Oil Pulling for Oral Health

Oil Pulling a natural and traditional way of whitening teeth and boosting oral health Oil Pulling for Oral Health

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth for a short time each day and that this action helps improve oral health. Just as with Oil Cleansing for the skin, the principle of “like dissolves like” applies, as oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.

The practice of oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago, and from my research, was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by a medical doctor named Dr. F. Karach, who used it with success in his medical practice.

I found hundreds of testimonials online from people who experienced benefits from oil pulling, including help with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and more.

Though I’ve done this for a few years, my only personal experience is with increased oral health and less sensitive (and whiter!) teeth. After listening to the recent Heal Thy Mouth Summit and hearing several experts explain how bacteria and infection can enter the blood through the mouth, it does make sense that addressing these infections could have an impact in other parts of the body, I just haven’t had personal experience with this.

At the very least, I think that oil pulling can be very beneficial and has no downside as long as a quality oil (that is high enough quality to eat) is used. Oil pulling is a very inexpensive therapy that could potentially have great benefit on oral health, so I see no downside to trying it and I have used it myself for several years.

How to Do Oil Pulling:

The concept is incredibly simple. Basically, a person swishes a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil (coconut, sesame or olive) in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spits it out and rinses well.  Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, though Dr. Bruce Fife suggests that it can be done before each meal if needed for more severe infections or dental problems.

How to do oil pulling:

  1. Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth. I prefer to use 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil. I scoop it out as a solid and let it melt in my mouth before swishing (I don’t like the texture of solid coconut oil). I also pour a few drops of Brushing Blend (naturally antibacterial) into the mix.
  2. Swish for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.
  3. Spit oil into the trash can.  Especially if you have a septic system like I do… don’t spit into the sink! Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria, toxins and pus that are now not in the mouth!
  4. Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). I swish a few times with warm water to get any remaining oil out of my mouth.
  5. Brush well. I prefer to brush with Brushing Blend to make sure any remaining bacteria is killed.

I personally do this with coconut oil and brushing blend each morning before breakfast. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste that other oils and is my personal preference, though I’ve also seen it recommended by oral health experts.

I’ve noticed whiter teeth since starting oil pulling, but most notably, my teeth are incredibly smooth! Between this and my homemade toothpaste, I never have visible plaque on my teeth, and even at dental visits, they aren’t able to scrape off any plaque.

Does it Work?

My only personal experience is with the oral health benefits, and I continue doing it for this reason, but there is evidence that it might help with other conditions as well. The most comprehensive resource I’ve seen on the topic is the book “Oil Pulling Therapy” by Dr. Bruce Fife.

There are some scientific studies that support the benefits of oil pulling, including those showing its benefit on different types or oral bacteria, on dental caries, on plaque/gingivitis and on oral micro-organisms:

S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 Mar

TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria (PDF)African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. (PDF Link)

HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and GingivitisJournal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007; 1(1):Pages 12-18

S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models. Asia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. (PDF)

Notes:

Some people supposedly notice a detox reaction for the first few days of using oil pulling that usually includes mild congestion, headache, mucous drainage or other effects. I personally didn’t notice any of these effects, but have read cases of others who did.

There are conflicting opinions on if it is safe to do oil pulling while pregnant or nursing. Since I started using oil pulling while not pregnant, I feel comfortable continuing while pregnant, especially as oral health can decline during pregnancy, but I’d encourage anyone considering it to do their own research as well.

Have you ever tried Oil Pulling? What was your experience? Share below!

Reader Comments

      • ML Daemon says

        hi, i have a cavity on my left molar and wisdom teeth and i wanna try oil pulling. i wanna know if i could still continue brushing my teeth using commercial toothpaste or it might affect the regeneration of my teeth.

        • Phil says

          Teeth do not regenerate. Your cavities have to be treated first.
          This is a must. The wisdom teeth should be remove as well.

        • Sherrie says

          Teeth do re-generate if the cavity is only minor. Search for info on re-mineralization of your teeth!

        • Ann says

          Teeth DO regenerate, like other bones. Dentists want you to believe they don’t. Commercial toothpastes have fluoride, avoid them. Mix a little baking soda (not baking powder), a little coconut oil (buy certified organic), and a touch of water – best toothpaste, non-toxic and cheap.

          I’ve been doing oil pulling for various reasons – and I can attest to its remarkable results. Only – it is not for impatient ones. It takes a couple of weeks to start seeing changes, but over 6 months (doing it at least once a day for 20 min) – you will be amazed.

          • Tammy Shaw says

            Baking soda is waaaaaay too abrasive for the teeth! It will wear away at the enamel, not regenerate it! I am a dental hygienist and it is kinda impossible for most people to remineralize their teeth. It has to be done with a high fluoride therapy an a super clean bacteria free mouth! You can only remineralize into the enamel and if a cavity has passed through to the dentin the cavity has to be filled. I’ve never seen anyone ever do this other than myself because most people are lazy. To regrown micro layers of enamel takes a lot of time and patience. Don’t mislead people into thinking this can be done because for the most part it can’t. And Sensodye Pronamel is a very mild toothpaste and it neutralized the PH of the mouth. It has no SLS so no need to make homemade toothpastes.

      • Mickie says

        My chiropractor recommended this site and oil pulling….I have used coconut oil daily for supplementation and as a facial and body oil, too. I now swish while walking in the morning. I also use weights for my “old lady” arms while I walk…helping my inside and outside. Thanks for sharing oil pulling with coconut oil…my teeth feel great and I’m looking forward to my next teeth cleaning in 3 mos (which MAY be my last!)

        • Patty says

          Never stop getting your teeth cleaned. The bacteria on the calculus that forms between cleanings will eat away at the bone support. You never see it happening because it’s below the gum line. If you are already going every 3 months then you already have an established periodontal situation. By ignoring the dentist you will only enhance the periodontal problem. You only have one set. Don’t loose them

      • ms coe says

        I did it today for the first time while taking a shower and process following shower… lotion and etc.

      • Adina says

        Ive been oil pulling for about two years now off and on (mostly on… Everything is moderation!) and truly love how clean my mouth feels. I did go through a bit of a healing crisis when I started but that stopped after two weeks or so. I use sesame oil :)

    • Tracey Westbrook says

      I get up, rinse with water, then add the oil and swish while I get dressed, feed my cat, and make me some lemon water. After I swish with warm salt water, then drink my lemon water! :) It is easy and no bother!

        • Garrett says

          Indeed. 20 minutes a day is really not that long. There’s people who watch way more than 20 minutes a day of TV… 20 minutes to care for your mouth and teeth is VERY well worth it.

          • Denise says

            I have been told splitting it up 2x a day helps. Once in the AM and once at night 10 min a piece. Try that out. It is still long but not as long.

          • Sat says

            Does the swishing for 20 mins not cause you to create lots of saliva and fill your mouth?

          • Nicole says

            I just watched a video of this and she said to be sure not to swallow because you will be swallowing the toxins. How does one not swallow for even 1 minute?

          • Sam says

            I tried it for the first time with coconut oil but had to spit it out after 20 seconds! I want to continue to try this but I have an EXTREMELY quick gag reflex! Any suggestions?

          • Marcella says

            I use unrefined sesame oil (although refined is okay too if that all you can find). I find I prefer the taste of the sesame oil to the coconut oil.

        • Molly Malone says

          It all depends upon a person’s gag reflex. Some people really cannot do this, through no fault of their own. Telling them their teeth are worth it just makes them feel bad. If you can’t do this, then don’t do it. Part of natural healing and health is knowing what you can and cannot do.

          There are other ways to heal your mouth, this is just one of many. How about brushing correctly? At a 45? angle so the bristles get below the gum line like floss. Works great!

          How about taking vitamin C to your bowel tolerance? Lots of gum issues are due to sub-clinical scurvy. My son’s were.

          How about eating only organic whole foods, properly prepared to improve health and teeth? How about making everything yourself instead of eating packaged processed nutritionally “dead” food? How about cutting out all white sugar and all white flour?

          The list goes on.

      • Lani Sky says

        I felt the same way- & needlessly psyched myself out -before finally trying it for the first time.. I just could not imagine 20mins of swishing, not out of laziness or busy-ness, but for the mere thought that I would be gagging the whole time, struggling not to swallow as my mouth filled w/ saliva. I found that it was actually very easy & the time passed quickly! You can make your coffee, meditate/pray or read, even while (@ my man’s suggestion:) doing a mineral salt foot soak & laying on a Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat (which among many benefits, also helps energize upon waking). What an awesome combo for a quick 20min morning whole-health routine!! As for the swishing, I use 1 tsp organic coconut oil & 1 tsp Bulletproof Upgraded MCT oil. Even w/ what seemed a lot of salivation my first time, I really only barely swallowed a tiny amount of the mct oil right at the beginning. Which is fine, as it is good to have some daily anyway, & hasn’t yet pulled the bacteria. My teeth were immediately smoother from the first use! Whiter by the second(: & oil pulling also helped me get over an allergy induced sinus drainage/upper respiratory cough. Believe me.. If I can do it, you can!

    • says

      Seems tedious, but the time goes by quickly if you keep active doing other things (like checking emails in the morning). I can barely do regular mouth wash for 10 seconds, but have no issues with oil pulling.

      • says

        I just tried it for the very first time & made it the whole 20 min. It was not bad @ all like I was thinking. It was very much like water after the coconut oil melted! I’m really looking forward to no more painful scrapes @ the dentist :)

    • G.D. Principaal says

      In this fast paced lifestyle we live nowadays we get inpatient with things that take a but miner and can make a huge difference in or life. You will be surprised quickly the 20 of swishing passes by when you are busy doing sonething else in the morning; getting dressed,throwing out the trash, dining tire hair, making the bed, fixing breakfast etc. Try it. It is 20 minutes that will make a difference in, your, health.

    • larry miller says

      I oil pulled with coconut oil for a month, my gums seemed healthier then my mouth broke out with very painful thrush like symptoms. I went to a clinic and was prescribed a swish and swallow medication. The condition went away, I continued to oil pull and within a month it returned. white patches underneath my tongue, white patches and discharge on my tongue, painful. Dr’s did not think it was candida related thrush and do not know what is was. I stopped oil pulling and have not had a recurrence in the last three weeks. Was it the oil pulling or something else, I do not know.

      • Jennie says

        I’m allergic to coconuts (not topically, but internally) and have a similar reaction when I tried pulling with coconut oil. So, I switched to olive oil. No more problems!

      • DonJ says

        Whiteness of the tongue is indication or proper detoxing. Just drink plenty water and take a probiotic. Don’t give up or you will have to start all over again. You may get a running nose and that is common too as you detox. Take Epsom Salt baths to detox the skin as that is the biggest organ in your body and takes the longest to detox.

    • Charlotte says

      I should not have read this WHILE oil pulling. I snorted laughter through my nose and swallowed a little of the oil:

      Does “make lemon water” mean you pee? Then DRINK IT?!?!? EWWWWW!

      REPLY
      Sarah SAYS

      JANUARY 31, 2014 AT 10:07 PM

      No, she means lemon water. Where on earth would you get that she meant pee?

