Oil Pulling: A Simple Practice with Incredible Benefits

Last updated on June 20th, 2024 at 11:18 am

What is oil pulling? How does it improve your oral health? Is oil pulling beneficial for your teeth? What are the health benefits of this Ayurvedic practice? This writeup delves into the science of oil pulling and its amazing advantages.

Introduction to Oil Pulling

What is oil pulling?

It is the practice of swishing oil like a mouthwash. When oil is swished around the mouth, the bacteria get washed away, thus helping in keeping many dental problems at bay. In Ayurvedic texts, oil pulling is known as Gandusha or Kavala, which refers to the act of holding oil in the mouth and gargling or pulling it through the teeth and around the gums and teeth.

Is it good to practice oil pulling everyday?

It should be performed daily on an empty stomach and before brushing your teeth, in a seated position with your chin up.

Which oils are best for oil pulling?

Traditionally, sesame oil is used for this practice. It contains vitamin E, linoleic acid and other fatty acids, which nourish the gum tissues and also have antibacterial properties that help keep the oral cavity healthy. Coconut oil, due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, is another good option for use in oil pulling. Olive oil can also be used since it can reduce inflammation. One more good alternative is sunflower oil. It is rich in vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids, which are good for gum health. It also has anti-inflammatory properties due to which it helps prevent inflammation in the mouth.

How to oil pull?

Take one tablespoon of oil, swish it around the mouth for 15-20 minutes. Do not swallow the oil, spit it. Then rinse your mouth well. Initially, you may swish the oil for 5 minutes and gradually increase the duration to 15 or 20 minutes. The practice should be carried out daily or at least a few times a week.

Incredible Benefits of Oil Pulling

  • Oil pulling results in a deep cleansing of the mouth, thus leading to the removal of bacteria and toxins. This helps in the prevention of many oral diseases.
  • Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria mainly found in the mouth and one of the main causes of plaque and tooth decay. Coconut oil, if used for oil pulling, reduces the number of harmful bacteria like S. mutans.
  • Gingivitis is caused by the inflammation of gums when your immune system attacks the bacteria in the plaque. The practice of oil pulling can reduce oral bacteria, reduce plaque and thus help in fighting gingivitis.
  • Oil pulling helps in improving the health of your gums and strengthening them.
  • Plaque leads to the yellowing of your teeth. As oil pulling reduces plaque buildup, this Ayurvedic practice can potentially whiten the teeth.
  • Oil pulling can help in preventing dental cavities.
  • It works like a massage to the oral cavity, thus leading to the strengthening of your teeth, gums and jaws.
  • Oil pulling helps reduce bad breath. Since one of the reasons for bad breath is oral bacteria, oil pulling which reduces these bacteria, in turn helps remove bad breath.
  • Oil pulling can alleviate mouth ulcers as also the pain and discomfort caused by biting of the cheek.
  • Any inflammation in the mouth can be remediated with the help of oil pulling.
  • Since the sinuses are related to the oral cavity, oil pulling that removes bacteria from the mouth, also helps in preventing bacterial sinus infections.
  • Oil pulling is believed to be of help in increasing the beneficial or good bacteria in the saliva, which leads to you select correct foods that can keep your heart healthy.
  • According to Charaka Samhita, oil pulling prevents dryness of the throat and lips, protects the teeth and strengthens the gums.
  • Ayurveda says that oil pulling is a preventive as well as curative measure and can help in treating 30 different diseases.
  • As per Ayurveda, the tongue is linked with various organs like the kidneys, intestine, lungs, heart and spine. So, oil pulling which works on the tongue and cleans the mouth and teeth, may also be helpful in preventing and curing diseases unrelated to the oral cavity,
  • As per a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, oil pulling activates the salivary enzymes which absorb toxins from the blood, which is why this Ayurvedic practice detoxifies the body.

Caution: Oil pulling is a safe practice, however, there is a risk of aspiration which is why children aged below 5 should not practice oil pulling. Oils contain fats, and if they enter the lungs, it can lead to a condition called lipid pneumonia. Secondly, oil pulling should not be practiced with an oil or a brand of oil that you are allergic to, as it may cause more harm than good. Ayurveda says that the oil should be selected based on body type, and an oil which is the best-suited for your body should be used for oil pulling. Thus, oil pulling can completely transform your oral and dental health. Due to the antimicrobial properties of the oils used in this practice, many oral diseases can be prevented with oil pulling. This Ayurvedic practice acts as a remedy for mouth ulcers, gum diseases and other dental problems. It combats bad breath, while also keeping the gums and teeth clean and healthy. So, include oil pulling in your daily routine and reap its benefits for your well-being.

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