Introduction to Oil Pulling & the Science Behind It
Introduction & the Science
Are you taking proper measures to maintain your oral hygiene?
Brushed your teeth – checked
Flossed your teeth – checked
Scraped your tongue – checked
Oil pulling – wait, what’s that?
Maybe you have heard of oil pulling but don’t know how to do it properly, or you stumbled upon this blog post by accident, and now you are psyched up to know more.
Oil pulling, also known as gandusha kriya, is a morning ritual – recommended by Ayurveda – for clearing bacteria from your mouth and promoting oral health and hygiene. Oil pulling is performed by swishing the oil around your teeth, tongue, and gums. Which oil? We’ll talk about that later in this blog.
What Happens During Oil Pulling Therapy?
Your mouth hosts over 600 species of bacteria. While some are good bacteria and make up the healthy microbiome in your mouth, the rest are detrimental to oral health and cause issues like tooth decay, bad breath, bleeding gums, etc.
Oil pulling helps you get rid of these bacteria via a simple phenomenon. The unicellular bacteria are enclosed by a lipid membrane that sticks to the lipid structure of the oil. When you swish the oil around your mouth, these bacteria detach from the soft tissues, attach to the oil, and eventually get flushed out when you spit the oil. The process is like how detergent removes dirt molecules from clothes.
When to do Oil Pulling?
When to do oil pulling? Should you do oil pulling before or after brushing? It is recommended to perform oil pulling before brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue. If you were to choose between oil pulling at night vs morning, it should always be done in the morning on an empty stomach.
Best Oils for Oil Pulling
Coconut oil possesses excellent antimicrobial properties because of its high lauric acid content, making it a popular choice for oil-pulling therapy. It’s readily available in every part of the country.
Fortified with a wide range of herbs and oils for oral health benefits, it is the best oil for oil pulling. It removes harmful bacteria from the mouth’s soft tissues and prevents bleeding gums, tooth decay, bad breath, and hypersensitivity in teeth. It is available at the Kerala Ayurveda store.
The king of herbal oils, sesame oil is one of the ideal choices for oil pulling. It helps eliminate bad breath and prevent tooth decay and bleeding gum. Swishing with sesame oil every day can also strengthen your jaw and gums.
How to do oil pulling
Oil pulling offers maximum benefits before brushing your teeth and on an empty stomach. Here are simple instructions to do it the right way.
- Put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth.
- Swish the oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes.
- For beginners, 15 minutes can be difficult, so start with 5 minutes.
- Spit the oil; do not swallow.
- Sit back and allow some time to rebalance your oral microbiome
- Use lukewarm water to rinse your mouth
- Avoid eating anything immediately after oil pulling
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Let’s look at some of the oil-pulling benefits:
Promotes Healthy Teeth and Gums
Maintaining a healthy oral microbiome is crucial for your teeth and gum health. One of the most common culprits of tooth decay is Streptococcus mutans, a type of microorganism in your mouth. Daily oil pulling for 10-15 minutes can help reduce S. mutans count in your mouth and prevent tooth problems.
Promotes Fresh Breath
Bad breath not only embarrasses you, but it can also affect your relationships. Bad breath is caused by sulfur-producing bacteria that thrive in microscopic grooves on the tongue and back of the throat. Oil pulling and gargling help flush these bacteria out of the mouth, leaving you with fresh, odorless breath.
You can find evidence of the correlation between oral hygiene and overall well-being. The harmful bacteria that thrive in your mouth eventually enter your body with food, causing health complications and even life-threatening inflammation in the cardiac system.
Daily oil pulling helps eliminate harmful bacteria from your mouth, assisting your body’s natural detoxification process.
Promotes Healthy Sinus
Although there are limited clinical studies in this area, anecdotal evidence shows several benefits of oil pulling for sinus health. Since sinuses are closely linked to the oral cavity, maintaining a healthy oral microbiome can help prevent sinus infections caused by bacteria.
Things to consider before Oil Pulling
Some people may be allergic to one of the oils prominently used for oil pulling. Therefore, conducting a patch test to rule out the possibility of oil intolerance is crucial.
Apart from that, no known risks are associated with the oil-pulling method.
Also, it should be noted that oil pulling cannot substitute brushing and flossing your teeth; this technique must be used in a supplementary fashion to promote a healthy oral microbiome
Experts suggest incorporating oil pulling into your morning ritual and staying consistent for at least 4-6 weeks to get noticeable results. Keeping the oil in your mouth for a long time might cause slight discomfort, but regular practice will make it easier.
When choosing the oil, look into its intrinsic properties to know what to expect. For instance, if your goal is to control bad breath, sesame oil is right. But coconut oil does the job if you want to maintain a healthy oral microbiome. However, you can have the best of both worlds with Arimedadi Thailam, offered by Kerala Ayurveda.
- Oil pulling is an Ayurveda-recommended morning ritual that helps remove bacteria from your mouth and prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum problems.
- Oil pulling is done by swishing the oil around the mouth for 15-20 minutes, followed by a quick rinse with lukewarm water.
- Some of the best oils you can use include coconut, sesame, and Arimedadi.
- Oil pulling should be done on an empty stomach in the morning, immediately after brushing and flossing your teeth.
- Benefits of oil pulling include fresh breath, healthy teeth and gums, a balanced oral microbiome, and a healthy palate.