Oil pulling is becoming a natural health phenomenon. It’s no longer a big secret that dental health is related to overall health and even longevity when it comes to humans. This important link may also be present in other species, but the only extensive research so far has been on the human race. This is a large reason why so much attention is being focused on oral hygiene and dental health in the media in general.
When you see the compelling evidence that people with impeccable dental health tend to also enjoy greater levels of health and longevity, it’s definitely a motivation to keep your mouth as clean, healthy and balanced as you possibly can.
Which brings me to my topic today. I want to talk about a relatively new idea called “oil pulling”. It may not be new to those of you who are always on the cutting edge of all new health fads, however it was definitely new to me when I first read about it a few months ago.
Oil pulling is a practice where a natural oil, the most popular so far being solid coconut oil, is used as a sort of mouth wash. People who’ve been doing it a while swear by it. The health benefits of oil pulling actually sound a little too good to be true if you are to believe some of the claims you read. However, it’s hard to ignore that so many people report some incredible improvements in their dental and gum health.
Bacteria and infection
The biggest link comes from the fact that so many serious infections can start in the mouth and can travel to other areas of the body. Have you ever had serious mouth pain or infections before? It hurts just about as bad as back pain can hurt, and it can also hurt you in other serious ways if left unchecked.
Oil pulling is supposed to be highly effective as “mopping up” the bad bacteria in your mouth, and holding it until you spit it out. You’re supposed to dissolve the coconut oil in your mouth (anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon, but I’ve found a 2 teaspoons to be more than adequate, one tablespoon is a bit too much to swish). You swish the oil around fairly vigorously, pulling it through your teeth as well, for about twenty minutes.
Once you’re done, you spit it out in the garbage, not the sink since it will harden and clog drains, and rinse your mouth out thoroughly and brush your teeth. Not only does it kill bacteria and help to improve your overall mouth environment, but there are some other pleasant side effects as well when it comes to oral health and hygiene.
Whiter teeth and fresher breath
Many people claim that practicing oil pulling helps to whiten and brighten their teeth. This makes sense because not only does the oil help pull in bacteria and expel it from the body, but it is also effective and breaking up tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth over time. This can lend a much cleaner, whiter and smoother appearance to the teeth, making them look squeaky clean and bright.
Oil pulling also freshens the breath. This is because the primary cause behind bad breath is bacteria, just like it is when it grows unchecked in our underarms or any other dark, naturally wet or moist areas of the body. Since it so effectively kills bacteria, and you expel it from your mouth when you spit the oil out, you will start to notice your breath staying fresher longer.
It’s simply more effective than brushing alone. The recommendation is to practice oil pulling in the morning before you’ve even eaten or drank anything, presumably so you get the most bang for your buck, cleaning out the bacteria and plaque with nothing to water it down or impact its cleansing ability.
Gum health benefits of oil pulling
If you’ve ever had sensitive gums, gums that are susceptible to infection, bleeding, or get raw and sore often, oil pulling can really help you out. There are a lot of people who have previously experienced gum issues like these that claim oil pulling, over time, has really helped them restore their gum health.
Some have even claimed that it has helped with another common problem – gum recessions (receding gums), however there are questions around this since once something recedes (pulls back and sometimes off the tooth), it technically shouldn’t be able to “grow back” down to the tooth where it originally was.
And yet there are plenty of people who claimed this was the magic bullet for their receding gums. Whatever you believe might be true, it definitely can help improve the gums, helping them to stay healthy and resistant to infection and irritation.
Other health benefits reported
There are numerous testimonials all over the place that oil pulling has helped with much more than oral and dental health. While it is plausible there are still many things we don’t know about when it comes to the interconnectedness of oral health and a number of other systemic and bodily diseases and health issues, these health benefits are probably a long way from being scientifically validated or even studied and released for public consumption.
Some of the health issues that people have claimed oil pulling has helped with are : asthma, arthritis, heart health (this one makes a lot of sense since there is a proven link between dental health and heart health), numerous different skin conditions, and more.
As I said, since it is a great way to pull toxins out of the mouth that can certainly travel to other areas and organs of the body where they can translate into any number of diseases, it is plausible that it can play a role in healing numerous other health issues aside from simply improving oral health. It’s really something you just need to try for yourself to see what it can do for you – at least when it comes to the health of your mouth, teeth and gums!