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

Author: Dr Aushi Patel

How to ‘oil pull’?

Oil pulling is one of the simplest practices you can add to your daily mouth hygiene routine. It is a wonderful way to improve and maintain oral health. In fact, learning how to oil pull is probably easier than learning how to brush your teeth the right way!

If you are considering trying out this ancient remedy make sure to choose a good quality organic oil. Sesame oil has traditionally been the oil of choice in Ayurveda – the ancient medical system of India where the practice of oil pulling originates. These days, however, the go-to oil is generally coconut oil.

Coconut oil is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse, which makes it ideal for reducing inflammation and oxidation in the mouth. It also contains lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that is incredibly effective at destroying the “bad bacteria” that can lead to tooth decay. These same compounds may also decrease the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth, in turn reducing your chance for gum disease.

coconut oil toothpaste, natural alternative for healthy teeth, wooden toothbrush

Here are 5 simple steps to oil pull.

1. Upon waking brush your teeth and clean your tongue.

2. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil into your mouth.

3. Sit upright and swish the oil around the mouth and sucking it between the teeth for around 3 minutes.

4. Spit the oil out (preferably into a plastic bag or rubbish bin to avoid the oil going down the drain and into the plumbing).

5. Rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any oily residue. DO NOT swallow the oil.

You should AVOID oil pulling if:

·      You have a cough as you may inadvertently inhale the oil. This oil is full of bacteria and toxins and if it goes into the lungs can lead to lipoid pneumonia

·      You experience sore or tight jaw muscles as oil pulling will only put further stress on your muscles and jaw joints.

·       You have mercury amalgam fillings in your mouth. Mercury is attracted to oil and fat i.e. it is lipophilic. Swishing oil around these fillings is not advisable.

There is no question that oil pulling can contribute to a healthy mouth. We know that it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and a wonderful breath freshener. And it is completely natural! But, oil pulling is not a cure-all and it must never replace a nutritious diet, good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

Here’s a look at what oil pulling can’t do:

Oil pulling doesn’t whiten teeth.

Oil pulling might help improve the appearance of your teeth by removing stains caused by bacteria  but it doesn’t whiten teeth any more than swishing water in your mouth for the same amount of time.

Oil Pulling Doesn’t Heal Cavities

Once decay has set into the bulk of the tooth (known as dentine) it will most likely spread through the tooth. There is no evidence that oil pulling can stop or reverse this process. If you have a cavity in your tooth it is important that you see a dentist for appropriate care.

Oil pulling doesn’t cure diseases.

Some of the most vocal, modern fans of oil pulling say it can improve diabetes, migraines, arthritis, eczema, migraines, and asthma. Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence to support those statements.

Our team at Anokhi are here to answer any questions you may have about your dental care.  You can call us on (02) 9264 5195 email or ask us any questions at your next appointment.

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

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