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8 shocking benefits of oil pulling

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Discover the 8 shocking benefits of oil pulling.

Oil pulling is an oral hygiene treatment carried out before brushing your teeth, thus allowing the elimination of bacteria and total cleaning afterward.

Oil pulling is in general terms a technique applied to improve oral health, although it was previously applied to detoxify the body. It is based on different oils, which can be used to take advantage of their natural properties.


In the following article, we will delve into what oil pulling is, how to do it, what are its benefits, and the existing risks. 

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is a mouthwash with oils. It is a technique that comes from India and the most used oil for this type of treatment is coconut oil.

This is due to its large amount of antibacterial properties and its ability to trap and dispose of fat-soluble toxins adhering to the oral cavity.

To highlight: In ancient times, oil pulling was done with sunflower and sesame oil, but it is few benefits compared to coconut oil caused its use to be reduced until the technique was monopolized.


This technique focuses on the principle that all bacteria have a lipid membrane that, when put in contact with oil, adhere and become trapped, being dragged and eliminated when the oil is expelled from the oral cavity. (1)

How to do oil pulling?

For oil pulling to be performed efficiently, several steps must be carried out. They will be mentioned and described below, for the knowledge and use of the technique:

1. Do it when you get up

It is important to do it when you get up in the morning for different reasons.

Initially, the number of accumulated bacteria that can be eliminated when applying the treatment and to take advantage of the subsequent washing of the teeth with brushing, thus eliminating the traces of oil that may remain.


2. Keep it in the mouth for 20 minutes

It is an important step because it is the stipulated time for the technique or treatment to take effect, it is even recommended to carry out other types of activities while time passes, and if it is necessary to expel the oil, you can take a little more in your mouth to finish applying the necessary time.

3. Rinse with water and brush your teeth normally

Proper brushing should not be excluded from oral hygiene by including this treatment, on the contrary, they are combined.

It should be rinsed well and washed afterward, in addition to flossing and mouthwash if that’s what you usually do. 

What are the benefits of oil pulling?

This oil-pulling treatment confers a list of benefits for the individuals who use it. These will be mentioned and described below, allowing their recognition and use:


1. Eliminate toxins from the mouth


As we mentioned before, bacteria are expelled before entering the body due to the active principle of oil pulling and the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of coconut oil, mainly due to its high concentrations of lauric acid. 

Note: This reduces the risks of viral and anti-inflammatory health problems.

2. Prevents cavities

Due to the properties of coconut oil, oil pulling prevents cavities, but it is important to note that it does not reduce existing conditions, nor does it whiten teeth. 

You should know: The technique of using coconut oil to reduce the risk of cavities comes from Ayurveda medicine, applied in India since at least 3000 years ago. (2)


3. Decreases bacterial plaque

Due to the antiseptic qualities that coconut oil has, oil pulling prevents the concentration of bacterial plaque on the teeth.

Lauric acid is also responsible for preventing the formation of plaque, since it eliminates the bacteria and factors that cause this type of dental problem, such as the streptococcus Albicans of the mutants and candida. (3)

4. Eliminate bad breath

Bad breath is usually caused by a high concentration of bacteria in the oral cavity, especially in the tonsil area, so the application of oil pulling reduces this on a large scale.

5. Reduces the risk of gingivitis

The previously mentioned properties of coconut oil are responsible for reducing the risk of gingivitis and its symptoms, since they have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory capacities, so it is a highly recommended practice in case of being a frequent or constant condition. 


6. Reduces bleeding gums and tooth sensitivity

These conditions usually come hand in hand with gingivitis, so the symptom reduction effect provided by coconut oil is also capable of reducing the inflammation that produces the sensitivity and bleeding of the gums. 

To highlight: However, the reduction of plaque and elimination of bacteria also has an important influence.  

7. Moisturize the lips

Oil pulling is as we know with coconut oil, so the presence of vitamin E and antioxidants greatly benefits the health of the skin of our lips, hydrating and protecting them. (4)

8. Strengthens the jaw

Among the benefits of oil pulling, we can highlight the strengthening of the jaw. This is due to the effort made to rinse and also keep it in the mouth for the required period (20 minutes).


What are the risks of oil pulling?

Studies and results obtained by the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease have mentioned the existing risk of developing lipoid pneumonia as a consequence of the aspiration of natural and mineral oils. However, there are also mentions of stomach problems developed for the same reason.

Important: It is necessary to know the procedure well and consult it previously with a medical professional in the area (Dentist), thus reducing the possible risks for each individual.

Key Findings

Oil pulling is a practice at least 3000 years old, with medicinal principles that were carried out to detoxify the body.

This practice was initially carried out with sunflower and sesame oil, although currently, coconut oil is the main one due to all its benefits and properties.


Oil pulling is an oral hygiene treatment carried out before brushing your teeth, thus allowing the elimination of the greatest amount of bacteria and total cleaning afterward.

It is a procedure that eliminates bacterial load, plaque, bad breath and reduces the risk of suffering from gingivitis in addition to reducing symptoms.

It is important that oil pulling is carried out with a good understanding of the procedure and with medical approval, to reduce the risks of stomach upset or serious consequences such as aspiration of the oil.


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