I've been oil pulling for 7 weeks now (basically the entire COVID Quarantine!) I haven't missed a single day, mostly because I love that much! I'm far enough along now to report back. Read on for the benefits I've experienced and the one drawback I found (that no one warned me about).
Thanks for joining me on the reWild Side. Your humanity is welcome here!
Why Oil Pulling?
I've got a wisdom tooth that's been a bit sensitive lately. I definitely have a cavity on this tooth that I can see. I like to care for myself holistically and in ways that feel empowering, and at the same time, I value science and peer-reviewed research. And oil pulling meets both those standards.
There've been a couple of studies (linked at the bottom of this post) that have shown that remineralizing our teeth is possible (aka healing cavities) and that oil pulling is effective in reducing harmful bacteria that contributes to the formation of cavities.
I wasn't necessarily trying to heal my cavity by oil pulling, rather I was hoping to arrest them (not like put them in handcuffs, but like stop them from growing, lol). While I'm not counting on the coconut oil to heal my cavities, I am still attempting to heal it with an additional protocol that I haven't had time to write about yet, subscribe here for future posts.
Another reason I decided to specifically start oil pulling was because I'd also read that it can help with facial lymphatic drainage -- and since I sometimes get puffy eyes, I wanted to give it a go. (Supporting our lymph is always a good idea, since it's basically the body's garbage disposal and doesn't have it's own pump).
How/When do I Oil Pull?
First thing in the morning I spend about 20 minutes swishing around about half tablespoon of unrefined, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil in my mouth. And then, I spit the oil into a garbage can. (Do not swallow the oil! It's loaded with stuff you're trying to get rid of!)
At first it was pretty hard to keep myself from gagging or laughing and spitting the oil out everywhere. I'd say the first 3 days I only swished a tsp or so for about 10 minutes.
And yes, my mouth got really tired at first! A week or so in though, I could swish for 20 minutes.
How do I spend those 20 minutes?
During my oil pulling I usually dry brush my body, wash my face or shower, do my daily push-ups and stretch a bit. It's actually a really nice way to start the day.
When I'm done oil pulling I spit the oil out in the GARBAGE (sorry for yelling but I don't want you clogging your sink with oil).
And then I gargle with salt water or water that includes a couple of drops of trace minerals and a few drops of either oregano essential oil or thieves (a mix of clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary).
BONUS: For extra inflammatory and anti-bacterial power, I often add a couple of drops of Thieves blend essential oil or a drop or two of oregano oil. Once in a while I'll add a bit of turmeric.
Oil Pulling Results after 1 Week
A week in and I already noticed some pretty big changes.
I could now floss for the first time...maybe ever? without my gums bleeding. My tooth pain was also gone.
Oil Pulling Results a Month In
At this point, I just really love this practice. It's meditative and wonderful. Secondly, I've definitely noticed some big benefits.
My mouth feels somehow fresh, even when I'm just waking up.
My lips are way less dry.
The gums of my bottom teeth have started to "grow" toward their original state. I noticed my gums seemed to be receding a bit around my bottom teeth and this seems to be reversing.
I feel like my teeth have gotten whiter too.
I also feel like all of the swishing may be toning my facial muscles...? Not sure but I've been kinda into myself lately, hah.
What about the lymphatic drainage? My eyes do seem less puffy!
Oil Pulling Nearly 2 Months In
I continue to report all of the above benefits.
I've also had clearer skin and have read that this could be a benefit too!
Some oil pullers report "detox symptoms" of which, I've had none...until now? I've begun to cough up quite a bit of phlegm right after my oil pulling session. I definitely feel this practice is working to clear my nasal passages in a way that's quite remarkable.
However, at this point I've also run into a few concerns.
Oil Pulling Cons (well this isn't really oil pulling's fault...but it's related):
Since I started oil pulling I've also been a lot more diligent about brushing for 2 minutes every morning and night. I have an electric tooth brush (it was the only thing that could reach certain angles of my wisdom teeth!) and it turns out that for the past several weeks I've been brushing a little too diligently.
I started to feel some sensitivity that I've never felt before in my two front teeth when I'd drink anything hot or cold.
I looked into it and realized I'd been brushing too hard and actually using my electric toothbrush incorrectly (wrong angle and wrong back and forth motion). Also, I'm wondering if brushing right after oil pulling somehow made my teeth more susceptible to damage from my toothbrush? I have no idea. But now I wait until after my first meal.
What I do know is that I've stopped brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush (accept for the very back teeth) and the sensitivity is already gone.
Will I Continue Oil Pulling?
Yes! A resounding yes! When you think about it, you've probably spent a lifetime damaging your teeth, so expecting to see major results from a holistic practice in 2 months doesn't make the most sense. I'm really happy with the results I've experienced so far. And I'll keep the Wild Side updated on what happens in the future.
To follow along, join me here:
Love and nature, Teela