Oil Pulling for Healthy Teeth and Gums

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Oil Pulling for Healthy Teeth and Gums

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What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that cures a wide variety of ailments. Basically, you hold some oil in your mouth for twenty minutes, swishing it all around and between your teeth.

Oil pulling instructions

When you get up in the morning, do this very first thing, before brushing your teeth (if you brush in the morning), eating or drinking anything. First, spit out anything in your mouth. Then take 1 tablespoon of oil and hold it in your mouth, tilt your chin up and slowly swish it around, pulling it through your teeth. Lifting your head up gets the oil to your back molars. Get it all round your mouth and tongue. Do this for at least 10 minutes but preferably 20 minutes.

The oil should be a thin white foam when you finally spit it out. After spitting it out, rinse your mouth well. Complete the procedure by drinking 1 – 2 glasses of lukewarm water.


  • Do not swallow the oil. It contains bacteria and toxins.
  • Like most other detoxification procedures, the best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed.
  • All you do is swish between 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Easy peesy!
  • Don’t worry, you won’t even notice 20 minutes have gone by if you do this during your normal morning routine (i.e. while you shower, put your clothes on and prep for the day).
  • Immediately afterwards, rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.
  • Be sure NOT to swallow the oil.
  • Don’t spit the oil into your sink or it may eventually clog your drains.
  • Don’t be shocked if the oil/saliva mixture you spit out is milky white or yellow.
  • Afterwards, brush your teeth as normal.
  • Do it slowly.
Oil pulling for healthy teeth and gums using essential oils and coconut oil.

Oil pulling for healthy teeth and gums using essential oils and coconut oil.

If you want to detox faster, you can oil pull up to three times per day. Make sure you do it on an empty stomach – wait 4 hours after eating, or an hour after drinking.

The traditional Ayurvedic instructions say that sesame or sunflower oil should be used. Coconut oil is my favourite. However, I have had good results with walnut, macadamia and olive oil.  It also seems that after a couple of months of using one type of oil, changing to different oil renews its potency.

How does oil pulling work?

Oil pulling sucks out the fat-soluble toxins out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.

The oil dissolves plaque and even tartar. This explains why your teeth look so white after you start oil pulling. (Much whiter than with toothpaste and conventional cleaning).

Bacteria in the mouth are attracted into the oil. Normally bacteria continually grow in your mouth, and you continually swallow them. Some of these bacteria are beneficial, and you need them for good health. But many ailments occur when harmful bacteria proliferate and get out of control.

If harmful bacteria proliferate in the mouth, they can provide a source of infection for organs all around the body. For example, there is research showing that heart attacks can occur after a dental procedure like a root canal provides an ongoing source of harmful bacteria. When you practice oil pulling, it provides a control over the bad bacteria and their ability to produce an infection. You are no longer continually swallowing them.

Oil pulling is very gentle. If you need to increase its antibiotic potency for a short period, add one drop of oregano oil to the tablespoon of the other oil. Oregano oil is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

Essential oils carry some of the most potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on the planet, so they can only help, right? Plus, as the essential oils get absorbed by the oral mucosa, the body will enjoy their antioxidant and medicinal powers. Plus, because the oil pulling oil acts as a carrier oil, I haven’t experienced any harmful effects of using some of the more potent oils like clove.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to use essential oils during my morning oil pulling routine:

Oil pulling is a natural traditional remedy for these ailments

  • Allergies.
  • Arterial diseases.
  • Arthritis.
  • Asthma.
  • Bad breath. Oil pulling is an excellent mouth rinse that removes bacteria. Bad breath caused by mouth bacteria rapidly disappears..
  • Bronchitis.
  • Cancers (various).
  • Chronic infections.
  • Constipation.
  • Eczema.
  • Gum diseases, gingivitis, receding gums.
  • Heart disease.
  • Insomnia.
  • Kidney diseases.
  • Lung diseases.
  • Meningitis.
  • Migraines.
  • Sinus problems.
  • Skin complaints (various).
  • Stiff joints.
  • Tartar (calculus).
  • Toothache.
  • Tooth decay. Oil pulling helps to prevent tooth decay, but does not repair decay that has already occurred. However, eating a mineral-rich diet and avoiding sugar and grains (phytic acid) will actually repair decayed teeth. (1) Interesting that most dentists don’t know about this – or more likely, their dental associations don’t want them to know, because it would drastically reduce the profits of the dental industry.
  • Varicose veins.


 May Mellanby, C. Lee Pattison. Remarks on the influence of a cereal-free diet rich in vitamin d and calcium on dental caries in children. Br Med J. 1932 Mar 19; 1(3715): 507-510. PMCID: PMC2520490.

Oil Pulling for Healthy Teeth and Gums was last modified: January 9th, 2017 by Alice Nicholls

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