Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

Chiropractic London ON Oil Pulling


I “oil pull” 3-4 times/week, and I like it. It’s part of my routine. It makes my teeth feel clean, and I think it makes them sparkle. So, what is oil pulling in London?

Oil Pulling in London

Oil pulling is an all-natural way to remove bacteria from the mouth while promoting healthy teeth and gums.

Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that evolved in India some 3000-5000 years ago, a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent, now practiced in other parts of the world as a form of complementary medicine.  [1]

Over the centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners developed large numbers of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments and diseases.

Oil pulling is an ancient traditional Ayurvedic practice that claims to have the following benefits:

  • Cures tooth decay
  • Kills bad breath
  • Heals bleeding gums
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Soothes throat dryness
  • Prevents cavities
  • Heals cracked lips
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Improves acne
  • Strengthens gums and jaw

History of Dental Hygiene…
Most of us cannot imagine not brushing or flossing our teeth every day.  In reality, tooth brushing is relatively new and did not become part of our daily health regimen until the late 1930s when the nylon bristle toothbrush was invented.

The earliest evidence of toothbrushes, from the Babylonians and Egyptians, around 3500-3000 BC, took the form of frayed twigs, and around 1600 BC, the Chinese made “chewing sticks” from aromatic trees. By the 15th century, the Chinese were credited for making the first toothbrushes from bristles of a pig attached to a bone or bamboo.  The concept was later adopted by the Europeans and softer horsehair or feathers were used.  In 1844, the first 3-row bristle brush was invented by the English.  It was refined over the years.  In 1938, the first modern toothbrush was made with the introduction of nylon bristles.  Today, both mechanical and electric toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, angles, and sizes. [2]

Most of our ancestors didn’t brush their teeth with toothpaste for thousands of years, yet most people were found to live until an old age with most of their teeth intact and in a strong and healthy state.

You might ask how did they preserve their teeth when they didn’t brush them on a regular basis.  Well, first of all, they ate real food, they didn’t consume processed foods and sugars like that of a typical North American diet today, and in addition to using twigs and chew sticks, some people oil pulled.

How to Oil Pull

Oil pull in the morning before breakfast before eating or drinking anything for optimal results.

  • Use coconut oil - cold-pressed (raw), unrefined, organic if possible. While you can get the same bacteria-fighting benefits with sesame or sunflower oil, coconut oil has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents, making it more effective. Also, a recent study found that coconut oil may help prevent tooth decay.
  • Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth.
  • Start with just 5 minutes a day. Twenty minutes of swishing is a long time, and while the longer you pull, the more bacteria you'll remove, 5 or 10 minutes will still offer some benefit. Also, if your jaw starts aching a few minutes in, slow down. A gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through the teeth is all that's required.  Progress to pulling for up to 20 minutes/day.
  • Don't swallow. If you find it hard not to, you likely have too much oil in your mouth.
  • Don't spit it down the sink, as the oil could clog your pipes. Just discard the used oil into a tissue then into a trash can.
  • Thoroughly rinse and wash the mouth/oral cavity with warm water.
  • Continue to brush and floss. Oil pulling should never replace routine dental visits and traditional home dental hygiene.
  • Repeat 3-4x/week.

The Research Behind It…

Unlike some so-called natural home remedies, it's not a practice that's based on pseudo-science. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath.

There are at least sixteen scientific papers reporting the health benefits of oil pulling. [3]

“Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has recently become very popular as a CAM [complementary and alternative medicine] remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity.”  [4]

What it Means to You…

Not surprising that people have experienced positive results beyond the obvious dental hygiene benefits because the mouth is a gateway to overall health. When we improve oral health, we improve so many other things in the body. People with bad oral hygiene have a higher incidence of cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and strokes, and a higher incidence of pneumonia. Men with periodontal disease have a greater risk of erectile dysfunction. Even with diabetes, improved oral health can help control problems in diabetic patients. Also, pregnant women with gum disease have lower birth-weight babies. Yes — everything is connected.

The mouth is connected to the sinuses and the ear canal, so people with improved oral hygiene can decrease ear infections and sinus infections. When there is a healthier mouth, there is less inflammation in the body. Less inflammation provides a better environment for healing, which could result in healthier skin, improved mood, and increased energy.

Upgrade Oil Pulling…

For an added oral health boost, add essential oils to your oil pulling routine, 1 drop of essential oil of choice to your coconut oil.  These are some of the most popular and effective oils.

  • Lemon: Whitens teeth
  • Peppermint: Freshens breath and fights gingivitis
  • Thieves: Great for oral health; attacks bleeding gums, gingivitis, and oral infections
  • Frankincense: Eases mouth discomfort and supports gum health
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia: Also known as tea tree; Attacks gingivitis and canker sores
  • Oregano: Oral infection control

Frequently Asked Questions…

How old do you need to be to start oil pulling?  As long as someone is old enough not to swallow the oil that’s been swished around in the mouth, then they are old enough to oil pull.

Can I oil pull if I have fillings?  According to the Coconut Research Center [6]

“Oil pulling will not and cannot loosen properly placed crowns or fillings. The only time oil pulling will affect crowns or fillings is if the teeth underneath have decayed and are full of infection. In this case, the foundation on which the crowns or fillings are secured to is badly decayed and unable to hold the dental material. Oil pulling removes bacteria, pus, and mucus. It cannot pull out porcelain, amalgam, or composite dental materials from the teeth.”

How long will it take to see a difference in my dental health once I start oil pulling?  Within one week, most people notice a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.  Within a month some have noticed dental improvements and healthier gums.

Are there any side effects to oil pulling?  Everyone is different, but some have experienced the following:

Release of mucus from the sinus cavities that plugs the nose and makes it uncomfortable to oil pull.  If this happens to you, it is recommended that you blow your nose before you oil pull.

Jaw soreness.  This usually just means that your jaw muscles are out of shape.  To accommodate this complaint, cut back on amount of oil used, swish the oil in a more gentle way and reduce the amount of time you oil pull.

Occasionally may elicit the gag reflex.  To prevent this, warm the oil first so it is liquid before you start.

Can I oil pull while pregnant?  Since you spit out the toxins in the oil that’s been swished around your mouth, there are no contraindications to oil pulling while pregnant.


  2. http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/history-of-toothbrushes-and-toothpastes
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22oil+pulling%22
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/
  5. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.com/hwnl_8-1.htm



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