      REPLY
      Jennifer SAYS

      FEBRUARY 9, 2014 AT 10:27 PM

      Wow, that was different haha

    • Carrie says

      I was a bit apprehensive about the 20 minutes also, but just played games on my phone (wow those are a huge time suck) and read some news on google and before I knew it, the 20 minutes was up!

    • Rebecca says

      I just started doing the oil pulling. I am pressed for time in the mornings, so while I am getting ready for work, I swish, then I brush and eat. It works very well for me since I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and just swish.

      In one week, I have noticed a huge difference in my gum health as well as a reduction of plaque and stains. My teeth and mouth feel amazing after oil pulling.

      Just try it out while you are getting ready for work in the morning and see how you like it. I absolutely love it and plan on incorporating it into my daily dental routine.

    • Charlotte says

      I’m trying this for the first time. I have not been able to go more than 5 minutes because my mouth just feels too full, and I am having to hold a napkin to my mouth. I don’t mind the taste of the coconut oil, but the abundance of fluid plus the oil is quite overwhelming.

    • Kellie says

      I’m a teacher. I swish in the morning while watching the news, preparing lessons for the day, or grading papers/exams. I’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks. There’s only been ONE day when 20 minutes felt like an eternity.

      • ana says

        For the love of the God, can anyone write about benefits of oil puling, not about what he is doing in those 20 min? O.o I’ m starter in this and I want to know what can I expect!

        • Joey says

          :) I was thinking the same thing?
          I’ve been doing it for about a month now. I do it every other day (with Sesame Oil) alternating with drinking Lemon water on the other days.
          They may be some detoxifying benefits that I’m not sure of, but my teeth have clearly gotten whiter.

  1. Michelle says

    Just wanted to share what I read about oil pulling a few months ago: Cold press organic sunflower oil or untoasted sesame oil are the only two oils recommended for oil pulling because they are the most effective for healing diseases (perhaps this is why you have not had other experiences with it?) (http://www.oilpulling.org/oil-pulling/)

      • Gaurav says

        Did you try adding few drops of any essential oil along with coconut/sesame oil?

        Probably, Palma Rosa can be a very good addition?
        It is antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties

    • Gigi P. says

      Maybe you could alternate between coconut oil and sunflower/sesame oil and get the comprehensive package of benefits :-)

    • Val says

      I haven’t read other articles but reading your comment made a thought pop into thought and is if this technique has been around for a VERY long time and sunflower oil or sesame oil has been around for less than 100 yrs how could of these oils been used. Even olive oil. I would think coconut oil would have had to been the original oil used. Any thoughts?

      • says

        According to Wikipedia(I realize it is not the best source, but I didn’t feel like doing too much digging) Sesame is one of the first known crop oils. So definitely longer than 100 years

      • Gaurav says

        This technique has come from Ancient Indian books and Sesame oil is one of the oldest oils extracted.
        There are proofs of Sesame oil being used in food by Indus Valley civilization and was exported to Mesopotamia civilization in such old days.

  2. Elitza says

    My mornings are crazy. I have to be out of my house by 8, and I rarely have the time to have coffee, breakfast, water kefir; swishing for 20 minutes sounds absurd. Even if I had the time, I don’t think I’d be able to do it for so long. Wouldn’t your cheek muscles become sore? I do consider myself to be a very health-oriented AND open minded person, but swishing oil for 20 minutes is special.

    • dameagatha says

      I hear ya. I oil pull at least 5x a week and always start out intending to do 20 min but it’s usually for about 10 while I make coffee, putter around, even in the shower, etc. Even with this truncated swishing time, my skin has drastically improved and my teeth are super white!

      • CafeKate says

        When you first started, how many minutes could you do? I can’t stand swishing mouth wash or wearing my night guard because it makes me feel claustrophobic. But I would like to try… Should I bother, knowing that I will have to start at a much shorter time period ?

        • dameagatha says

          I actually did it for the full 15-20 minutes for the first few times…then I just got lazy! I think you should try and monitor results for about a week. If you’re still benefiting from the shorter time, it seems like a win-win.

          • Sian Phillips says

            Me too! I was really keen to try this but I really don’t love the feel of it in my mouth and the most I can force myself to do is 12 minutes. Especially with two young children hanging around it’s very hard to find 20 minutes when you don’t need to speak! I figure I might get used to the the sensation but what I wasn’t expecting is that both times I’ve done it, I’ve felt really nauseous afterwards :( anyone else experienced this and did it pass? I’m going to try again but to be honest I’m not looking forward to it!

    • marysews says

      i do oil pulling for as long as I can. Since I started fairly recently it’s up from five minutes to about ten, so maybe I can work up to 20 minutes.

    • AimezR says

      I melt my coconut oil in the microwave first thing, then start swishing as I wash my face, put in my contacts, make my lemon water, and put on my mineral veil. After all that the twenty mintues is over! When my muscles get tired I take a lil break then start up again. The first few times it made me gag, I won’t lie. Now I’m completely used to it. It has made a noticible difference in the sensitivity in my teeth and gums as well as removing all the mucus in my sinus’ from being sick. Once you work it into your routine, it becomes as normal as brushing your teeth before you leave the house!

        • Shiloh Wolfe says

          I agree. The microwave is killing off the beneficial nutrients that support this practice. I don’t recommend that others do this. The coconut oil melts quickly in your mouth!

        • Jamielynn says

          I’ve found it’s just as easy to melt the oil by putting the jar in/under hot water, pour the melted bit into your spoon, and move on with your life. I’m also not a fan of standing around with a lump of melting oil in my mouth, (in my first trimester of pregnancy and it has been hell on my gag reflex), but didn’t want to microwave it. Hot water does the trick.

        • Nid says

          If I need to heat oil for anything, I usually pour warm or hot (depending on how hot or warm I want the oil to be) in a bowl and put the oil in a smaller bowl or cup and place it in the larger bowl like a bath. It takes a few minutes, but I find this warms oil without having to guess if it’s too hot, getting burned (i.e. on the stove), and without killing nutrients in the microwave.

      • just_press_delete says

        If you put the coconut oil directly in your mouth, it will melt within seconds. It has a very low melting point. Try that instead of microwaving. It really does melt fast.

      • B. Allen says

        I was told you should not put the oil in the microwave, that take from benefits of oil pulling, you should warm you some water and put a cup in the water and put the oil in that, so that you can get greater results from oil pulling.

  3. Alexandra says

    I have always had poor oral health. It’s a constant struggle with bad breath and infections that has led to other issues and to a general feeling of unwellness. :-/ I am very excited to try this seemingly easy process!!!! ^_^ To find the best oil for me, how long would you recommend experimenting with each one?

    Also, what could cause oil pulling to be unsafe during pregnancy? Is it risk from the concentration of bacteria and such in the oil or are there other reasons? (Just curious.)

    • says

      I’d try each one for at least a few days. I’ve had the best personal results with coconut and sesame, if that helps. The theory is that because oil pulling causes a detox effect, it can be harmful during pregnancy, but I’ve always considered it better to have the toxins out during pregnancy!

  4. Heather A says

    I have always had very good teeth but as I turned 40, I got my first cavity, well not one but SEVEN within a year! I had undiagnosed thyroid issues for 10 years and started treatment about 8 months prior to that dreadful checkup. (I do go very 6 months, always have.) I have been on well water for 10 yrs, that is why I had so many cavities, or that was the dentist’s explanation, which I didn’t believe. I have a reasonably healthy diet and good oral hygiene, could it be my thyroid and hormonal changes? I am definitely going to try the oil pulling and make my own paste to go fluoride-free. I will be doing the same with my 5 yr old daughter, but oil pulling for her? I just don’t think I can get a 5yr old to swish for 20 mins; it will be challenging enough for me. Any suggestions?

  5. Gigi P. says

    I have a question regarding the Brushing Blend. Do you know if there are any kid-friendly flavors available? We have been oil pulling for the last year (my husband and I), but as a family we still use commercial toothpastes that contain flouride. I’d like to make the transition to being flouride-free, but need some advice on how to begin this endeavor with small children (5 & 2 yrs old).

  6. says

    I really want to start oil pulling but am still breastfeeding my 10 month old. Do you have any concerns about detoxing and exposing the baby to toxins? I read that somewhere else but I feel like the health benefits would be important and my body would likely detox through the bathroom rather than through my milk. Would love your thoughts, thanks!

  7. says

    Several people have mentioned kids with good brushing habits. I’m having a terrible time getting my 3 yo son to brush. Any suggestions? Anything from tricks to homemade “pastes” that taste good would be helpful. Thanks.

  8. Brian says

    I’ve done oil pulling with organic raw sesame oil & saw great results. My teeth felt cleaner & became a shade or two whiter. I stopped doing it because I simply didn’t make time for it. However, most recently my dentist has told me that I need to clean my teeth better due to more plaque buildup, increase in bad bacteria, sensitivity, & small divots that need to be filled. He suggested using xyiltol toothpaste & brushing with an electric brush. I chose not to use flouride & now I will make pulling a daily habit.

    Does anyone know how to make your own brushing blend?

    • Stavros says

      Try Diatomaceous Earth or fine Bentonite or Zeolite with a mint powder and Xylitol… grind them together in a mortar and pestle and use a small amount… works well as a tooth powder…

      • Brian says

        Thanks Stavros, I’ll definitely look into it because I was reading the ingrediants of the brushing blend & it’s made from essential oils that are readily available. So, I figured I could mix my own but I don’t know the ratios. Perhaps I can mix the ingredients you mentioned with the oils? Or is the xyiltol blend better on its own?
        Again, thanks for the info.

        • Stavros says

          Yo Brian, if you grind them together they’ll make a tooth powder but if you want a paste I guess you could mix them with the oils… it’d certainly have no detrimental effect on any ingredients… maybe leave out the mint powder and add a mint oil instead… I’d use equal parts xylitol and Diatomaceous Earth or to taste…

          Let me know how you go Brian… good thing is you can’t really make any mistakes as it’s your blend.

          • patricia says

            diatomaceous earth? Is there a food grade? or just what you get at the garden center?

  9. tala says

    I have pulled in the past with sesame oil.My teeth LOVED it. They were very smooth and I began to loose the sensitivity to hot/cold foods.My dark gums began to turn pink.If u start immediately after waking,and have more than 20 min to be out the door you can do this.Plus you can work your way up to 20 min if thats too much to start.

    • Deborah Andrews says

      Hey Michelle,

      I would think this is pretty safe for folks with mercury based fillings. Mercury is only released with repeated chewing as it was in the sheep that were used in a study several years back. Humans don’t chew like that and we don’t grow a new set of teeth when the old ones wear out, so the mercury content in our mouths is pretty low…although I sure wish we did….

      Hope this helps allay some of your concerns about the mercury fillings.

      Debbie…(O:
      >

      • Barb says

        My dad, while in his 80s, had teeth coming in. Someone I worked with had a a grandfather who got a new set of teeth. I guess we just have to wait awhile!

