Oral Health and Oil Pulling

toothheartcoconut

Good oral hygiene is crucial. Not only for preventing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath, but also for maintaining good overall health. Please see article on mouth and body connection under ‘articles’, or follow link here.

I’ve recently added oil pulling to my oral health regimen. Oil pulling has been practiced in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve the health of teeth and gums. While sesame oil is often used, I prefer to use coconut oil. You can also use a mixture of the two.

How do you do it? Just warm up about a tablespoon of oil just until it is in a liquid form (coconut oil solidifies at cool temps), then swish it around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. I know, 20 minutes seems like a looooong time. I started with 5 minutes, and have worked up to 15. Basically, you want to swish it around long enough for the oil to pull toxins and bacteria out of your mouth.

Do not swallow the oil! It will contain toxins and bacteria that you want to remove from your body, not introduce to it. And make sure you spit the oil in the trash. It’s not good for your pipes to have that much oil going down the sink. After you spit, rinse your mouth well with warm water to make sure you get out all the toxins.

What are the benefits? A decrease in plaque, healthier gums, whiter teeth, better breath… Along with direct oral health benefits, it is thought to help with 30 systemic diseases ranging from migraines to asthma and diabetes. In Ayurvedic medicine, each part of the tongue is connected to a different organ of the body; another reason why good oral health is considered so important.

It’s OK to start out with a little less oil, and to hold it for only a few minutes at a time. It can be tough to get over the gag reflex at first, but after a few times it will seem more natural. Then you can increase the amount of oil and swish time.

Oil pulling is considered safe as long as you use good quality oil and do not swallow the oil at the end. I haven’t noticed any negative effects, just whiter teeth and less plaque 🙂

Resources:

Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/

What is Oil Pulling?: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/03/oil-pulling-benefits.aspx

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