Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oil Pulling for Dental Health

I have posted on this once before but there is nowca lot more darta and good information out there to guide us.  The bottom line is that any edible oil will largely work and any other claims are likely marginal.  It is really too much to ask to be lucky twice./

The protocol and its behavior is well described below.  Essentially swish away until it stops changing in your mouth and then spit it all out.

The benefits are now will understood and essentially it is an important advance in dental care that stops and even reverses damage from our present practice.


By Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils as agents for pulling harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and even throat.

How To Oil Pull
The most effective oil pulling is done by placing around a tablespoon of cold pressed organic sesame oil into the mouth and swishing the oil around the mouth for approximately 10-15 minutes and then spitting it out.

Other oils such as extra virgin cold pressed  coconut, sunflower and olive oil have been used, although sesame oil is considered one of the best oils for this practice. I recommend alternating oils every couple of days to get the full benefit. Putting high quality organic oils into the mouth has a multi-effect outcome.

First, the oils mix with the saliva, turning it into a thin, white liquid. Lipids in the oils begin to pull out toxins from the saliva. As the oil is swished around the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue, the oil continues to absorb toxins, and usually ends up turning thick and viscous and white. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it is spit out before the toxins are reabsorbed.

What Does Oil Pulling Do?
Multiple scientific studies show the efficacy of oil pulling therapy. One study shows that oil pulling with sesame oil can boost overall oral health. Specifically, using sesame oil as an oral health agent helps to reduce the amount of S. mutans (germ) count in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva. Scientists believe that the lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacterial from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.

Oil pulling may also increase saponification in the mouth, creating a soapy environment that cleanses the mouth as vegetable fat is an emulsifier by nature. Most interesting is perhaps the ability of oil to cleanse out harmful bacteria, as well as reduce fungal overgrowth. These oils also possibly help in cellular restructuring, and are related to the proper functioning of the lymph nodes and other internal organs.

 Other possible benefits of oil pulling for oral health include:
            •           Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
            •           Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
            •           Prevention for bad breath
            •           Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
            •           Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
            •           Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area

Benefits Beyond the Mouth?
Ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners believed that oil pulling could reduce more than just diseases of the mouth and throat. Today, many holistic practitioners tout its use for a variety of health concerns. 

It is believed that these oils help the lymphatic system of the body as harmful bacteria are removed and beneficial microflora are given with a healthy environment to flourish. Because of this holistic perspective, oil pulling has been used as a preventative health measure for many other conditions.

Other possible benefits of oil pulling for overall health include:

            •           Migraine headache relief
            •           Correcting hormone imbalances
            •           Reducing inflammation of arthritis
            •           May help with gastro-enteritis
            •           Aids in the reduction of eczema
            •           May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
            •           Helps support normal kidney function
            •           May help reduce sinus congestion
            •           Some people report improved vision
            •           Helps reduce insomnia
            •           Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
            •           Aids in reducing pain
            •           Reduces the symptoms of allergies
            •           Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms

Scientific Studies on Sesame Oil and Oil Pulling
Sesame oil is particularly high in the antioxidantssesamol, sesamin, and sesamolin. It also holds a high concentration of Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These antioxidants have been found to stop the absorption of negative forms of cholesterol in the liver. Multiple studies have shown the antibacterial capacities of sesame oil. These studies support the use of oil pulling in the prevention of dental cavities and gingivitis.

A 2007 study looking into the effect of oil pulling (with sunflower oil) on plaque and gingivitis on oral soft and hard tissues. Results found that after 45 days of oil pulling, subjects showed a statistically significant reduction in gingivitis.

Another study , conducted in 2008 found a “remarkable reduction in the total count of bacteria” in the mouth, and an overall marked reduction in susceptibility dental cavities. The antibacterial activity of sesame oil was also studied and found to have an effect on the Streptococcus mutans in the mouth. 

In fact, these studies showed an overall reduction of bacteria from 10 to 33.4% in participants, and after 40 days of oil-pulling, participants were found to show 20% in average reduction in oral bacteria. Moreover, half of all participants in this case study showed a drastic reduction in susceptibility to dental caries.

Healing Cavities (A True “We’ve-Done-It!” Story!)
June 17, 2013 By Trina

Oh, peoples. I”m about to reveal something to you that has taken me months to work up the nerve to confess.
Are you ready for this? {I’m not sure I am, but here goes…}
I haven’t used toothpaste in over a year.
Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I just said that out loud. On the internet.
I guess now I have to explain myself, huh?
Exploring alternate tooth care…

Over a year ago now I started looking into natural tooth care, as part of my goal to make better, more natural choices in each area of my health and my household.

I thought we had been doing good in this area, using a ‘natural’ brand toothpaste. Until I realized that even my natural toothpaste had stuff I realized I wanted to avoid–like sweeteners, fluoride, and glycerin.

It didn’t take long as I looking into natural, holistic approaches to tooth care to realize that what we eat has so much more of an affect on our teeth than the substance we scrub them with, and maybe my search for a ‘safe’ toothpaste was a waste of energy. And then I read about people not using toothpaste at all, and, well, since toothpaste (and the alternatives people talked about using) has always given me the ibby-jibbies, I decided to just quit the habit entirely.

So, I just scrubbed with water. And it seemed to work fine.

What in the world is Oil Pulling?

Later, I heard about oil pulling. It was such a strange term, I didn’t even look into it for a while. Till I realized that the pain and sensitivity I had been experiencing in my teeth off an on for a while might be remedied through this idea. So, I read up on it—it made sense (coconut oil is anti-bacterial, and could pull toxins from your mouth when you swished it in your mouth for 15-20 min.)—and I tried it.

