When it comes to beauty and health routines, it seems that lately, people are far more interested in the wisdom of ancient humans and their practices rather than in the latest trends of modern industries. Those were the times when people used food as medicine and medicine as food, all in the form of natural and organic products, thus becoming aware of their positive effects on health and beauty.
One of the practices that is gaining popularity today is the oil-pulling method.
The oil-pulling practice is a dental care method used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine that involves swishing oil in your mouth. It is a primitive dental care method using natural oils for mouth and teeth washing. However, it involves much more than cleaning, as the “Kavala,” or “gundusha” as initially called, is intended to improve the oral and overall health of the person utilizing this practice regularly.
Lately, the benefits of the oil-pulling practice have been confirmed by several studies, suggesting that it is effective in reducing the harmful bacteria in the mouth. Moreover, by pulling harmful bacteria from the mouth, the oil-pulling method improves overall gum and teeth health, reduces toxin levels, and increases saliva production. This can result in many health improvements, including possibly alleviating the symptoms of several diseases linked to bacteria and inflammation.
Although science-backed evidence is still limited, many practitioners claim the positive effects of oil pulling as an inevitable part of their healthcare routine.
To benefit from this method, one should perform it correctly and regularly, using natural oil-containing properties that can maximize the benefits.
Why Is Coconut Oil the Best Choice for Oil Pulling?
Coconut oil is a miraculous product of nature. Among the many beneficial properties, it’s proven to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory — extremely useful in achieving the expected effects of oil pulling. In addition, coconut oil has a more favorable fatty acid profile than any other natural oil, including a high amount of lauric acid, which has proven to have potent antimicrobial properties. According to research, lauric acid is especially effective at killing harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the mouth and body.
On another note, coconut oil is a type of natural oil that tastes pretty good, like other natural oils. However, considering the not-so-pleasant feeling of swishing oil between your teeth, you should reduce the urge to spit it out before the effects kick in. Moreover, coconut oil changes the state of matter depending on the temperature. This allows you to take it in a liquid or solid form and slowly melt it in your mouth to endure the swishing for the desired time.
The Proven Benefits of Oil Pulling
Good health begins with a healthy mouth and teeth. Everything we consume to stay alive and in good condition passes through our mouths. Therefore, solid dental health is a precursor to achieving optimal health. An oil-pulling practice will help you take control over your dental health and provide many benefits directly linked to the state of health of your mouth and digestive system as well.
Let’s consider what a regular oil-pulling practice can do for your health.
Reduces the Harmful Bacteria in the Mouth
Hundreds of different types of bacteria are in the mouth, including friendly and harmful. Reducing the number of bad bacteria to a minimum prevents the development of health issues. Moreover, the harmful bacteria create a thin layer over the teeth, known as plaque. Although dental plaque is constantly present, if it gets out of hand, it may result in bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and inflammations in the mouth and other parts of the digestive system.
Regular oil pulling prevents the development of harmful bacteria by dissolving them in the oil while you swish. Moreover, by removing the bacteria and the existing plaque, the oil pull prevents the development of many diseases, alleviates existing symptoms, and improves oral and overall health.
Oil Pulling Helps Reduce Bad Breath
Halitosis, known as bad breath, is the most common condition among the human population. The causes are numerous. However, it is mainly linked to poor oral hygiene and problems with gingivitis or an extensive amount of plaque and tongue coating, hence the accumulation of harmful bacteria.
Studies have shown that coconut oil significantly decreases the levels of microorganisms known to cause bad breath, similar to antiseptic mouthwash. This is because the fatty acids in the oil attract and trap the harmful bacteria. This means that each time you oil pull, you remove the harmful bacteria from the mouth, decreasing the potential causes of bad breath.
Reduces Inflammation and Fights Gum Diseases
The inflammation of the gums that causes swollen and red gingiva prone to bleeding, known as gingivitis, is mainly caused by plaque and harmful bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, oil pulling significantly prevents and cures gingivitis, mainly when performed with coconut oil. Moreover, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is proven to effectively kill pathogens such as Streptococcus mutants, the leading cause of gum inflammation and diseases. In addition, studies show that regular oil pulling with coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory and successfully fights gingivitis.
Oil pulling significantly strengthens the teeth, jaws, and gums and ting gum bleeding in people suffering from gingivitis and similar gum inflammations.
Provides an Effective Cavity Prevention
The small holes in the teeth, known as cavities, develop due to poor oral hygiene or diet. The bacteria that build up to dissolve the residue of food particles create an acid to dissolve it. However, it also causes tooth decay and destroys tooth enamel. Therefore, thorough oral hygiene is essential to prevent tooth decay and stop the development of cavities that may result in tooth loss.
This can easily be achieved with regular oil pulling. In addition, research states that oil pulling will help remove the food particles and harmful bacteria found in plaque and saliva — all known to be the causes of cavities.
As mentioned before, coconut oil pulling attacks Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, the two groups of harmful bacteria mainly responsible for tooth decay.
Although there is a lack of research and studies to prove the many other potential benefits of oil pulling, alternative medicine practitioners report the following benefits:
- Teeth whitening (by pulling stains from the surface of teeth)
- Alleviating sleep problems
- Reducing sinus pain and issues related to sinuses
- Alleviating headaches
- Helping with skin problems
How to Perform Oil Pulling Properly
Oil pulling requires swishing oil in your mouth in much the same way you would do with mouthwash. However, due to the difference in the consistency of the matter, you will find the experience different, so here is a short guide on how to do it properly.
- 1. You will need a tablespoon of coconut oil and a small glass of warm saltwater.
- 2. Put the oil in your mouth and swish it for 15-20 minutes for optimal results.
The thick consistency of the oil may cause pain in the jaw during the swishing. Moreover, 20 minutes is a long time to swish something in your mouth. If you experience discomfort, slow down, or stop for a while to rest your jaw. If that happens, try using less oil the next time, and don’t swish it around too forcefully.
The amount of liquid in your mouth will slowly increase as the oil draws saliva that contains toxins and bacteria. Do not swallow the oil as you need to throw these toxins out, not take them in. Therefore, if you start feeling like you need to spit, do it immediately to exclude the risk of swallowing.
- 3. Spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. You can brush and floss your teeth as usual to remove any residue.
It is advisable to perform oil pulling on an empty stomach for optimal effects. Hence you can do it first thing in the morning. Of course, it’s best to make it your daily routine and repeat it daily, but a few times a week might also be enough to experience the desired benefits. Oil pulling is easy to do. However, it might be unpleasant for newbies. So, to succeed, it’s always better to take it slowly. The recommended swishing time is 15-20 minutes, but if you can’t endure that long, start with 3-5 minutes and gradually increase the time each day.
Why Add Oil Pulling To Your Health and Beauty Routine
Anytime you can use a natural product and enjoy positive effects and many additional benefits, you can improve your health and beauty routine.
The most significant benefits for health improvement come from simple, cheap practices and products in the most natural forms. Oil pulling is very easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Moreover, it may be performed with a product already in your home.
Oil pulling with coconut oil has no side effects and can’t cause any harm. On the contrary, it is a natural way to improve oral hygiene and health while preventing other potential maladies. Furthermore, with regular practice, you may discover additional benefits that appeal to you.