Oil Pulling Benefits & Side Effects

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Oil Pulling is an ancient technique used in India and recommended by Ayurveda for keeping oral hygiene and maintaining optimum digestive health. According to ayurveda, oil pulling has several types as per its benefits and purpose of use.

How to do Oil Pulling

  • Take two teaspoons of Oil in the mouth.
  • Swish the oil in the mouth.
  • Hold the oil for a few seconds and then again pull the oil through the mouth.
  • Initially, you can start pulling oil for 3 to 5 minutes. After a few days, you can increase the time of oil pulling to 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Spit out the oil and discard it.
  • Rinse off your mouth with warm water three to five times.
  • After that, brush your teeth properly.

Precautions & Warning

You should not swallow the oil used for oil pulling. It will contain many bacteria and toxins.

You should also not use the oil to which you are allergic even it may have many health benefits.

Signs of good oil pulling practice

  1. Oil will mix thoroughly with the saliva.
  2. Due to this oil seems to be thinner before.
  3. When you release the oil from the mouth into the sink, you can see that the oil gets white and mixes with saliva. You can also see formed bubbles due to swishing the oil in the mouth.
  4. If the oil is still yellow in color or there are not changes in the original color, then it may be possible that you have not did oil pulling properly. In this case, you should increase the time of oil pulling for better results.

Best Time to Do Oil Pulling

The best time for the oil pulling is early in the morning after waking up and on the empty stomach or at least an hour before the breakfast.

Best Oils for Oil Pulling

  • Coconut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sunflower Oil

However, there are no research studies available for organic oil benefits in oil pulling, but we do recommend using organic and pure oil for oil pulling or swishing because our ancestors use the same. There would be minimal chances of side effects.

Oil Pulling Benefits

  1. Oil Pulling whitens teeth.
  2. It prevents tooth decay.
  3. It reduces bad breath.
  4. It helps treating pyorrhea and gum bleeding.
  5. It reduces inflammation.
  6. It soothes the throat and reduces irritation and dryness in the throat.
  7. Oil pulling helps in cracked lips.
  8. Oil pulling provides strength to gums and jaw.

Other Claimed Benefits – Insufficient Evidences

  • Oil pulling may prevent heart diseases.
  • Oil pulling may prevent cavities.
  • It may boost immunity.
  • It may reduce acne occurrence.

Oil Pulling Side Effects

The side effects of oil pulling are well explained in ayurvedic texts. Unwise use or wrong oil pulling technique can lead to following side effects.

  • Excessive dryness in the mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Loss of taste sensation
  • Swallowing the oil can cause indigestion, heartburn and loss of appetite.

FAQs about Oil Pulling

When should I do Oil Pulling?

Just after waking up and on the empty stomach in the morning is the best time for oil pulling.

According to my personal opinion, you can also do oil pulling at night before bedtime because this time more microbes are present in the mouth.

Is it good after or before brushing teeth?

Oil pulling is good before brushing teeth. Brushing after oil pulling helps to get rid of any remaining toxins and microbes from the oral cavity.

After doing oil pulling, should we rinse off with water then brush teeth before sleeping or leave it overnight without brushing teeth?

Certainly, you should rinse off your mouth with warm water and after that brush your teeth. It is the best practice for maximum health benefits from the oil pulling.

You should not leave it overnight without brushing teeth. Oil is sticky and some microbes can stay with oil in the mouth. Rinsing mouth with warm water and brushing teeth help getting rid of any remaining microbes in the oral cavity.

How often/many times is it recommended to do oil pulling in a day?

Oil pulling once a day would be sufficient according to ayurvedic science. However, there are no restrictions using it for two or three times a day. For best results, you can use twice a day one in the morning on empty stomach and second at night just before bedtime.

When is the best time to do oil pulling, after getting up/before sleeping or both? 

However, both are the best times for oil pulling and give benefits in maintaining oral hygiene. According to ayurveda, after getting up is the best suitable time for oil pulling.

According to my personal opinion, oil pulling before sleep would be better because this time more microbes and toxins are present in the mouth.

Do you recommend oil pulling before sleep?

There are no specific recommendations. Ayurveda recommends oil pulling in the morning.

However, doing oil pulling before sleep is not harmful and it is beneficial too.

According to my personal opinions, Oil pulling before sleep may be better because this time more microbes and bacteria are present in the oral cavity than morning.

Does Oil Pulling mean rinsing/slashing coconut/sesame oil in the gum and mouth area for 15 minutes?

Oil pulling means swishing the oil in the mouth, pulling the oil through the teeth and slashing the oil around the gums. Ayurvedic oil pulling also means holding the oil in the oral cavity for a few seconds and then swishing the oil properly. It also helps strengthening facial muscles and adjoining bones.

Can I do more than 15 minutes for better results? Does it not harm?

15 to 20 minutes for oil pulling would be best, so there is no need doing it more than this. However, if you want to get more and early possible good results, then you can do two times a day. You can do in early morning and at night just before sleeping.

Oil pulling is POSSIBLY SAFE even if you do it for more than 20 minutes, but you should always remember not swallowing the oil.

Is it good to mix organic coconut oil with black sesame oil to kill bacteria faster/maximum inside gum pocket?

Both oils are good for oil pulling. You can also mix them and get benefits of each. There is no problem in mixing the oils and using them together in oil pulling.

Certainly, you will get benefits of both oils, but there is no research study available that explain this combination can kill bacteria more quickly.

Is it better use cloves oil or sesame oil to target bacteria in the gum pocket? Must they be organic oils?

Adding a few drops of clove oil can increase the antimicrobial activities of base oil. The base oil can be sesame oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil. Yes, adding clove oil can help targeting bacteria in the gum pockets and help treating gum infections and pyorrhea.

Organic oils are more safe and free from chemicals. However, there is no compulsion of using organic oils, but we recommend so because of more safety and efficacy.

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