What’s all the hype about?

Oil pulling, an ancient oral hygiene practice dating back to thousands of years ago, originated in Ayurvedic medicine.

How do I Oil Pull?

The concept is simple.  You would use oil in the same manner you would use mouthwash.  Take a tablespoon of either coconut oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil, and swish it around your mouth for a period of 15 minutes.  You would want to start with shorter times and increase it incrementally while you get used to the sensation,  and your facial muscles get fit! Go slow at first since the aim is to work up to 15-20 minutes. This process allows the oil to pull out bacteria and toxins from your mouth. Be sure to expectorate all of the oil into a garbage can (not your sink, since the residue can solidify) after pulling it between your teeth as the oil is contaminated with oral bacteria, viruses and toxin and fungi.

We all know that junk food, starchy foods, and sugars increase the risk of tooth decay.  Oil pulling may adhere to Candida and Strptococcus.  These germs and their toxic waste products cause plaque accumulation and tooth decay.

I believe that coconut oil is the best oil to use when oil pulling.  Coconuts are nutritionally dense foods and its oil is a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes.  Its biologic process is that coconut oil is broken down into acids that are toxic to the bacteria in the mouth, in particular Streptocococcus Mutans which are the primary cause of tooth decay.

Oil pulling an ancient oral hygiene

Although oil pulling aids in keeping the bacteria in the mouth in check, it is by no means a replacement for proper oral hygiene and dental visits. Brushing and flossing twice a day is still considered your best friend when it comes to removing acid producing plaque in your mouth. The ADA is not quite on board with oil pulling yet and they confer that the research and the studies so far are not enough evidence to make a strong statement that oil pulling can actually fight tooth decay and keep a healthier oral environment.  In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate this ancient technique in your oral hygiene routine.

Visiting your dentist at least twice a year can aid in keeping the plaque and tarter below your gums in check, hence reducing overall bacterial colonies and lessening the impact of gum disease. Oil pulling, along with a careful diet rich in fermented vegetables and proper oral hygiene should keep those pesky bugs in check and help in improving your overall health.  Vegetables rich in antioxidants not only help with your overall health but aid in improving gum disease.

Other benefits of Coconut Oil include:

  • Support of proper thyroid function
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • It is an excellent “fuel” for your body and aids in a strong metabolism
  • Maintains a youthful and healthy looking skin.

Approximately 50% of the fat in coconut oil is Lauric acid which is hard to find in nature.  As a matter of fact coconut oil has more lauric acid than anything else on our planet. Your body turns lauric acid to monolaurin which can aid in destroying lipid-coated viruses such as herpes, influenza, measles, and HIV.

So I say, jump in, get on board with this latest oral hygiene craze!  It will benefit your oral and systemic health, it’s cheap to do, and you need no special products or gadgets.  Your facial muscles will get a little workout too!

For more information or a consultation, visit our Escondido, Ca dental office or call 760-747-1811.  Don’t forget to check out our new patient promotions!

Dr. Rabee McDonald

I am a 1995 graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine and completed my post-doctorate training at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at Newark, New Jersey. I am proud to provide my patients with the best in dental technology, treatment options and patient comfort. I spend several weekends a year at the world renowned Spear Education center to keep up with best dentists in the world.