Our Guide on Oil Pulling

Nov 12, 2018 | News, Teeth Whitening

Here at Nice Gnashers, we’re all about helping you keep your gleaming smile, well, gleaming. There is a wealth of information on the blog that can help you and your mouth live healthier lives; additionally, we also provide Teeth Whitening Product Reviews, so you know exactly what you’re getting next time you pick up a whitening product. In this article, we explore what the technique of oil pulling is, the benefits that have been claimed to come from doing it and understanding any scientific data from oil pulling.


What is Oil Pulling?

Originating from the ancient Indian medicine system of Ayurveda, oil pulling is the process of taking a sip of oil into the mouth and swishing around the mouth and teeth. The process is supposed to last from 5-20 minutes in order to take proper effect. After this time, you then spit out the oil and rinse. This technique is typically used in conjunction with brushing your teeth and as a substitute for, or in addition to mouthwash.

Person holding bottle of oil


Possible Advantages of Oil Pulling

Since its conception, the claimed benefits of oil pulling have been varied in nature and affect radically different parts of the body. Most benefits typically affect the oral hygiene of the user, such as reducing the possibility of tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. The idea is that the oil in the mouth will ‘pull’ out harmful bacteria, toxins and other nasties so that they are ejected from the body when the oil is spat out. Small studies have also been run and have shown that the technique can help with reducing inflammation of the gums caused by gingivitis.

There are also claims that the process of oil pulling can help with the whitening of teeth. This is done by pulling the stains off the teeth during the process resulting in a cleaner smile; however, there is no scientific data to back up these claims.


Disadvantages of Oil Pulling

As mentioned above, the scientific data to back up any of the benefits is relatively limited or non-existent, which makes it difficult to determine whether there are any long-term benefits of using the technique. There have been some anecdotal reports from users of upset stomachs, nausea and vomiting which can be attributed to swallowing a small amount of oil, which is already loaded with toxins and bad bacteria. This oil then enters the body and causes such health problems. The method can also contribute to a dry mouth and increases thirst; this is normally down to the saliva in the mouth mixing with the oil and then being spat out at the end. If you will be engaging in the process, we would recommend maintaining your hydration to ensure this does not happen.

LAdy smiling


The Bottom Line

Despite the claimed benefits, there is really very little hard data available to back these up. If you will be using the process of oil pulling, we would recommend starting slow and building up, meaning you are only holding the oil in the mouth for a small amount of time, as the possible risks may not be worth the benefit. Be sure to use the method as a complementary process in addition to your current oral hygiene routine and not as a substitute.

If you’ve ever used the oil pulling technique, we’d love to hear how you got on and if you found there was any benefit. Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and share your story!

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