Oil Pulling Facts and Fiction

I remember when I first heard about oil pulling. I was sitting with a neighbor talking and she had brought up that she uses coconut oil to oil pull. At the time I was very interested, but I didn’t feel that the concept was very plausible. Honestly, it seemed like a bit of a scam or a placebo effect. So I ended up putting it in the back of my mind and didn’t go back to the thought until several months later I came across an article about oil pulling. During this time I was on a total Elimination Diet for my second son who was still not diagnosed, and I could not use the toothpaste that I had been using because it seemed that my child was having reactions to it. So I decided to give oil pulling a shot after learning how to make my own toothpaste. The results were amazing! I was really surprised that my teeth became so white and they felt so clean. In the mornings I would wake up and I wouldn’t have bad breath, I wouldn’t have a white tongue, and I stopped having a film feeling on my teeth. After this I decided to make oil pulling a practice in my dental routine.

Now all of that is well and good, but we all know that the proof is in the pudding. So after a while I decided that I should probably look into the scientific evidence that backs this up. After looking into the scientific evidence I realized that the mechanical action of the oil pulling through your teeth actually causes the microbes to attach to the oil molecules and then when you spit out the oil it takes the microbes with it. So overall oil pulling will actually reduce the bacterial load in your mouth which in turn increases your oral health. Now there are some people out there who believe oil pulling detoxifies the body, but I have yet to find any evidence to substantiate this claim. Although I couldn’t substantiate this claim I do believe that it’s somewhat true in a roundabout way. If you’re able to reduce the toxic load of pathogenic bacteria in your mouth and able to maintain optimal oral health then you’re giving your body the opportunity to function in an optimal way which in turn causes you to be able to detoxify more efficiently and imcrease your overall health. Most people underestimate the absorptive ability of the mouth and they forget that oral health is imperative to overall health. I remember in one of my microbiology classes learning about how oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause heart infection. The mouth is a gateway to everything internally. It’s where the outside begins to meet the inside. There are prescription medications that you can simply place under your tongue, allow them to dissolve, and they immediately enter your bloodstream and begin to take effect. It’s very interesting to me that modern medicine is capable of making such medications yet there are recommendations made about using toothpastes that have toxic ingredients and stating that because you’re spitting them out and not ingesting them you will not absorb these toxins. This fallacy is apparent just in the fact that if you can absorb medications through your mouth then there’s no reason why you can’t absorb some of the toxic ingredients in the toothpaste such as fluoride.

What’s really wonderful about oil pulling with a raw coconut oil is that coconut oil has a high amount lauric acid. This lauric acid is antimicrobial in nature and therefore you get a double effect of killing microbes along with pulling them out of your mouth.

Below are a few links and a reference to scientific articles that substantiate this post:



Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health: Singh, Abhinav; Purohit, Bharathi. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine; Hyderabad2.2(Apr 2011): 64-68.





Now let’s talk about how you actually oil pull. You can use sesame oil or you can use coconut oil. I prefer to use coconut oil that is unrefined for maximum benefits. The reason why I use unrefined coconut oil is because I don’t want the lauric acid to have been destroyed by processing methods. I personally like the brand Nutiva, but there are many good unrefined coconut Brands out there. So take about a teaspoon of coconut oil, place it in your mouth, and swish it around for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Start out at 5 minutes and see if you can build up to 20 minutes at a time. I like to do this after I brush my teeth before bed. One key note: you may want to make sure that you spit the coconut oil out into a trash can or bottle rather than down the drain. Coconut oil solidifies at a temperature below 75 degrees therefore it will clog your drains if you decide to split it down the sink. That’s all there is to it so happy pulling!


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