What Does Oil Pulling Mean To You?
December 12, 2018
The benefit of maintaining your oral health goes beyond having a refreshing breath. Did you know that periodontal diseases are a risk factor that is linked to giving birth to premature, low weight babies? Back in 2011, Proctor and Gamble funded a study that was published by the American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The results of that study revealed that moms-to-be who used mouthwash through out their pregnancy were less likely to go into early labor. That being said, there is a healthier, more holistic substitute to mouthwash; it is called oil pulling.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda dental care that evolved in India. It involves swishing a plant-based oil in your mouth for about 20mins and then spitting it out. Reported benefits from oil pulling includes, but not limited to, preventing tooth decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and strengthening your teeth, gums and jaws.
I love the simplicity of this healing therapy, but before you run in search for any oil, be sure to know that not all oils are effective for oil pulling. Sesame oil was the traditional go-to remedy for oil pulling, but recent endorsements from celebrities and wellness practitioners have giving Coconut oil a spot in the light. Why? Coconut oil contains natural antibacterial properties and its potency is found to be twice as much as sesame oil. However, both oils have moderate abrasive powers and more oral healing benefits than other plant-based oils.
A study in 2009 involving sesame oil and 20 adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis concluded that oil pulling reduced plaque and the bacterium streptococcus mutans. This bacterium is adduced to cause tooth decay and gum diseases. A much larger study in 2013, also with sesame oil, found identical results, which led me to conclude that oil pulling has a significant effect on plaque. Ayurveda advises that oil pulling purifies not just your mouth, but also your entire system. It holds that each section of your tongue is connected to different organs in your body, such as your kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon and spine.
I’ve adopted this practice into my daily oral hygiene. Every morning, before I begin my day at work, I gently swish one tablespoon of organic coconut oil in my mouth for about 20mins. Firstly, I’ve noticed that the oil doubles in size, which could be a clear indication of it drawing out toxins, as well as saliva. After each session, I swish my mouth with lukewarm salt water, then brush and floss like I usually do. My teeth feels polished and optimally refreshed all day long. I used to battle with dry mouth, but since I welcomed oil pulling into my life, it fully moisturizes my mouth. Also, I recommend coconut oil because it contains Vitamin E that will act as an antioxidant.
The idea here is to know that oil pulling is just a natural way to boost your oral health and it maybe a better alternative to mouthwash for you. Regardless, be sure to know that it will not replace the modern care you get from your dentist, if you have a persistent mouth malady.
Just a reminder before you start: after each session of oil pulling, spit the oil into a garbage can and not your sink. Reason being that when the oil solidifies (especially coconut oil), it will clog up your drains or pipes.