I posted the above photo on my facebook page and had a lot of friends ask me to report how it worked. So, here’s the report:

I loved how my teeth felt on this new cleansing routine—I felt it reduced plaque and made my teeth stronger. Within a month, all sensitivity I’d ben experiencing in my lower molars was gone.

So, I quit toothpaste, and replaced it with oil pulling, and my teeth have never been healthier.
Now, that’s my story, but I put a ‘we’ in the title, because Jeremy’s got a story, too.
And Then Mr. Holden Tried It…

Several months ago, my husband came up to me and said, “I think I have a cavity.” I looked in his mouth and was mortified. His back wisdom tooth was—I kid you not—green and brown and black and pitted, and definitely did not look healthy. Neither of us had ever had a cavity before, but I was pretty sure this was a case study.

I said, “Honey! You need to start oil pulling right away!”
Well, you know, he kinda looked at me the way I imagine you looked at me when I said I quit toothpaste.
But a week later, he felt a chunk flake off of said tooth, and the next morning he pulled out the coconut oil before breakfast. (They say you should rinse first thing in the am).

He began oil pulling faithfully every morning, as well as taking cod liver oil (upping nutrition was something I read was key to regenerating tooth decay).Within 3 days, he said the pain was gone. And a month later, after oil pulling 5-6 times a week, I looked in his mouth, and his tooth was—are you ready for this? White. White with a bit of yellow, but the black and green and brown were all gone, and the surface of the tooth was smoothing out instead of being pitted.

People, I am not lyin’ here.
Tooth regeneration is possible, and surprisingly simple…

God designed our bodies so incredibly. If we are nourishing our bodies well, He designed them to be able to heal from injury and disease—even our teeth.

I share our stories because the idea of ‘healing your teeth’ is quite foreign to people. But listen to this…

“That tooth decay is caused by nutrient deficiencies and not bacteria has been proven in both animal and laboratory experiments published in books and dental journals…

…If brushing, flossing, massive fluoridation campaigns, and dental surgery were effective in preventing tooth decay, it would not get worse over time. It would stay the same, or get better.”  (Ramien Nagel of

But that’s not what’s happening, is it? It has become normal to have our teeth rot out of our head, starting not in our 60’s, or 40’s, but as children and even babies.

“What is missing from the ADA’s bacteria theory of cavities is that strong teeth resist acid and bacteria. And when you, the consumer, understand that a strong tooth resists acid indefinitely, then the next logical question is, what makes a tooth strong?” (Ramien Nagel)

The answer, which Ramien details in his ebook (linked below) is good nutrition. And you know what it means when I use that term around here…lots of whole foods, good fat, raw milk, tasty meats and properly prepared grains and veggies. Ramien especially stresses whole, raw milk in the diet and plenty of deeply nourishing fats like butter oil and cod liver oil.

So, gotta a toothache? Wish you had stronger teeth? Don’t despair. You can actually do something other than have them all pulled and getting dentures. (Oh, yay!) Increase your nutrition and try oil pulling!

How to Oil Pull With Coconut Oil
scoop about 2 tsp. of coconut oil out of your jar and pop it in your mouth.
chew or hold the oil in your mouth till it melts and becomes liquid (takes about 30 seconds)
start swishing, pulling the oil back and forth and sideways through all your teeth
swish for 20 min., spitting the oil out (into the trash) when you’re finished

Why Oil Pulling works:
Your teeth are actually porous, comprised of yards and yards of minute passages (like a sponge) that bring nutrients to the outer enamel when good nutrition is present in your diet…or suck toxins into the teeth when nutrition is lacking. Oil itself has the ability to cut right through plaque to the tooth surface, and coconut oil in particular has rich, anti-bacterial properties. It’s believed that  one of the reasons oil pulling strengthens teeth is that it can help reverse the flow of toxins, pulling bacteria out of the teeth, and becoming a vehicle to dispose of toxins. Also, we’ve found the swishing action can be as effective as flossing, without any damage to gums (yes–I’ve gotten popcorn kernels out with oil pulling!)

Where to get good Coconut Oil:

Any organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil will work for this. If it smells like coconut, that’s a sign that it hasn’t been over-processed and still has all the wonderful things God put in the coconut to begin with! I use or Green Pasturesor this brand available right from Amazon. You’re looking for coconut oil that is cold pressed, extra virgin, and organic.
Here’s some resources for further reading on Healing Cavities…
How I Healed My Child’s Cavity…this post from The Healthy Home Economist is what convinced me we could heal Jeremy’s tooth.
The Healthy Mouth Summit…I attended this online seminar last January. Extremely educational and exciting!
Tips and Tricks to Remineralize and Repair Your Teeth by Ramiel Nagel of a clearly explained argument for a nutritional approach to oral health–a very helpful little book!

Remember, oil pulling is just part of a natural tooth care plan. Our teeth will be strong when our bodies are well nourished with plenty of whole, nourishing foods. For help getting started on your real food journey, check outthis series I wrote just for you. If you struggle to source whole foods like raw milk, check out “What to do if you can’t find or afford raw milk” or my resource page. And for my best secrets to feeding your family well even when life gets busy, I offer my book, Real {Fast} Food!

Note: Due to the amount of traffic this post has received, and the fact that I’m simply a personal blogger with no hired help and a decided lack of spare time, I have had to turn off the comments on this post because I can’t moderate them all. I hope you can enjoy the conversations below and be inspired to do your own research to learn more about nourishing your body well. Also, be aware I’m not a health care professional, and am not giving health advice. I’m simply a woman with a passion for learning, sharing something that worked for me and my family. Thanks for stopping by!

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