Historically, oil pulling has been used to remove bacteria from the mouth and promote oral health. But the question here arises is, Is oil pulling actually good for you? If yes, then which oil is best for oil pulling. Ayurveda, traditional medicine from India, is often associated with it. According to studies, oil pulling can kill bacteria in the mouth and improve dental health. Additionally, some alternative medicine practitioners claim that oil pulling can treat a variety of diseases.
According to research published in the Journal of traditional and complementary medicine in 2017, Oil pulling is very beneficial for your oral health and it actually nourishes your gums and reduces the risk of dental cavities.
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Is oil pulling actually good for you? If yes, then how?
Research1 says that oil pulling generates antioxidants which damage the cell membrane of the bacteria. The bacterial cell membrane is made up of lipids which get attracted by the oil. During oil pulling, oil get’s emulsified, and the surface area of the oil increases. The oil will coat the teeth and gingiva and protects the teeth from plaque formation.
Benefits of oil pulling
1. Kill harmful bacteria in the mouth
Studies2 have shown that our mouth is a house for more than 700 types of bacteria. These bacteria contribute to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum problems. Many research supports the fact that oil pulling is very helpful in reducing bacterial growth in your mouth.
A study3 was conducted in 2008 on 20 children. 20 Children were divided into two groups, one group was told to use a mouthwash, for 10 minutes and another group was told to do oil pulling for 10 minutes every day. After one week it was found that the group of children who did oil pulling every day, had reduced the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth and also they got rid of bad breath.
2. Help reduce bad breath
You will be shocked to know that 50% of the world’s population suffers from bad breath and the condition is known as Halitosis. There are many causes of bad breath, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, tongue coating, GERD, smoking and tonsil stones.
Many studies4 have revealed that oil pulling is actually very effective in reducing bad breath.
3. Oil pulling can prevent cavities
Poor oral hygiene, eating too much sugar and accumulation of bacteria in the mouth can all cause tooth decay. Tooth decay leads to the formation of a hole in the teeth which is known as cavities.
Plaque form a coating on teeth which actually comprises bacteria, saliva and food particles. Bacteria produces an acid that destroys teeth enamel and causes tooth decay.
Oil pulling significantly decreases the number of teeth decaying bacteria in the mouth and hence, it reduces the risk of tooth decay.
4. Oil pulling reduces inflammation in the gum and boosts oral health
Gingivitis is a condition that is marked by swollen gums and bleeding gums. bacteria found in plaque are the major cause of gingivitis as they can cause bleeding and inflammation in the gums.
Harmful mouth bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, is responsible for plaque formation in the mouth and cause weak and unhealthy gums. Hence, oil pulling is an effective remedy to improve gum health and reduce inflammation.
5. Boosts skin health
Oil pulling in the morning removes toxins that have accumulated the night before, preventing them from entering your bloodstream and contributing to unfavourable skin. For some, oil pulling has alleviated conditions like eczema and psoriasis, while others have noticed a healthier complexion.
Also while squishing the oil around your mouth, your facial muscle also gets good exercise which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your face.
If you are oil pulling on a regular basis, you’ll soon start to see these amazing benefits firsthand. With your body’s system free to work its magic without having to focus on getting rid of toxins and unwanted germs, you’ll start to see major improvements in your skin in as little as two weeks.
6. Balance your hormones
By eliminating the body’s toxins, oil pulling also allows hormones to function more naturally. Accordingly, oil pulling therapy can help with thyroid disorders and with regularizing the menstrual cycle.
7. Reduces Migraines and Headaches
Headaches commonly result from toxins present in your body. Oil pulling removes harmful microorganisms and toxins which helps reduce episodes of headaches and migraines.
8. Supports the Immune System
Oil pulling keeps bacteria, toxins and infections away from your body, which contributes to stronger immunity and greater resilience in the face of viruses.
9. Boosts Metabolism
This ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling along with cleaning the tongue and mouth positively affects internal organs like the liver, kidney and heart. When the liver works at an optimal level, it can regulate metabolism and help remove body fat. It is also believed that oil pulling reduces fluid retention and bloating, thus enhancing metabolism.
Is oil pulling safe?
Oil pulling is a safe process as described above. Any individual can participate in the therapy without risk of harm, as it is a completely natural therapy.
Oil pulling therapy can be done by:
- Children old enough not to swallow the oil
- People facing dental issues
- Women who are pregnant or nursing
Although oil pulling is a natural therapy, some people may experience the following side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaw soreness (this can be reduced by swishing gently for less time)
- Discomfort (caused by the gag reflex)
- Indigestion and heartburn
If you are allergic to any particular oil, then you should obviously refrain from engaging in oil pulling with that particular oil.
Never swallow the oil after swishing it, as it contains toxins and bacteria. Swallowing this oil can lead to indigestion. If oil pulling triggers your gag reflex, try to lean forward while swishing and use slightly less oil. Jaw soreness can result from vigorous swishing, so if that happens try to swish gently for less time. Generally, jaw soreness disappears after a few days of practising oil pulling.
Always use natural oil without any artificial additives. If you experience any negative side effects, you should consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner and seek their guidance. Now you know the answer to “Is oil pulling actually good for you?”
Which Oil Is Best For Oil Pulling?
Is oil pulling actually good for your health? Well, now you know very well that it is an amazing technique with lots of good effects. But, how to choose the best oil for you?
1. Coconut Oil
Oil pulling is commonly done with coconut oil due to its good taste. Most people include coconut oil in their diet, so using coconut oil for oil pulling makes much more sense for them. Furthermore, they possess antibacterial properties that help dilute the bacteria by diluting them when used in oil pulling.
2. Sesame oil
Sesame oil has a lot of prominence in Ayurveda, and it’s used in many medicines. The antibacterial properties of this product can help to control oral problems such as gingival plaque. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it effective in treating swelling and bleeding gums. Sesame oil can be used for oil pulling for multiple oral health benefits.
3. Sunflower Oil
The ability of sunflower oil to dilute thick plaque and tartar makes it a great oil for oil pulling. An oil pulling procedure can remove much of the plaque from the teeth surface.
4. Olive oil
You can also do oil pulling with olive oil. It has many antibacterial properties, and it can also control the growth of other organisms. The oils listed here are some of the best types to use when oil pulling to remove bacteria and other unwanted organisms from the mouth.
Keeping your oral health in good shape can be improved by oil pulling. It is always better to do the oil pulling when your stomach is empty for at least two hours. So, in the morning period is better to do this activity properly. Also, when you pull the oil for gargling, it is always better to gargle for around 10 minutes in the mouth from all sides. It will remove all the unwanted things from all sides.