Brighten Your Smile with Oil Pulling
By Bruce Fife, ND
Say “good-bye” to tooth decay, gum disease, bad
breath, loose teeth, bleeding and receding gums and say “hello” to a
bright white smile and healthy pink gums. How is this possible? With
oil pulling! Never heard of it? Well, it’s about time you had.
Oil pulling is simple. You put a spoonful of
vegetable oil into your mouth and swish it around for a period of 15
to 20 minutes. Coconut oil seems to work best. The oil is “worked”
in the mouth by pushing, pulling, and sucking it through the teeth.
As you work the oil, it sucks up bacteria, toxins, pus, and mucous.
Don’t swallow it! Spit it out then rinse your mouth with water.
Oil pulling is best done first thing in the morning
before eating breakfast. After eating, bush and floss your teeth as
you normally do. Oil pulling can be done one to three times a day,
on an empty stomach.
We have billions of bacteria living in our mouths.
Many of which produce toxins as by-products that damage the teeth
and irritate the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding. An
overgrowth of bacteria leads to tooth decay and gum disease, and
eventually tooth loss. Discolored teeth, plaque (bacteria colonies),
tarter (calcified plaque), cavities, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth,
and chronic bad breath are all signs of an overgrowth.
Despite regular brushing, flossing, and the use of
antiseptic mouthwashes, tooth decay and gum disease are major health
problems. According to a recent study in the British medical journal
the Lancet, gum disease affects up to 90 percent of the
Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) shows that by the time you reach the age of 65,
your chances of having lost all of your teeth are one out of three!
The odds that you will have lost at least half of your teeth by this
age are somewhere around 50 percent.
Teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and they will if
you take care of them. For most people, regular brushing and
flossing isn’t enough. Oil pulling, however, offers you a way of
protecting your teeth and gums so that they remain healthy for a
Studies show that oil pulling at least once a day can
significantly reduce dental plaque and gingivitis (i.e. gum
disease). Antiseptic mouthwashes can reduce plaque by 23 percent and
gingivitis by about 13 percent. Tooth brushing reduces plaque by 19
percent and gingivitis by 16 percent. Oil pulling beats them both.
Oil pulling reduces plague by as much as 30 percent and gingivitis
by an amazing 60 percent!
Oil pulling isn’t only good at preventing oral
infections, but can actively fight them as well. The oil pulls the
infection (bacteria, toxins, and pus) out of the tissues allowing
the body to heal itself. Inflammation is quieted, gums stop
bleeding, loose teeth tighten, and pain and sensitivity vanish.
Teeth become whiter and gums become pinker and healthier looking.
Chronic bad breath is a sign that the mouth is
overrun by potentially harmful bacteria. Brushing and antiseptic
mouthwashes provide only temporary relief and often only mask the
odor. Oil pulling puts a quick end to bad breath. For that reason
alone, oil pulling is enormously useful. If you know someone who
could benefit from having fresher breath, tell him or her how oil
pulling can help. If you have to be around them frequently, you will
be grateful you did.
For some people, the results from oil pulling are
almost immediate. While for others, the battle lasts longer. The
reason for this is not only due to the amount of bacteria in the
mouth but to the type as well. Some people have a larger number of
the more troublesome microbes, including virus and fungi. Our diet
plays a very important role in determining the microbial populations
growing in our mouths. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, and overly
processed foods contribute to an imbalance in our oral flora.
The simple oil pulling procedure described here is a
good start, but for optimal oral health you also need a good diet,
one rich in whole foods. The details of the oil pulling process,
along with dietary recommendations, aids for healing chronic
infections, and a procedure for detoxing heavy metals for those who
have amalgam (mercury) fillings or root canals, are outlined in the
book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body
Through Oral Cleansing.
If you follow the suggestions as described above,
when you reach the age of 65, or 75, or even 105 you will continue
to enjoy eating the foods your love using all of the teeth you
currently have. If you teach these principals to your children they
will buck the trend in dental health and grow to adulthood retaining
all their teeth, just as nature intended.
Bruce Fife, CN, ND is a certified nutritionist and
naturopathic physician. He is the author of 20 books including
Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral
Cleansing. He serves as the director of The Coconut Research