The term oil pulling does seem strange but is actually a remedy advocated by the traditional Ayurvedic medical practice. The Ayurvedic practice is based on the usage of natural products and daily practices that will have a lasting effect on one’s health. Oil pulling helps in keeping teeth healthy the natural way and from feedback received from those who have done it daily, it is beneficial in keeping gums healthy. For those who dread going to the dentist from the dual pain of going through horrible procedures and that of a lighter wallet, oil pulling is an option you could try to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.
Oil pulling is the act of swishing a teaspoon of oil, which can be sesame, coconut, or sunflower oil, in the mouth for about 20 minutes. Sesame seed is the traditional oil that is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Coconut oil has been found to be beneficial for whitening of teeth and removing bacteria such as Streptococcus Mutans, known for causing dental caries. Oils that are chemically treated or contain high omega-6 such as vegetable, canola, soybean, and corn oil should be avoided. The best time for oil pulling is in the morning before consuming food or drinks. At this time of the day, the body has rested and is ready to get rid of toxins that have been built up during the night.
The practice of oil pulling known as Gundusha began in India through Ayurvedic medicine. It was first introduced to the United States in the 1990s by a doctor called Dr. F.Karach, who successfully used it in his practice. Although oil pulling has yet to be scientifically proven, those who practice it regularly, report better oral health in terms of lesser plague, lower sensitivity, and whiter teeth. Most dentists observe oil pulling as a safe and effective method alternative to using a mouthwash, especially as most off-the-self mouthwashes contain alcohol and leave a burning sensation in one’s mouth. There are those who have reported other benefits such as improved skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections and liver problems.
Oil pulling is an inexpensive therapy. There are benefits without any downside to taking up this practice as long as quality oil that can be ingested is used. After all, what harm is there in swishing oil in your mouth, in fact, it can even do wonders for your face muscles with all the effort taken for swishing.
The oil helps in removing toxins from the gums and teeth. There are doctors recommend oil pulling after every meal for those with severe dental problems. The duration of 20 minutes is important as it is sufficient for the oil to break through plague and absorb toxins including bacteria, and before the body starts reabsorbing the toxins and bacteria.
The consistency of the oil changes to a creamy white from the swishing movement and from mixing with saliva it becomes a bigger volume. The final stage is the removal of the oil which is equally important. The recommendation is to spit the oil into a trash can as spitting into sinks could result in clogged pipes. This has to be followed by the washing of the mouth and brushing of teeth.
Oil pulling is safe for all including children who are able to avoid swallowing the oil. Those who are pregnant and nursing can do oil pulling without any side effects after the first trimester. However, it is recommended to get the advice of a dentist especially if one has metal fillings, crowns, and dental problems.
Oil pulling is a daily habit worth taking up as there are no downsides to it and the plus factors of having better oral health with fewer plague problems make it all the more worthwhile.
Gentle reminder: The information on this article is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare professional and should not be considered as professional advice. Please seek appropriate medical help when necessary.