  10. Sylvia Leary says

    Hey! I have been lurking for awhile and slowly making some changes. Oil pulling sounds great, but I do have braces. Do you think that could be a problem? Thanks so much for any info you can give me.

      • Kristen says

        See… I never understood this…I always brush my teeth after eating breakfast, so I have been oil pulling (today was the first day in a few weeks that I did it though) either after breakfast or before bedtime. Does it really make a difference? I would rather pull after I eat and then brush my teeth so I don’t have that yukky taste while I eat breakfast lol:)

  11. Kae says

    I have a question…is the now solutions coconut oil good to use for everything or should I be getting it from the food aisle?

  12. Tolu says

    Hi Wellnessmama,
    Thank you for this post.
    I started oil pulling a few weeks ago.

    For the first few days, it seems liked forever but now 20 minutes whoosh by me, in between making breakfast and getting li’l uns ready for school.
    Also, when I started, i noticed mucus drainage. Imagine my surprise. It has subsided now.
    Now I just gargle with warm water when I’m done and brush with your homemade toothpaste [awesome!!].
    My tooth sensitivity isn’t as bad as it used to be before I started, yay! I can’t wait for it to be totally gone.
    Oil pulling is the way to go…..

  13. javadic says

    Not yet… but I’m going to… I have YL Thieves oil on hand, I’ll try a drop or 2 of that in a teaspoonful of organic food oil of some kind… I’ve been suffering from the sinus infection from hell since December, and thinking this might help…

    • Suzanne says

      I just started pulling…I am using olive oil (cold Pressed) don’t like the taste and will look for coconut oil but anyway this is only my first week and already my post nasal drip has improved. I think it will be great on the sinuses. It seems to moisten my naval cavity. Also I noticed that I don’t have dry mouth at night anymore.
      I have to say even after 20 minutes the olive oil I spit out is not really white nor thick…in fact it is not as thick as when I start pulling.

  14. says

    Oh my goodness, I just started doing this two days ago. I’m absolutely convinced I can see an difference in my teeth already. I’m using coconut oil. Just spoon it out and it soon disolves in the mouth. Since I like coconut there is no problem with the taste.

  15. says

    Thanks for this info, love your blog! I have recently started oil pulling with sesame oil and I am very happy with the results I’ve gotten so far. I experienced the detox affects and was dehydrated the first two times I did it, but haven’t experienced that since. My teeth were noticeably whiter after the first use, and continue to become whiter after each additional use. I have noticed that I am having much less trouble with my seasonal allergies since I started oil pulling, and hope to see other positive affects as I continue. Thank you!!!

    • Yarixa says

      I may be late in this conversation, but I have a concern. I just tried oil pulling for the first time today, and I started reading these comments. I saw this one that said that you experienced dehydration. What exactly would that mean? Were you just very thirsty, or did you experience severe dehydration? The inside of my mouth feels dry and I’m feeling shaky, but I am not sure if this is because I am anxious about these symptoms or because of the oil pulling. Please help ease my concern, as my anxiety gets the best of me sometimes and I just want some reassurance. Thanks!
      Btw, my family and I will be on a road trip later today, and I don’t want to be drinking excessive fluids so that we don’t stop too much on the road. I am just concerned for my safety. Thanks again!

  16. Tracy says

    Hi, I’m a huge fan of your blog and love your DIY ideas. Thanks so much for sharing! Currently, I’m interested in your article about natural ways to prevent cavities (or even reverse them). I’d like to know approximately how much Vitamin D should I take? I’m ordering some fermented cod liver oil and have just begun oil pulling using Nutiva coconut oil. Thanks so much!!!

    • Aurora VeGodsky says

      My Kroger sells it in the organic & natural isles (or just all natural as opposed to organic they also sell in the regular oil aisle) but I would think that you could get it at Whole Foods and maybe Trader Joes as well. I’m not sure as far as other places but you can always check with those places.

      • I. Sofa says

        Trader Joe’s does have organic virgin coconut oil – at least at my local, relatively small one. Can’t remember the price, but it’s very good compared to other stores. I understand that organic virgin coconut oil is far superior to regular coconut oil.

    • Jennifer says

      I bought a jar today in the “natural” section at Hy-Vee. $9.99 for organic, unrefined. Check that section of your supermarket with the baking products.

    • J-9 says

      You can also purchase it at Sam’s Club or COSTCO – although they are in big containers. I use the coconut oil for cooking too and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I think it cost me about $21 for a 2Qt container.

  17. Bob Graham says

    Katie, why is it recommended to do this before eating? I have found it nice to do after eating as it really helps to clean out the mouth. any thoughts?

    • says

      It is fine after eating too, but I think the theory is that first thing in the morning or before eating, there is the most buildup of plaque, etc to be removed and the oil won’t just be pulling food off the teeth..

  18. Mrssullivan says

    After reading your article and doing further research, I decided to try this. However, after about 2 month now of using the suggested extra virgin coconut oil, I liked that I felt like I had more energy every day, but every day they feel gritty immediately after oil pulling and it seems as though now I’m watching them get more and more yellow, to the point that I’m considering reusing Whitestrips to get them back to white. Am I doing something wrong? I usually have a cup of tea in the morning sometime afterwards, are my teeth susceptible to absorbing this after ?? minutes? Just kinda disappointed. Thanks :/

  19. Cathy Garcia says

    I recently had 2 molars filled, because I didn’t want the expense and agony of having root canals, which my dentist suggested. A month later I started having pain and swelling so reluctantly I tried oil pulling with coconut oil and I immediately noticed great results. I am oiling pulling 3xdaily and rinsing with baking soda. After 4 days the swelling is much improved and my gums and teeth feel really good. I am making an appointment to see my dentist – hopefully for just a cleaning.

    • Kimiko says

      I’ve had a couple abscessed teeth/gums but always rely on my trusted Bentonite Clay. Just add a little water to the powder to make a ball and place it over the abscess over night. Next day, the swelling, tenderness, and pain are gone. My brother does the same thing. Clay pulls out all the toxins. It’s saved us a lot of dentist visits.
      I just tried the oil pulling with Sesame oil this evening… feels good! Will keep at it a while to see what my results are. :)

  20. John Kingston says

    People seem to think that twenty minutes is way too long and is unbearable to do while getting ready in the morning, however its extremely convenient to put a tablespoon in your mouth right before you shower and simply swish it around while your cleaning your body. Dry off, put clothes on then spit it out and brush your teeth. Or, just do whatever you do in the morning to get ready while you’re more than likely not needing to talk for twenty minutes anyways. Plus its relaxing and the after feeling is better than any dentist visit you have ever had!!

    • Erica says

      YES! I completely agree, John. I thought for a while that it would be impossible to add an extra 20 minute routine into my day (which, I’m actually working up to), but I just do it in the shower for ten minutes in the morning and it’s not so bad.

  21. Brenda Eddy says

    just tried this and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be…glad I had a Magna Doodle to communicate with with my dd when she asked me something! ;)

  22. Renee G says

    Is it safe to do oil pulling with dental implants? I have 2 and I would like to try this. Maybe it might even help clean my implants?

  23. kimmie0 says

    I just started this… read on some other site sunflower was the best oil. It was very neutral, the other oils listed could put one off. The site I first read about this said 15 minutes. I set a timer for 15 minutes, and noticed a change in viscosity after 6 minutes… after another 6 minutes I noticed another change in the liquid and I knew it was time to spit it out. So I’m going to go with what is happening in my mouth. I suspect that some days it will be more time, and some days it will less time. First thing I noticed is I’m breathing better through my nose… I hadn’t even realized I was a bit stuffy!

  24. KimK says

    I didn’t think I could keep the oil in my mouth for the whole 20 minutes, but gave it a try this morning for the first time. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. My mouth didn’t feel this clean after a dental cleaning last week! Have to admit, the coconut oil was a little gross at first. Once it melted the 20 minutes just flew by while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and fed the pup. Ordered some brushing blend too. Can’t wait to get it. thanks a bunch!

  25. mrsmadayar says

    Has anyone tried doing this starting out with less time and working up to the 20 minutes? I’m thinking it might be easier to work up to the 20 gradually and maybe have less chance of detox side effects.

    • Erica says

      Yes. I started much more slowly because I found I got so foamy after 5 minutes it was hard to keep it in my mouth. Now, I’m at about 10 minutes in my morning shower/routine and I use slightly less than when I started out. I think working up to 20 minutes is totally fine.

  26. Deborah Bell says

    I just about hurled putting solid coconut oil in my mouth and had to spit it out immediately :(
    Olive oil was ok but it will take awhile to get up to 20min. I wonder if there is any benefit if done only for 5min?

  27. Karen says

    Anyone else have difficulty in not swallowing. As I swish, the urge to swallow is so strong and I find I have to do it. I try not to take oil in down the throat, but I know a little gets by swallowing reflex.

  28. Neel says

    I am from India and this is the traditional grandma stuff that probably people think as pseudo-science. But these have been tried and tested for thousands of years and work wonders to be honest. There are mentions of the practice even in ancient indian texts which are thousands of years old. Actually, no one does this everyday. This is a detox routine that is usually accompanied by a detox diet. People in olden days and even today in villages do this once every week or two. Kids dont get their morning breakfast if you dont do this! May be you can try this way instead of daily.

    • Tammy says

      This is good to know! I’m fascinated by what other cultures have done for thousands of years, and insight as to how the details of what they have discovered is so helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    • Tammy says

      It’s been months now, but can you tell us if your husband oil pulled with braces? I think oil wouldn’t hurt the braces themselves, but I wonder if it would weaken the integrity of any glue used to hold the braces in place. What were his results?

  29. Rebecca says

    Can you brush your teeth before oil pulling? And also, how come you eat after oil pulling, wont that just be putting more bacteria in your mouth?

    • Aurora VeGodsky says

      An earlier post by Wellness Mama says the research she has done indicates that it is but she does suggest doing your own research & testing too.

    • Tammy says

      You do it in the morning mostly b/c your body has accumulated toxins in your mouth and blood while sleeping that are prime targets to be released. Evidence of this is how your mouth tastes and feels (and smells) in the morning compared to other times of the day when your salivary glands are more active. Some health experts suggest drinking a giant glass of water first thing in the morning to flush out toxins through your kidneys. Other methods of handling morning toxins say brush your teeth vigorously before swallowing, THEN drink a giant glass of water. Oil pulling first thing allows all those toxins to come directly out, as well as supposedly it draws some toxins out of your bloodstream through your skin in your mouth. I like to think that all of these toxins are trying to get out while you sleep, so they crawl up your bloodstream close to your mouth, trying to escape, and then I help them flush out with oil pulling. I have no idea if the science backs that up, but that’s my picture I use. :)
      With that logic, it’s best to flush out the old toxins before eating and re-introducing them into your digestive system. Whether or not the new food comes with new toxins, it’s overall better to get rid of the old toxins first.
      I think overall oral health -especially teeth whitening effects- is improved when done any time of day. So if that’s your only goal, it’s still better to do it at some point even if you miss the morning ideal time. Although it’s hard to measure toxin removal benefits, it WORKS for teeth whitening!! Evidence you can SEE!!! Hope that helps!

