I heard about â€œoil pullingâ€ about 3 weeks ago. When I googled it, I found out first of all that it is not new, and secondly there were all sorts of claims that it â€œpullsâ€ toxins from your body. The great results that people reported included everything from relief from sensitive teeth and gums (which I have), to sleeplessness (that too), to clearer skin and eyes, and whiter, firmer teeth. It seemed so easy, inexpensive and from what I read online it was giving people great results. So I decided to do an experiment and see for myself what oil pulling was all about.
For those of you who, (like me) had never heard of this before, â€œoil pullingâ€ is simply swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth (any oil, but usually coconut or sesame â€“ I used sesame) for about 15 minutes in the morning, before you brush your teeth, eat, or drink. Yup, thatâ€™s it. Donâ€™t swallow the swished oil, because it contains tons of bacteria. The oil, when you spit it out is milky white and thin, and supposedly so toxic you shouldnâ€™t spit it in your sink. Itâ€™s best to spit it in the garbage or toilet, Iâ€™m assuming so that the germs are not lingering around the bathroom. My mouth feels a little gross right after I spit, so I made up my own ritual of then rinsing with a glass of water with a capful of hydrogen peroxide added to it, and then brushing my teeth right away.
Well, the first day I didnâ€™t last very long. I gagged, and I think I swished too vigorously because my cheek muscles were exhausted after about 4 minutes. Iâ€™m not sure if it was a coincidence but I slept like a stone for the first time in months.
After the second day I relaxed a bit, slowly swished (by the way, donâ€™t gargle!) and I was able to last for a full 15 minutes.
By the 5th day, around 10 pm that night, I suddenly got a terrible toothache, felt sick to my stomach and got very tired. I went right to bed, and since I had a dentist appointment scheduled, I made a mental note to ask about it. The pain was gone the next morning, and I felt fine.
I have noticed my teeth to be a bit whiter, and much cleaner feeling. When I did finally go to the dentist and asked about it, my hygenist, Tammy, said she was totally familiar with oil pulling and that her clients who do it had always had good results. She seemed to think that toothache was because the tooth that I felt the pain in was one of my root canal teeth, and that perhaps I was â€œpullingâ€ some infection from the area.
She explained that anytime you have root canal, itâ€™s always going to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Itâ€™s essentially dead tissue still in your mouth, just filled and topped with a crown. So no matter how much you brush or floss, itâ€™s very hard to keep a root canal as clean as a healthy, living tooth. I had never thought about it that way before. Interestingly enough, my teeth/gums turned out to be very clean.
Iâ€™m now on my 17th day of oil pulling, and I actually wake up and look forward to it! I wake up earlier than everyone else so I donâ€™t have to talk for the 15 minutes. It really helps to try and stay busy while you swish, like take a shower or something.
Several studies have shown that oil pulling actually does reduce oral bacteria and can help prevent decay and gingivitis. I havenâ€™t been able to find much other than oral benefits, but a cleaner mouth is a good enough reason for me to continue.
Iâ€™m curious how many of my readers out there have heard about oil pulling, whether or not you do it and what results you have had with it. Please share!
I hope you had a fabulous Halloween!