8 benefits of Oil Pulling – what, why & how?

Oil pulling - why and what

Have you heard about the term oil pulling before? I bet not! You know the chief function of oil pulling is to remove bacteria and stimulate saliva production, among other benefits. The oil is “pulled” between the teeth and all around the mouth for up to 20 minutes. The bacteria gets swept away and gets dissolved in the liquid oil. 

Oil pulling is a natural remedy originated from traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India. It involves swirling oil around your mouth and then spitting it out.

Key benefits

1. Kills harmful bacteria in the mouth

Our mouth contains thousands of bacteria, some of which are harmful may lead to bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. Oil pulling has been proven to reduce the number of bacteria present in saliva to a great extent and promotes oral hygiene. 

2. Reduces bad breath

Bad breath is something that we all wish to get rid of. Some of the most common causes of bad breath include infection, gum disease, poor oral hygiene and tongue coating, which is when bacteria becomes trapped on the tongue.

3. Prevents cavities

Cavities are one of the most common tooth problems. Poor oral hygiene, eating too much sugar and a buildup of bacteria can all lead to tooth decay, which leads to the formation of holes in the teeth known as cavities.Thankfully, oil pulling is an effective solution to get rid of cavities. Oil pulling has proven to be as effective as mouthwash to prevent plaque and cavities. 

4. Reduces inflammation & improves gum health

The bacteria in plaque may lead to gingivitis, which is a common gum disease characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums. Luckily, oil pulling can be your savior if you are suffering from gingivitis. Research suggests that oil pulling using coconut oil can reduce plaque and hence is effective in reducing gingivitis. 

5. May whiten teeth

Oil pulling is also helpful in naturally whitening your teeth. Though there is no scientific evidence to prove this, some people still claim that it’s able to pull stains from the surface of our teeth,  resulting in a whitening effect.

How is it done?

To do an oil pull with coconut oil, apply  a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth. You  can also use other oils, such as sesame oil or olive oil.

Sit upright and swish the coconut oil around the mouth for 15–20 minutes. People who have difficulty keeping the coconut oil in their mouth for a long period of time,  can start with 5 or 10 minutes and slowly increase the duration. It is essential to keep swishing while you breathe through the nose.

Once done, spit the oil and don’t even try to swallow it as it will take all the germs and bacteria to your stomach and believe me it feels awful doing that. . Also, avoid spitting into the sink or toilet, as it can lead to clogging.It is best to brush your teeth immediately after an oil pull. 

It is also recommended to use a separate toothbrush for oil pulling than your regular toothbrush. It is needless to say that doing this twice a day everyday will reap into better results and must be continued for life long. Along with this flossing can be done every morning as a dental care routine. 


With it’s plenty of benefits, oil pulling is increasingly being used to treat all your dental woes. Additionally, note that it should not be used in place of traditional oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth, flossing, getting routine cleanings and consulting your dentist regarding any oral hygiene problems. Afterall, a smile is incomplete without a good set of white teeth. Dental care is as imperative as your other routines and must not be ignored. 

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