  30. Rebecca Iluvmesumu Lloyd says

    I’ve been using it faithfully for about 3 weeks. I like it. getting used to 20 minutes is a challenge, but, you learn to work around it. I do it while I am in the tub. I also rinse with warm water afterwards and then brush. My teeth feel much cleaner than if I brushed alone. I also have noticed softer lips!

  31. Jennifer Hughes says

    Am I doing this wrong? My jaw muscles are sore afterward. I’m not swishing particularly vigorously, but I find that swishing for 20 minutes makes my jaw tired.

    • Becky R says

      I have terrible tmj pain and muscle pain in my cheeks and tongue. I still can’t swish the whole 20 minutes, but I figure that just having it in my mouth for that long should be doing something too. I kind of swish and rest, or gently work it with my tongue.

      • Alison says

        I have TMJ and I do the same thing! Swish and hold, swish and hold….makes it so much easier and my cheeks aren’t sore after.

        • Alison says

          And “swish” isn’t really the word I would use either. It’s more like I move it around my mouth and over and in-between my teeth, if that makes any sense. I know i’m not explaining it right…

    • Erica says

      I might say to work up to it, actually. I’ve heard that from people before and I, myself, try to do about 10 minutes in the shower in the morning and I’m still seeing great results on my gums.

    • Beth says

      I’ve seen a lot of comments on here about not being able to “swish” for 20 minutes and asking about muscle pain. It’s called oil “pulling” – not swishing. You don’t swish it around as vigorously as you would a mouthwash. It’s more of moving it around it your mouth/trying to push and pull it from behind your teeth to in front of your teeth if that makes sense. :)

  32. Ashley Jones says

    I am breastfeeding and want to try this as I have always had some issues with my teeth. Any suggestions?

    • Kavan Sidhu says

      I also could not imagine 20 minutes at a time. My jaw muscles are too weak for that. I use chlorhexidine based mouthwash recommended by my dentist. It does stain teeth. But no sting like normal mouth wash. And takes out all the red or at least half immediately.

  33. MLefty says

    The original oil pulling site http://www.oilpulling.com says only use sesame seed or sunflower seed oil. Some other sites say coconut oil is acceptable. I have never seen olive oil listed an option anywhere else. I have done it with any of the first 3, and it is really easy for me to swish the oil for 20 minutes while watching TV, surfing the net, etc.

  34. Amy says

    I just read about oil pulling this morning while I was looking for at-home, natural, teeth whitening procedures. I only had extra virgin olive oil available, so I used that for 20 minutes exactly (slightly excruciating the first time) :) I’m going to keep doing this, to see if it will help whiten my teeth (no change after this first time), but my one question/concern is: when I spit the oil out, it was the same yellow (not white, as described it would be)…is this normal with the olive oil, or should it still turn white?? A minor detail, I know, but just wanted to check with others…Thanks!

    • haley says

      I used olive oil and it turned white after a very short time, but she said thats toxins and other junk, if you detox regularly or just keep a healthy diet and take good care of your teeth yoj may just not need it for the health reasons, but could simply use it for teeth whitening.

  35. Melinda Todd says

    I’m going to try this. Hopefully I can do 20 minutes, since I have to breathe through my mouth most of the time, it may be really hard to pull it off. Thanks for sharing this. I hadn’t heard about oil pulling for teeth yet. I do it for my skin and it’s amazing how much my skin has changed over the past year!

  36. MLefty says

    I have done oil pulling with sunflower, sesame and coconut oil at different times. Currently using cold pressed organic coconut oil, because that is what’s available. I have no trouble doing 20 mins with a tablespoon of any of those oils. Just do it while surfing the net or watching TV. They say that when you spit the oil, it should have turned white. This happened the first 2-3 times. Now, when I spit the oil out it is still perfectly clear. What does this mean, if anything?

  37. Steve C says

    Seed oils in general aren’t very good for you (inflammatory response in the gut, etc) so I can only imagine coconut oil would be a better choice than the other two. Just my 2 cents. I’m starting this tomorrow with coconut oil.

  38. G.D. Principaal says

    In this fast paced lifestyle we live nowadays we get inpatient with things that take a but miner and can make a huge difference in or life. You will be surprised quickly the 20 of swishing passes by when you are busy doing sonething else in the morning; getting dressed,throwing out the trash, dining tire hair, making the bed, fixing breakfast etc. Try it. It is 20 minutes that will make a difference in your health.

  39. Jeni says

    Anyone have any reason to suspect this would be dangerous for an older child (thinking down the road after my daughter’s permanent teeth come in). She has 22q Deletion (Digeorge Syndrome) and serious heart defects that require her to be on antibiotics (dun dun duuuun) when she gets a cleaning. Due to her syndrome she has HORRIBLE teeth. Talking 7 caps and several extractions by age 4. A few past oral surgeries. Future oral surgeries etc.

    Bottom line, can you help me figure out if this is safe if you are at an increased risk of infective endocarditis? Do you think other alternative methods (activated charcoal maybe?) would be safer and beneficial for depleting the bacteria in her mouth?

    Thank you. I’m at my wits end worrying over her oral and heart health!!!

  40. Rebecca says

    Dear Wellness Mama! I’ve been doing oil pulling for a few months now, both to improve my oral health and my overall detox. BUT: I’ve recently noticed a lot of dark stains at the edges of my teeth. It seems as if my enamel has gotten much softer and sensitive (or gone completely), and I am afraid if this has actually been caused by the oil pulling?! Do you have any experience with that? Thanks for a fantastic blog!!

  41. Maurice Thompson says

    I’m on day 3 and I swish while in the shower…after the first couple seconds of acknowledging you have oil in your mouth, it’s no worry!

  42. Berg says

    This process DOES work. A troubling gum pocket (inside-upper-rear) VANISHED by my next appointment 6 months later. My hygienist and dentist continue to remark how healthy my gums and teeth are. I’ll stay the course!

  43. Cherilynn says

    I started Oil Pulling a week ago and i noticed that my teeth are whiter and it does help with bad breath. The start of Oil Pulling for 20 mins makes me gag on it but eventually it seems like no biggie. The moment i open my eyes in the morning, i will take 1 tablespoon (*2 teaspoon is too little for me to swish) of Coconut Oil and start swishing while i bath, get dressed and prepare my morning breakfast and then i will wash it out and brush my teeth before i eat. I feel like my whole mouth is cleaned before i even brush my teeth. While i am doing all those things, it didnt click my mind that 20 mins has passed. Will continue to oil pull and start introducing this old-school method to my parents who have cavities.

  44. Janice Burns Anderson says

    I am trying this for the first time right now. I only did about half the amount and honestly there is so much liquid in my mouth from the build up it’s quite gross. But it does not feel like I just put oil in my mouth. Nothing like I thought it would be. I can taste the ickiness (sp?) of whatever it’s drawing out. Very strange. I will continue to do this for the next few days and see what the outcome is :)

    • Janice Burns Anderson says

      Just finished. I went the whole 20 minutes. I too at first thought “20 minutes???” but it was not that long.

  45. Brianna Krampe says

    I read online about curing cavities holistically, oddly enough i found i have a tiny cavity just starting to set in. it hasn’t passed the dentine layer yet so i think i can cure it. Ive been brushing with neem and pomegranate organic toothpaste and using cod liver oil and probiotics everyday. Im going to start this too! thanks for the post!

  46. Sarah says

    I would just like to say that I am LOVING oil pulling and STRONGLY
    recommend it to anyone worried about their oral health. I started about a
    month and a half ago and did it very consistently (once a day, in the
    morning) for a few weeks. I had very bad tartar build-up on the back of
    my lower front teeth and most of it is GONE!! It just fell off! This is
    stuff dentists tell you can “only be removed by a dentist!!” I fell off
    of the oil pulling band wagon for a few weeks after finding out I was
    pregnant (it was making me nauseous to think about the oil in my mouth)
    but I picked it up again this week full force! I am now doing it twice a
    day (morning and night). I noticed last night that in two of my upper
    back molars I have decay (or cavities) near the gum line on the back of
    the tooth, obviously hard to spot unless you are searching. I made some
    of your tooth remineralizing toothpaste and those areas already feel
    smoother! Just from brushing with it about three times! I am anxious to
    see if I am able to heal this decay on my own. I would rather avoid a
    dentist.
    Side note about oil pulling: It made my teeth hurt for a
    couple days when I first started. Not pain, just a dull ache. I read
    another ladies testimony on a different site and she said her dentist
    (who had initially told her about oil pulling) told her that the pain
    meant it was working. It is a detox sensation, I assume. No pain, no
    gain I suppose!
    Quick question: is it okay to take Cod Liver Oil
    capsules while pregnant? I will definitely ask my doctor, but I just
    wanted another opinion.

  47. Luree Johnston says

    Will you please tell me how your brushing blend is used? I only could find the Healthy Mouth oil on the link you gave for the brushing blend you use. is that the same thing? Thanks!

  48. Linda Pringle says

    I had to add my tuppence worth here. 2 years ago I was in such a bad way with my back, I could barely get out of my car or lift my baby son.According to drs it was damage to facet joints in my spine due to falls when I was pregnant. Because of this the weight crept up and I was more or less disabled. Idecided enough was enough, things had to change so I began to eat healthy and started pilates. Slow progress but my back was my major problem still. It wasnt until I began oil pulling and eating coconut oil that things really began to change for me. Within about 4-6 weeks of oil pulling every morning my pain was GONE – 3 years of constant pain swept away. Now this is the clincher for me- over Xmas and New Year my diet has slipped alot, the processed foods crept back in a bit and I havnt oil pulled. My back is now painful again…so im back on the oil pulling day 2 and im certain that my back pain will begin to subside again.

  49. Angela Johnson says

    I have been oil pulling for about 6 days now and after the second day I was experiencing a ton of mucus. I saw it as a good thing, I am still experiencing it only not as much. I have noticed that after 20 mins now, what I need to spit is not as thick or creamy white as it was in the beginning. I have also noticed how much cleaner my mouth feels and just a better sense of well being in general. My skin appears to be better as well. I’ve been using grape seed oil, with a few drops of peppermint oil because that is all I had at the time, now I am using coconut oil. I use grape seed oil on my skin every morning after washing it as a moisturizer too. I will be making my own brushing blend soon.

  50. SC105 says

    I’m confused about swishing with coconut oil. The organic coconut oil is in solid form, so how do you swish with it?? Can you tell us what brand you specifically use?

  51. says

    Can this be used as an effective pain reliever to wisdom teeth issues? I’m 24, and haven’t had any issues with the three teeth that have already popped their heads out. But this last one, has my left cheek swollen to the max. (My dentist set me up with Antibiotics for the swelling) I’ve got a apt set up in two days (The earliest they could get me in). For the time being, i’m taking Tylonal and rinsing with salt water every 30 minutes. I know my local grocerie store has solid coconut oil, I was just curious if this could be used as duller of pain. Due to the detoxing of the oil, and reading everyone’s results, it got me curious.

    Any help is wonderful!

