice located in the heart of the CBD.

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