  52. Angela Ross says

    oil PULLING?? Has no one else realized that nothing is being “pulled”? This seems like a classic case of “the emperor wears no clothes,” and no one wants to say so. Do we have to massacre the English language while getting healthier? You literally can’t “pull” oil, so let’s stop using this absurd phrase. In the many comments I read, the verb “swishing” is often used. Can’t we all agree to change the way we describe this technique as “OIL SWISHING” instead of pulling? I’m all for this oil swishing and other alternative methods of keeping healthy. I’m totally serious. “Pulling oil” sounds completely goofy and ridiculous!! Maybe you should sit down and read the dictionary while doing the 20 minute swishing. Thank you and happy ‘swishing’!!!

  53. Menaka says

    I started oil pulling a month back. My teeth felt so much whiter, shinier. I over all felt nice. However, I noticed that after 2 weeks of oil pulling, I started having breakout of acne on my back and chin. I guess I am detoxfying. Did anyone experience something similar. How long will it take for these acne to subside?

    • Don Sinclair says

      To wash out the Oil from my mouth after Oil pulling I use milk thats full cream milk, I use to do Electric Arc Welding in my work and the firm use to supply a pint of milk to their welders at the end of each days work, this was to wash out the electrode flux dust out of one’s body.
      Water only sits on the oil in the mouth and you got to get it out, I wash the milk around my mouth and then spit it down the toilet, have never had acne problems, they say my skin looks great.

  54. Curtis says

    How bout adding a touch of neem powder. Neem plant is huge in Ayurvedic medicine. I’ve heard that neem based dental products are unrivaled.

  55. HT says

    Hi, everyone! Thanks for the really helpful comments. I just tried oil pulling with coconut oil for the first time, and I couldn’t keep it in my mouth for more than 3 minutes. It’s not because I wanted to gag, but there was so much saliva in my mouth that I couldn’t hold it in. Has anyone experienced this? Am I swishing too aggressively and creating too much saliva? I feel silly asking this since so many of you have done it successfully. Also, do you not swallow any bit of it for 20 minutes? With the increasing saliva, I couldn’t helping swallowing tiny amounts of liquid. Thanks!!

    • DONNA says

      I experienced the same issue with too much saliva, I eventually had to spit out a little in order to continue with my 20 minutes. I also had an issue with my jaw getting too tired, so I had to stop and start swishing several times. ( I do have TMJ issues.)

  56. Annie says

    Hi
    Great post, very popular! I just tried oil pulling for the first time. Was fine. I am wondering about my morning ritual of lemon water too tho and how that will work. I’m thinking oil pull, brush then Lon water? I was told by a dentist you should wait 30min after drinking or eating to brush. Or wait 30min after brushing to eat?? So much information online! When I’m back at work it’s going to be hard to get a routine !!!??? Anyone else oil pull and do lemon water?

  57. che says

    thank you everyone for your advice. I will be trying it today, hopefully I will have good results, there is nothing to loose and lots to gain…….have a great day everyone..Chao

  58. PatMH says

    A question: On your page titled, “How to Reverse Tooth Decay and Avoid Braces,” you tell us to minimize phytic acid in our diets to minimize tooth decay, but on this page you tell us to swish it in our mouths for 20 minutes. Since Sesame is listed at the top of your list of phytic acid foods to “minimize” this is a bit confusing. Wouldn’t this be defeating our purpose? I know you recommend not to swallow the “pulled oil,” but when holding anything in your mouth for that long, some of it is bound to be absorbed. Also, can you explain why the “oil pulling” works? Or recommend a site that explains it? I’d like to know what the science behind it is.
    Thank you.

  59. Don Sinclair says

    I have been using the Oil Pulling treatment for about five years now to treat asthma, I have had false teeth for eleven years so teeth was not my concern.
    I have had Asthma since birth so I have got to know a bit about it, and over the last 68 years, I have taken quite a few different drugs to treat it including Prednisone.
    As I said I started Oil Pulling five years ago and it took about three months before my Asthma started slowly to go away and I was able to reduce the use of Ventolin.
    I do not take Ventolin at all now, I still do take two puffs of Seretide inhaler 125/25 once a day and two puffs of nostril spray Fluticasone but nothing else.
    I go to my Doctor every three months and they say my breathing and Lungs are very clear indeed and I feel great.
    Three years ago I went into Hospital for a operation and they said my breathing was equal to a 27 year old man and I was in excellent shape for my operation.
    I was introduced to a inhaler in 1954 for treatment of my Asthma, I was involved in a Asthma research program for around eight years at the Dunedin Hospital in NZ.
    This involved the testing of a number of different Asthma treatment drugs, this research was I believed funded by the drug suppliers.
    I attend the Balclutha Health Centre for my three month check ups and I can have a different Doctor each time I go and they all remark on how clear and good my breathing is, when I tell them that I’m been using the Oil Pulling for my Asthma Treatment they say nothing.
    I just use Sunflower Oil which I purchase from the Supermarket, I put a tablespoon full in my mouth and have it in there for 20 minutes before eating anything in the morning.
    Just please remember the drug firms are not interseted in selling Sunflower Oil.

  60. Carolyn says

    Alot of the benefits of oil pulling that you list are also things you list as benefits of brushing with activated charcoal. I don’t see anywhere where you list oil pulling as part of your daily oral regime. Do you not do it anymore and do the AC instead or do you go back and forth between them or sometimes do both or what?

    Thanks!

  61. Charlie says

    Hi. I would like to start this. Is it counter-productive if I gargle with diluted ACV after it? Or it has not counter-effect whatsoever?

  62. Marilyn says

    Just tried it for the first time and made it the whole 20 minutes–yay! However, I’m a college student and I can’t really justify coconut oil right now, so I’ll use the olive oil I always have. Aside from it possibly not having natural antibacterial properties, what about it (or any other oil) would make it so much less effective?

  63. Cynthia says

    Hi there! Thanks for your posts about oil pulling and homemade remineralizing toothpaste. I’ve noticed that you use something called “Brushing Blend.” When I click through the link, there is no product by that name. Did Orawellness discontinue this product or does it go by another name? Thanks for your answer! Also, our local food co-op just published some news about “extra virgin” versus “virgin” coconut oil. Thought I would share: http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/sc/1402/editor.html

  64. Tristan says

    Why is it best done in the morning? Is this before or after breakfast? If you’re doing it and then brushing your teeth before breakfast then your mouth will get dirty again eating breakfast. Wouldn’t it be better for to do it after breakfast? Then your mouth will be clean all the way up until lunch.

    • Tristan says

      Whoops, never mind. I read the other comments. I’ve got invisalign braces right now so I have to brush my teeth after every meal. So it’s a major inconvenience to do it before eating. Unless I do the oil pulling, rinsed my mouth, ate breakfast, and then brushed my teeth.

  65. Dee says

    Hello

    I did my first oil pull this morning. I used organic coconut oil. The solid oil was kind of weird and “bulky” in my mouth. Took a bit to melt, but when it did, I had no problem doing 20 minutes. The person who posted a comment about occupying your time with things to do to pass the time, was spot on. Tristin asked the question about why you do it in the morning. To me, it would make more sense to do it at night before you go to bed. Then you are “cleaning” everything you put in your mouth throughout the day. When you rinse, brush, and go to bed, you have at least 6-8 hours before eating or drinking anything. Seems to me, that would benefit you more. Can you please explain? Thank you for your help.

  66. Bruce Bolger says

    I have had a persistent cough (possibly related to my lymphoma) that normal pharmaceutical treatments for sinus etc infections did not help at all. I read about oil pulling and thought why not…. used coconut oil and on the first day went from coughing all day to just a half dozen times. After two weeks I have no more cough. Relief after a year and a half! Coincidence? Perhaps but I will stick with it and after talking to the nurse at the Wilmot Cancer Center here in Rochester this morning I plan to start blending coconut oil, butter and hot coffee in the morning as she said she has felt more energy and better general health after she has been doing that every morning.

    • amanda says

      Bruce, my daughter had a chronic cough that would not go away. It would get consistently worse until she was actually throwing up at night. The DRs would just prescribe an antibiotic and push us out the door, which would work, but they couldn’t explain why. I switched doctors and finally found one that figured out the cough was caused by sinus infections she would consistently get. The sinus infections were caused by ENLARGED ADENOIDS. She had those removed as well as her tonsils and the infections and subsequent cough have never come back. Just a thought you may want to look into. Of course, if the pulling is working spare yourself the traumatizing surgery!

  67. Loreta says

    2 questions:

    1. Has anyone tried liquid coconut oil rather than solid (Nature’s Way)?

    2. I don’t function in the morning til I have had my coffee (yes, a bad habit, my one vice besides dark chocolate). Is it ok to do this mid-morning? I know it is recommended to do it first thing in the morning but I would think anytime is better than no time.

    Thanks

  68. says

    An interesting concept with ancient roots. I’m wondering, though, where the 20 minute recommendation originated. I found an article in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine from 2011 that states, “A comfortable amount of fluid is retained with the mouth closed for about 3 minutes, and then gargled. It is a simple rejuvenating treatment, which, when done routinely, enhances the senses, maintains clarity, brings about a feeling of freshness, and invigorates the mind … can also benefit bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision, sore throat, and all kapha related imbalances.” A shorter time period of swishing with the same benefits? I’m game!

  69. Sandi says

    I’ve read that it’s best to use unrefined coconut oil. My container only says that it’s organic..extra virgin. Would this be okay to use?

  70. Crystal Morris says

    It’s a bit frustrating seeing people over & over recommend CCO for oil pulling. It’s important to know that CCO can strip your mouth of health flora as well as the bad stuff & that oil pulling is not just for bright whites. Oil pulling is an ancient tradition using specific oils for very specific reasons. CCO is not recommended. It can cause serious mouth problems including bleeding & receding gums & teeth sensitivity.

  71. Crystal Morris says

    Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic tradition and that tradition says to use sesame seed oil or sunflower seed oil, but preferrably sesame seed. Its been done that way with amazing benefits for thousands of years.

    Coconut oil is not a recommended oil for oil pulling. Many who have used it have had issues with it like bleeding gums, receding gums getting worse, and tooth sensitivity. The thought is that because coconut oil is antibacterial it kills all the bacteria in the mouth, even the beneficial flora, causing the teeth and gum to become sensitive and to recede. We need the beneficial flora in our mouths.

    Oil pulling is a method of detoxification. It is not simply a mouth cleansing or teeth whitening treatment. Though many seem to think so and use it for such. It literally is to pull toxins and metals out of the mouth, gums, teeth, and salivary glands to aid in detoxification of the body. Therefore you do not want to swallow the oil that is in your mouth.

    If you have amalgam fillings it is NOT safe for you to do oil pulling, it will pull more mercury out of your fillings and into your blood stream, not a good thing. You would need to have amalgam fillings removed before beginning oil pulling.

    Resources:

    http://oilpulling.com
    They have free e-books on this website! (or did at one time at least)

    http://www.oilpulling.org/oil-pulling/

    http://oilpulling.com/oilpullingmethod.htm

    http://www.oilpulling.com/ayurveda.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/

    • Jill says

      Crystal Morris, I am looking for information to support your claim that oil pulling when one has amalgam fillings would cause metals to be absorbed into the blood stream. Can you give me some links to support your opinion? Thanks so much!

      • Tangela says

        I would like that information as well. As she says, “It literally is to pull toxins and metals OUT of the mouth, gums, teeth, and salivary glands to aid in detoxification of the body”, it seems to be a good thing to oil pull if you have amalgam fillings. How does oil pulling cause the mercury in amalgam fillings to get into your blood stream? I have amalgam fillings and that is one reason I was drawn to the oil pulling.

  72. Nid says

    I just tried oil pulling for the first time with extra virgin organic coconut oil. First of all, let me just say, I grew up with what I now realize was probably pretty poor quality, overly-processed/heated coconut oil, but we never used it for eating. It was always as a hair nourishing oil, but I always remember that horrible, old, rancid coconut smell. The organic, extra-virgin was like….WOAH! Delicious smelling and tasting like chocolate macaroon yummy! (And then of course during pulling it gets gross as it pulls all the yuckies from your system!). Here’s my question….I was only able to do it for barely two minutes. I found the oil very quickly thickened and the amount I was dealing with became overwhelming very quickly. I don’t know if this is because I am dealing with an infection in my mouth that would have caused more toxins than normal to be pulled or if I just need to use less oil to allow for the saliva that is produced and adds to the volume of liquid in the mouth after a while. Any more experienced pullers that can share their insights?

  73. Heather says

    I started doing Oil Pulling 2 days ago, and have noticed a much whiter smile. I must warn you if you have a gag reflex like myself, you may want to let the Coconut Oil melt first, as I gagged the first time with the texture. 20 minutes is a long time, but flies by when you do it while your getting dressed and ready for work, or just to snooze your alarm and lay back down for 20 minutes.

    I have had a mild headache since doing so, but I’m hoping that will pass as the days go on. I’ve been using Lavender, Peppermint, and Almond Oil to help relieve the headache, and its working well.

  74. says

    Well I tried it and even though I thought I wouldn’t like it for several reasons I am surprised at how comfortable it really was and am already feeling effects.
    I hate that feeling that you get when you put something greasy in your mouth especially if it is cold. I call it Bologna mouth and I avoid it at all cost. I was very surprised that I didn’t feel that feeling at all. In fact when I spit the oil out my mouth actually feels clean.
    I am not a huge fan of coconut. I avoid macaroons and the thought of putting straight coconut anything was not attractive, but when I used the coconut oil for pulling it didn’t taste much at all. There is a mild taste but it isn’t that usual heavy coconut taste that I don’t like.
    My mouth feels amazing!! I have some really serious dental issues and I decided it was worth it no matter what. My whole mouth feels different. My teeth feel smooth like they just got cleaned at the dentist and the spaces between them are clear for the first time in a while. (I usually cannot floss because the floss just breaks my teeth are so tight) I could actually swish between my teeth by the end of the 20 min. I have a couple of huge uncared for cavities and they even seem cleaner than I get them when I brush.
    I am sold! This will be a daily thing and I am looking forward to the changes that I know will come from it. Thanks so much for the info!!

  75. Beth says

    Thank you for all of your posts and instructions on your blog. Every time I hear something new about natural care, I know I can come here to learn how to do it! Over the past month I’ve completely changed my diet (being vegetarian before didn’t mean I was actually eating well lol), took the chemicals out of what I put on my body and in my body, and was able to stop wearing so much make up. I have/had very bad acne & scars (even though I am almost 30) and used to put on what I called a “full face”, with foundation/concealer/blush/powder, everyday. Now I just use a little concealer & hope that as the months go by I won’t need that either!

    I tried oil pulling this morning with extra virgin olive oil (because it was in my cabinet). 20 minutes is WAY too long for me to even imagine right now, so I decided to only do 10 minutes and I’ll work my way up to 20 as I am more and more used to the texture and routine. 10 was rough, but it wasn’t so bad. I’m going to buy some coconut oil because I think I might like the taste better.

    What I tell people: it’s progress not perfection; take baby steps. If I woke up and completely changed everything I did overnight, I’d be so uncomfortable I’d immediately want to go back to how things were. Everything seems shocking before we take the first step — Running a marathon right now sounds absurd, but if I started at 1 mile of walking & built up, it wouldn’t be so crazy. If we slowly integrate new routines, in a few weeks we’ll realize that we’re healthy and happy with little effort! :)

    Thank you for sharing your experiences & helping me to change my habits!

    • Beth says

      New update: I bought coconut oil and it is *much* easier to use for the full 20 minutes. I’m looking forward to see if I notice any differences in my health!

      • Lisa M says

        Hi,

        Great point. I agree. I tried Almond Oil this morning and it wasn’t too great. I’ll go back to the coconut oil, which makes my teeth feel cleaner – not the reaction I had using Almond Oil.

    • Emily says

      Hi there, thanks for the great post! I was wondering if you or anyone else had the weird pimple-like bumps/blackheads on your cheeks after oil-pulling for a while. I don’t have any other symptoms other than the blackheads which are really annoying. Any advice/tips?

  76. Kay E. says

    I heard a doctor on the radio discussing pulling with coconut oil. She said it have benefits, but had a caution. If you have older silver fillings she said it could leach the mercury from the fillings. She thought if you only did it once or twice a week instead of every day, it might be ok.

  77. Jenn says

    20 minutes went by pretty fast and I didn’t gage or anything. This is the first day I did it so I will see if I can continue this practice everyday.

  78. Kristen says

    I started oil pulling just yesterday, swishing for only 10 minutes last night and 10 minutes tonight. I’m already feeling slightly congested with a slight headache – nothing too uncomfortable, but I’m guessing this is part of the detox process, unless I’m just getting sick. If it is the detoxification, great! I think I’ll keep oil pulling in an effort to whiten my teeth. I’m using unrefined virgin coconut oil.

  79. says

    I don’t think that 20 minutes is a waste of time, it’s just that it feels so yucky in my mouth right now. It’s been 15 min, 5 more to go now and I feel like I’m about to burst. :( I guess I’ll keep trying because I know it’ll be worth it. Blecccch.

  80. Praveen Shukla says

    I have started oilpulling few weeks back with a ebook sent by http://www.oilpulling.com website. It was very informative and they seems to have covered it really well. My results are mixed as of today but i am hoping to see better results based on all the feedback i am reading on sites like this.

  81. Crystal says

    Hello all!
    So I’ve been researching oil pulling.
    I saw a few videos and only to have my eyes fill up with tears and feel myself starting to gag! The idea of essentially putting fat into my mouth makes me… I can’t even finish my sentance! I am really intrigued and would love to try it! Is anyone else having these same reactions???!

    • Tangela says

      I thought I would gag also. However, using the coconut oil was not bad. It had a slight coconut flavor and was about like swishing warm water.

  82. Cindy says

    Thank you for the thorough information. I started this the other day and have been sitting here this morning wondering why I feel so congested with a minor headache. I also feel very tired. Now I know it’s very likely the detox effects, thank you! I will continue.

  83. Carole says

    I am going to try this tomorrow! Do you have to brush right after, or can it wait till after breakfast?

  84. Rebecca Mitchell says

    I’m a very productive saliva producer. Does this take away from the chemical properties of how this works?

  85. Olive J. says

    I’ve done this 3 times now (coconut oil, 20 minutes). My skin is the one part of my body that honestly has never, ever had any problems … but I developed a line of red zit-like welts on the right cheek first, and now the left. Leading down in a little row from mid-nose to lips. If this is detoxification, how long does it usually last? OR could it be because I’m actually ingesting some amount of oil while pulling and/or am allergic to coconut oil? Help!

  86. says

    Thanks for citing sources, it was interesting checking them out! I am just starting to do oil pulling, and your article is good motivation. I am doing it because I have a cavity. Though I am skeptical, I’ve got nothing to lose in trying this and you’ve shown me lots of other good reasons to do it. I am particularly excited about reducing the bacteria in my mouth. I had bacteria from my own mouth get into my bloodstream which caused endocarditis and, ultimately they had to replace my aortic valve w/ a prosthetic. So, as you can imagine, the idea of limiting the amount of bacteria in my mouth is quite appealing to me. Who knows, maybe if I had started this 10 years ago I’d still have all my valves!

  87. Macy says

    Hello,

    I’ve recently began oil pulling. I’ve been using Refined Natural Coconut oil. I’ve not seen much of a result as in cleanliness. But there is one thing that I have noticed. I’ve noticed a strong, pungent smell that lingers on my breath after the 20 minutes. It’s a familiar smell, almost identical to rotting milk or curdled cheese. Very peculiar….I have great dental hygiene, so I was wondering if others were smelling this? Or maybe it’s the way my hormones are reacting to this treatment?

    Thank you!

  88. Katie says

    This question may have already been raised, but there is a LOT of comments to go through. I find that, when oil pulling, within 2 to 5 minutes my sylvia has completely taken over. Does that affect the oil and its abilities?

  89. Nikki D says

    I see alot of people have asked about different types of coconut oil, including liquid, if you can use the organic coconut oil for hair and skin or if it has to come out of the food isle. Which I didn’t see an answer to any of them. I bought organic coconut oil thinking it would be solid but it’s a liquid. I want to get started but with everyone talking about it being solid at first I’m wondering if what I have (liquid organic coconut oil) will have the same effects and if it’s safe to use? If someone could answer that for me it would be much appreciated. I would really like to get started and see the wonderful effects it has on me!

  90. says

    I read Bruce Fife’s book on Oil Pulling and felt it was worth a shot. I am terrible at flossing and have mild gingivitis, great teeth but terrible at flossing. I started doing it last friday and I got so many pimples popping up on my face. I knew it was working because of that alone. I rarely get pimples, unless I do detox diets so the fact I broke out in the first week of oil pulling really solidified it’s doing something in my system. My teeth already feel cleaner. I dry brush, so I just set my phone to 20 mins, and oil pull while I dry brush which takes about 15 mins to dry brush and then I take my shower and once the alarm goes off I spit out in a plastic container that I had cleaned out, this way when it’s full I can just throw the plastic jar away. I don’t find it hard to do the 20 mins but man it works your jaw like crazy.

  91. nicole says

    I have issues with my mouth breaking out in painful canker sores…and im curious if this would help?

    What sort of coconut oil should I use? I have extra virgin on hand…is there a difference?

  92. Marlyn says

    I am looking for ideas. How can I use coconut oil to heal my 2 year old daughter’s cavities? She does not swish yet.

  93. Kris Dyer says

    I just heard of this on FB a few days ago so I looked it up today and found your blog. Today I flossed and had pain and blood so I got worried and that’s when I thought of the oil pulling. I swished for 20 minutes today with olive oil and about 15 min into it all of a sudden my stomach started kind of turning and felt a little sick but after about 5 minutes it calmed down. Do you think the oil pulling could have caused that? I just wanted to see what you thought. My teeth do feel a lot cleaner.

    • LC says

      @Kris – I felt a little sick to my stomach, too, but I think it was just from the THOUGHT of having oil in my mouth :S Also, the coconut oil that I used (100% Pure Coconut Oil from the oil section at the grocery store) was “unscented” so I could kind of “taste” my bad breath (as gross as that sounds) and no matter how hard I tried NOT to think about it, the more I thought about it and felt weirded out! I’m going to get some of the Organic Virgin Coconut Oil as I’ve heard it TASTES like coconuts, so that may help :)

    • Allison Marsh says

      She wrote: “Swish for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria.”

  94. Sian Phillips says

    I really liked the sound of the benefits that seem possible from oil pulling, but I have to say after trying it twice so far I’m really not looking forward to doing it again. Maybe I just need to get used to it, but I personally don’t like the feel of the oil in my mouth, and both times afterwards I’ve felt really nauseous – has anyone else experienced this? Did it pass? Also, I’ve been using coconut oil to ‘oil cleanse’ my skin which was usually prone to breakouts and it has been amazingly clear since starting BUT two days after starting oil pulling I have a few pimple like bumps on my cheeks. Also my gums feel… almost inflamed where they weren’t before – again maybe this is an adjustment period? I’m certainly not seeing an immediate benefit and I’m not feeling inclined to persevere at this juncture… I may try the sesame oil instead to see if that makes any difference.

    Also, no way I can manage a tablespoon… a teaspoon was about all I could handle and although I made it to 12 minutes, that was pushing it. Having small children around makes it extremely difficult to not talk for 20 minutes!

  95. Karina says

    I started oil pulling a week ago after reading this article and I am starting to see a difference as far as my mouth is concerned. My mouth feels cleaner thought out the day and no lingering smell after I eat. Anyway, I noticed that every day since I started I’ve been having nightmares. I did some research on it today and found that other people also experience the same symptoms. Apparently it’s due to the change in toxins in your body, which is a good sign that it’s working! Downside is that I will probably have to deal with my bad dreams till I get used to it. Just thought I would share my peculiar experience, thank you Katie for sharing!!

  96. Joan Penfold says

    Thank you for sharing this. I have Lupus, Fibro and several health issues. My meds are destroying my teeth and mouth. I am going to give this a try and am sharing on my blog about this. I am also going to share link to your post.

    I have read where others with the same afflictions have benefited deom Oil Pulling and it is certainly not going to hurt me to try this.

  97. Anne Yocom says

    I tried the oil pulling with coconut oil Sunday morning and Monday morning, and I had a moderately severe allergic reaction to it, where my neck swelled and I had hives, so not doing that again.

  98. Stephanie says

    I tried oil pulling for the first time a few days ago. I cannot seem to go more than a few minutes without a swallowing reflex. It’s not that I am actively swallowing, just can’t help but make the motion while keeping the oil in my mouth. Is this normal? I don’t want to be swallowing toxins, I know IF any is going down it isn’t much…

  99. Stephanie Bartilson says

    I tried oil pulling for the first time a few days ago. I can’t seem to go more than a few minutes with out a swallowing reflex. It’s not that I am actively swallowing, just making the motion while keeping the oil in my mouth. IF any is going down it’s not much. Is this normal?

    • Kevin Weiss says

      If you’re getting a gag reflex it’s probably cause you’re using too much oil. 1 tbsp is a good recommended amount of oil to do but remember that it’s a recommendation. Everybody’s mouth size is a bit different. You definitely don’t want so much that you’re gagging, but not so little that it doesn’t provide enough for swishing. Happy pulling!

  100. Connie Bretzius says

    A lot of people are wondering about pulling if you have crowns. Is there a problem with that? Anyone done any research on that?

      • Simon says

        there is no research, You’ve cherry picked a couple of studies, done in India and various other places that don’t have the kind of oversight imposed in the EU or US where there’ll be a cultural bias toward it to start with, and each of the studies have at least one glaring hole in them.

  101. SLO says

    I used organic coconut oil for my first oil pulling a few days ago; pulled for 6-7 minutes, then spat out, rinsed, and brushed my teeth and tongue. Within 3 hours, my stomach was upset–I have a very strong stomach and am not prone to nausea–and the queasy feeling led to bloating and actual pain the first day and diarrhea the second. It’s been 3 days and I haven’t pulled, but I’m still having gastrointestinal problems. I would love to continue for the sake of my teeth and gums. If anyone has advice for getting through the initiation period, please post. Thanks!

  102. Anand says

    Yes Oil pulling significantly helps in improving and maintaining Oral health. I have gingivitis and it helps keeping it at bay. However,I start get mild chest pains off and on after i have been oil pulling for a month. The pain disappears if I stop pulling for few days.I am doing it with coconut oil . Any other oil and the symptoms are very aggravated.

    I have a active life and do jogging of 5kms (pace 5:30 to 6:30 min) three days in the week Can you suggest some relationship. I had an angiography done two years ago and was normal but my ECG is ischemic. I am veggie

  103. Allison Marsh says

    I thought I was never going to be able to swish the coconut oil for 20 minutes, today marked my third day in a row and no problems at all! I just unload the dishwasher or check emails so the time goes by pretty quickly. No gagging or anything unpleasant, it is definitely doable. My question though is, do I still have to floss as well? I find it ironic that I’d rather pull oil than floss but I can’t stand flossing! Anyone know?

  104. Deborah says

    I am on my 9th day of oil pulling. On the 6th day, I started to have symptoms of a virus and/or sinus infection. I felt like I was running a fever even though I wasn’t and was very tired. Next two days I felt ok in morning but then by mid-morning, felt bad again and yesterday was actually running a degree fever. I have had these a lot in my life and it is usually diagnosed as sinus infection caused by a virus and I always end up taking antibiotics, but not in several years because my health is much better than it used to be. I am still feeling really poorly today and have missed some work because of it. While I know if may be a healing crisis/release of toxins, I don’t want to miss any more time nor have my work impaired. I started oil pulling 2-3 times/day yesterday to get through it, but now I think maybe I should just stop for a few days rather than increasing it. I really like how my mouth looks and feels so am disappointed if I need to stop for awhile. I’m not sure which way to go at this point. Any advice? Thanks.

  105. Tim says

    I tried pulling for the first time this morning. I thought I had been careful at the grocery store when buying coconut oil to use but I ended up with a jar of REFINED coconut oil. I only noticed this at the 17 minute mark of my 20 minutes of swishing. I guess I’ll go drop another $9 today to get the UNREFINED but I’m wondering what the difference is. What does the refining process do to the coconut oil? Should I just switch to untoasted sesame?

  106. Diane Nunez, RDH says

    I am a dental hygienist and the easiest way to “pull” toxins from your mouth is by using a simple piece of FLOSS!!! and it only takes a few minutes!! If everyone would brush 2-3 times a day, floss once a day and get your teeth cleaned at least twice a year…you wouldn’t need to hope that these folk remedies will work….because they don’t!

    • says

      Do you have any studies that they don’t work or are harmful? The oils used are edible and safe to use in the mouth. I’m certainly not suggesting that people don’t floss, but many people notice a tremendous difference from oil pulling and my dentist is in full support of it…

  107. Rachel Miller says

    I started pulling with Coconut oil last week. The first time I tried, I almost spit the oil out as the texture felt really gross in my mouth. Once it melted, it wasn’t that bad at all. I like the taste of coconuts so that helped. The first thing I do every morning is put Coconut Oil in my mouth and start my timer. I find it easy to do while getting ready in the morning. The time actually goes by quickly.
    I have been putting the Coconut Oil in the microwave to melt it before pulling. Does heating the oil have any affect on pulling results?

    • Meme says

      Rachel… heating in the microwave takes away the natural healing properties in Organic Coconut Oil.
      You can heat up some water in a kettle and pour it into a bowl…put some coconut oil into a cup and place it in the bowl. This will liquify the oil. This is what I do.

  108. Becky says

    Does it HAVE to be in the mornings? I find it’s easier to do it in the evenings during my shower. I would think that evenings would be better since you’re rinsing out the bacteria you developed from eating throughout the day…but I could be wrong… Mornings aren’t a good time for me to oil pull. Also, I rinse with water then Listerine after I spit the coconut oil out. Is that ok? Thanks!

  109. Kristi says

    I spit mine into a paper bathroom cup, the little ones, and let it re-solidify before tossing into the trash. This makes no mess in the trash.

  110. Carrie Berry says

    I bought some coconut oil and a tongue scraper, and I’m going to start this soon. Thinking that 20 minutes is a long time, but I’m sure it will become part of a routine and be no problem.
    When I spit out [in a garbage can, not the drain so it won't clog the drain], I’m wondering if it would be better to spit into something that will absorb the liquid like kitty litter or sand. I’m not sure I’d like to change the garbage can liner after spitting in it for several days.
    What do you usually spit into?

  111. Sarah Gee says

    Yesterday I had my first check-up and cleaning since starting oil pulling in January. I didn’t say anything abut to my hygienist when she first started poking around with the instruments and having a look. Then she started making comments like “you’re doing a good job”, “your mouth is really clean”, etc. Then I told her about the oil pulling, which she had never heard of. She said it make a difference, then looked right at me and emphasized “a BIG difference”.

    I am a believer and an evangelizer!

  112. Kris says

    So, I’ve been doing the oil pulling for about a month or so, but here’s the thing. Sometimes, I forget. I am so NOT a schedule-type of person, but I try to remember in the mornings before breakfast when I can . (Last week at my mom’s I kept the oil by my bedside and did it maybe, three-four times that week). Today is the first day since then that I did it. If I am not doing it everyday, or miss a few days, is that okay? Am I still getting benefits? I would hate to think I have to go back to square one and start over consistently if I forget a few days….

  113. Rachel (Mrs. Brunette Beauty) says

    I wanted to try oil pulling because of my on-going chronic plaque, frequent canker sores from toothpaste, and my recent receding gums and painful molars /jaw. I used organic Virgin coconut oil for medium heat. Here is my experience:

    I placed a small chunk of oil on the the outer/upper teeth and let my cheeks melt it. Instantly my tooth surface pain started to go away as it does right after the plaque is scrapped off or killed. It thickened quite quickly and I was only able to keep it slowly moving around in my mouth for 5 minutes before it multiplied so big i had to spit it out and do a second round. It kinda feels like smartwater when grows. After I spit it out I noticed my jaw pain wasn’t there any more and my gums were a PERFECT healthy pink. My teeth were really white to start with (pop/coffee/sugar free life!) so I can’t really say anything to that, but they did seem to have a nice healthy “glow” to them (that just might be the gums giving off an overall improvement effect but oh well.) Since I knew I was going for round 2 I only flossed and skipped the saltwater rinse that is suggested. Let me tell you – that was the easiest, most pain-free floss I have ever given myself. My gums felt so strong. And it was only a 5 minute oil pulling!!! So as i typed this up i did round two, and the sores in my mouth (canker?) are no longer swollen or even there for the matter. Please excuse me while I go spit into the trash and rinse with warm salt water!

  114. Chandler114 says

    I’m just curious, can I use regular Extra virgin Olive oil or does it HAVE to be cold pressed? I read in a lot of places that only say cold pressed.

    • Tekbow says

      Would perhaps Cold Pressed be the pricier option? I would take a close look at the people making those comments and whether they work for the marketing departments of food condiment companies…

  115. Krissy says

    I had been oil pulling a bit but just got braces on. (I am an adult). I stopped oil pulling because I didn’t want the areas under the brackets to not be whitened whilst the rest of my teeth are. Do you think it would be okay to continue to pull or was I correct in stopping?

    • Tekbow says

      I wouldn’t worry about it as there’s practically no scientific evidence this works.. There could be any number of reasons for the apparent increase in teeth and gum health, ranging from the psychosomatic to people who engage in this kind of fad usually start it in conjunction with other “healthy living activities such as “eating well” and “exercise”.. as well as the fact that if you’re prepared to spend to mins a day doing this, you’re probably, without realising it, taking better care of your oral health in the first place, brushing for longer and more effectively, flossing more regularly etc etc.

      I mean seriously, you say you’re worried about the patches under your braces staying the same colour while the rest of tooth gets whiter? is brushing not more likely to cause that anyway???

  116. Simon says

    Can i ask why my previous posts in reply to a few others questions here were removed? i was not rude, or derogatory, just pointed out a few salient things that people should take into consideration when espousing the “benefits” of this treatment

  117. Camille says

    Your body needs bacteria. It’s probably not the best idea to use so many anti bacterials unless you are very ill. Doing this so often creates superbug virus/ drug resistant germs.

  118. rebecca says

    my teeth where whiter after ONE day. 20 minutes is NOT long. I’ve heard seasame oil is best, but unroasted, organic sesame oil is SO expensive. any who. thanks for your post and all your links. I was looking for more info, and I found it!

  119. zeus says

    Two weeks ago I was online searching for some inexpensive teeth whitening home remedy.

    I came across several articles regarding “oil pulling.” Read countless reviews on its immediate effects for improving the color of one’s teeth.

    I was skeptical, but tried anyway. Bought organic sesame oil from Trader Joe’s. Did the requisite 20 minutes. First time was a slight struggle (now it’s a breeze).

    Haven’t noticed anything yet.

    Then while brushing my teeth this morning after my daily 20 mins, I look in the mirror and see there is a noticeable change.

    Now, I may not be so embarrassed to smile after years of brown liquids: colas, coffee, tea, etc.

    I’m going to stay on this routine until my next ENT appointment in October and see if the doc sees anything differently. He used to be a dentist and said never use over the counter mouthwash again and suggested using Biotene to wash and Sensodyne to brush with as well as floss.

    I do these after I oil pull.

  120. sandie keane says

    Having gone tot he dentist regularly twice a year since i was a child, I was told yesterday I had chronic gum disease..This shook me as I was told by a hygenist that it had been building up for years. I have just moved dentists as my previous dentist retired and this news has shook me. I have been told i now need a treatment plan of 4 initial visits to go under anesthetic for a deep scale of my teeth and the cost is in the £100′s each visit..Am I too late to start oil pulling ?

  121. Maggie says

    IF 20 MINUTES IS too long initially for the maximum benefit of old pulling, try pulling for less then working up to the the full 20 minutes. Right now I am starting for 10 then gradually work up to 20.

  122. Helen says

    Did my first oil pull this morning using a full teaspoon … Wanting to see how it felt/worked. No problems at all, will use more Coconut Oil (organic virgin) tomorrow! Thanks for an insightful and informative blog.

  123. Marco says

    Has the author of this post, or any readers actually CRITICALLY read the ”researched evidence” articles listed? (the way one is supposed to read any scientific research)?

    If anyone did they would notice that none of those studies really provide clinically significant in results that promote the use of oil pulling.

    First of all lets look at the study by Asokan et al, “Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.”

    The first flaw one should notice immediately is that only 20 individuals are used as test subjects, this is not a statistically significant participant pool, so right from the get go the credibility is questionable. This is basic fundamentals when it comes to publishing research, a participant pool of 20 is laughable.
    The best part about this study is that they blatantly state that chlorhexidine is the gold standard, right there in the study! So basically the researchers measured the prevalence of steptococcus mutans at different intervals after treatment with oil vs chlorhexidine. They evaluate at the 24hr, 48hr, 1 week and 2 weeks marks. They found that a decrease in s mutans was noted at the 1 week and 2 weeks marks for oil, and at ALL 4 time intervals for chlorhexidine.
    So what do we conclude from this? Well chlorhexidine is MORE effective at s mutans population reduction. So basically the clinical significance translates to, one should rinse with chlorhexidine, but if for whatever reason it is not available (which if you live in the US this is probably not really a concern), you could maybe use oil and it will be less effective. So in a developing country, yes maybe coconut oil could be useful, but in developed nations it is not quite as useful.

    So then another study is cited (also by Asokan et al), “Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study”. If one reads this study, it sounds strikingly familiar, hmm maybe thats because its basically the same study, but now they draw slightly different conclusions from it. That seems a bit shady to me, especially since again the study sample is 20 individuals! which does not provide a clinically significant research population. What is really funny though is that even though only 20 are used, we still saw that chlorhexidine was more effective!

    Now another study listed by Thaweboon et al “Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models”. This study is similar but evaluates a few different species of microorganisms (S mutans, L casei, C albicans). So basically they expose microorganisms in a biofilm to the oils and chlorhexidine.
    They find that coconut oil reduced S mutans by 2.5log reductions, C albicans by 1log reductions, however L casei was resistant to it. Sesame oil reduced S mutans by 1log reductions, L casei again was resistant and sunflower oil reduced C albicans by 1log reductions., also L casei was resistant.
    Now we get to our friend chlorhexidine. Which completely eliminated S mutans, and reduced C albicans by 1.5log reductions (greater reduction than both oils). Then L casei (who was resistant to oils) is reduced by 3log reductions.
    So again this study proves the effectiveness of chlorhexidine as being superior to oils. They also make mention in the articles that oils could be useful in a developing country (as I mentioned above).
    That is all the effort I want to put into these studies, but the obvious conclusion is coconut oil pulling is not as effective as chlorhexidine rinse.

    The other thing to keep in mind, is if you accidentally inhale the oil you can cause yourself to suffer from lipoid pneumonia but I won’t bother getting into that.

    Please people open your minds, think critically, really look for the research and evidence.

    Do not be allured by the trends that travel across facebook, twitter, and blogs.

    Do not be hypnotized by a pretty website or post, or other people’s testimony.

    Do not swallow all of the health advice coming from blogs/youtube videos/etc, really investigate it for yourself.

    Ask for the evidence and read it critically, you deserve better than simply believing anything someone posts online.

    • says

      I absolutely agree that everyone should investigate any health claim before taking anything as fact. One thing that is also important to remember when comparing the effectiveness of oil pulling to chlorohexidine is that it isn’t advisable to use chlorohexidine in the mouth on a regular basis, while oils can be used daily without a problem.

  124. Steven Cannon says

    I was looking at prices of the Virgin Coconut Oil… Found Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil by Trader Joe’s for $8 for a 16 ounce bottle… That’s 3 bucks less expensive than the Nutiva 12 oz. bottle I get at Wal-Mart for $9.94… Anyone know if Trader Joe’s is a decent brand??? I’d buy that if it’s decent stuff…

    • Mary says

      Trader Joe’s is a reputable store and brand, as far as I know. I always plan a stop at TJs when traveling. The closest we have is an hour away.

  125. KENDRA says

    I would love to know if anyone has had this help problems of tooth fracture and pain with biting and temperature sensitivity in teeth? I have two teeth that have these issues and I think I am headed for a complete tooth pulling on one and a root canal on the other :\ looking for natural ways to help avoid this!

  126. Cherrie says

    If you do the oil pulling before eating breakfast, then is it ok to brush your teeth after eating or does this negate the oil pulling?

  127. Susan says

    I too had trouble with the consistency, especially letting it melt in my mouth. I take a small measuring cup (the kind that come with kids medicines), scoop the coconut oil into that (evenly), and float it in a small cup of hot, hot water. After 2 or 3 minutes the oil is liquid and warm. If you pour it under your tongue you can barely feel it in your mouth, as opposed to when it is cold! I also noticed mucous drainage for the first few days, and had acne-like bumps around my mouth and on my chin. After a week the bumps are gone and my mouth feels really clean! I’m surprised to see results that soon and feel good knowing I am absorbing good fats and vitamins, and hopefully helping cleanse at least my mouth!

  128. ERICA says

    I started pulling yesterday with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. I could only pull for 5 minutes yesterday then 2 minutes today because I start gagging…I am trying to work up to 20 minutes but feel like I am wasting my time since the minimum time should be 20 minutes for any benefits. Has anyone experienced this?

  129. Monica says

    Sorry if I’m repeating something that’s already been asked, I didn’t read all 396 comments lol just wondering, is oil pulling safe for kids? What do your kids do daily for oral hygiene?

    • says

      Oil pulling is OK for children as long as they are not going to swallow it. If you think they will, hold off until they are old enough to pull without swallowing it.

  130. Organic Fiji says

    This article gives wonderful tips about how to use coconut oil (and other oils!) for oil pulling!
    Quick tip when using any coconut oil products: Try to stay away from those that are refined. Stick with cold pressed organic coconut oil!

  131. Lisa M says

    Hi, Katie!
    I’m excited about all the neat things you’re sharing. Tonight I did the oil pulling with the coconut oil for the first time. I think I could have done 20 min but half way through I got a persistent urge to cough that I could’t suppress so I had spit it out. Within 5 minutes I resumed with another tsp of coconut oil and was able to go another 10 min. It’s not that hard. Swishing while watching TV, with a spit cup at hand just in case the 20 min flies by.

    I’ve had recessed gums and plaque builds up even with brushing so I’m eager to see how the oil pulling relieves these issues. Also, I’ve always had congestion and incessant throat clearing (annoying to me and others). I’m excited to look forward to the oil pulling cleansing.

    I’ll keep ya posted, Katie. Thanks so much! I also want to do the oil cleansing for my face.

    My 86 y.o. mother has been moisturizing her face with almond oil for years and has a wonderful complexion which is always noticed by others and with questions about since she has no wrinkles!

    It’s really cool knowing there are so many natural remedies to use!!!

    Lisa in Indy

  132. Aliel Ben Yeshua says

    I have several cracks in my teeth and some cavities. I brushed my teeth with tap water. Then I used extra virgin olive oil as a mouth wash for about 10 minutes.

    For 2 1/2 days afterward, my tooth sensitivity was gone, my teeth felt smooth as opposed to jagged.

    I plan on buying some virgin coconut oil and doing it every morning.

  133. Lisa M says

    Update on my oil-PULLING. It’s been 3 weeks of almost daily oil-PULLING with coconut oil and I’ve had splendid results: whiter teeth and smoother feeling clean teeth.

    I understand it can “restore enamel”. Yes?

    I’m very pleased to add this new daily health routine. Thanks, Katie. Spread the word on oil-PULLING! (NOT ‘swishing’). ha!

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