Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut Oil Pulling - How to use coconut oil to improve oral health

I wrote about oil pulling several years ago, well before it gained mainstream attention in the news and on fashion blogs.

It is something I’ve been doing off and on for years and I’ve seen noticeable effects from doing it. I figured that whitening my teeth with charcoal would be my most controversial oral health habit, but some recent debate in the comments on an oil pulling post has convinced me otherwise.

What is Oil Pulling?

As I explained in a past post:

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.

Essentially, oil pulling is just using a high quality organic oil as a mouthwash to help cleanse the mouth. Really, it could be called “oil-swishing” as the word “pulling” can be confusing but it refers to the idea that the oil is pulling bacteria out of the gums.

The oils that should be used for oil pulling are food grade and can also be eaten. Despite the fact that the oils can be consumed, some people get really upset about the idea of oil pulling and it has been a source of controversy in the media (isn’t everything a source of controversy in the media these days?)

Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling?

When oil pulling, the oils (especially oils with naturally antibacterial properties) bind to the biofilm, or plaque, on the teeth and reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. Streptococcus Mutans is one of the bacteria that is prominent in the mouth and it has been studied for its role in tooth decay and gum disease. Oil pulling has been shown to reduce the number of Streptococcus Mutans bacteria in the mouth, especially when done with coconut oil.

Some sources claim that coconut oil pulling can help everything from acne to sore throats and even heart disease, though I’ve never seen any scientific documentation of these claims. It is well known that good oral health practices can benefit the body in other ways, so it certainly may be beneficial as part of a good oral health routine. I certainly wouldn’t rely on oil pulling alone as a method to address any internal or serious medical problem, but I do find it helpful for keeping my mouth healthy and avoiding bad breath.

Coconut Oil Pulling Cautions

It is also important to use oil pulling as part of a comprehensive oral health regimen and not to use it as a replacement for normal oral hygiene and teeth brushing. My dentist was skeptical of many of the claims about coconut oil pulling being able to benefit the body internally, but said she considered it a safe alternative to mouthwash and didn’t see a problem with the practice when used in combination with other good dental hygiene methods.

Important Note: Some people report negative reactions to using coconut oil for oil pulling. Those with any type of topical or internal reaction to coconut in any form, should not use it for oil pulling or in any other way. In these cases, sesame oil would be a better alternative. As with this or any oral product, it is important to check with a dentist about any concerns or before using, especially if other dental conditions are present.

What Type of Oil?

Traditional cultures use sesame or sunflower oil for oil pulling but I personally prefer to use coconut oil for several reasons.

Coconut oil is effective in attacking Streptococcus Mutans bacteria which causes cavities. It is rich in medium chain triglycerides and high in lauric acid.

Coconut oil has dozens of uses, and we already have it in every room of the house since we use it in toothpaste, deodorant, in cooking and even as a coffee creamer.

In my personal experience, coconut oil pulling is more effective at removing plaque and whitening teeth than sesame oil, although I don’t have any scientific studies that prove the difference.

How to Use  Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling

  • Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth. I also pour a few drops of Brushing Blend or Essential Oil into the mix. (Just make sure any essential oil is safe to use in the mouth).
  • 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.
  • 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 and plaque that are now not in the mouth!
  • Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). Occasionally, I swish with salt water which seems more effective but is also more work.
  • Brush well. I prefer to brush with Brushing Blend or homemade toothpaste to make sure any remaining bacteria is removed.

Note: At the suggestion of a friend, I’ve also experimented with using MCT oil in place of coconut oil. MCT oil is a great option for those who don’t like the taste of coconut oil but still want the benefits. It is more expensive but I really like the combination of MCT oil and essential oils for oil pulling.

For more information on how I use oil pulling and on my other natural oral health resources, check out my oral health page.

Try Coconut Oil Pulling Chews

Since writing this post, I’ve discovered a way to simplify oil pulling with coconut oil by making mini coconut oil chews that melt in the mouth. Pre-making these with essential oils and freezing them is an easy way to have pre-portioned bites for oil pulling and has also made it easier for me to get my husband and kids to try it.

This original coconut oil pulling chews recipe (and even the picture of them) has been copied by multiple other websites but the recipe and instructions can be found at the link above.

Have you ever used coconut oil for oil pulling? How did you like it? Share below!

Coconut oil pulling is a natural way to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and improve oral health. I use coconut oil and essential oils for fresh breath.

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Reader Comments

  1. Would organic refined coconut oil be effective for oil pulling?

    • Unrefined is best, but in a pinch you could use refined.

      • Is refined still as affective as unrefined?

      • I am going to start oil pulling I hear so many benefits from It I have to give it a try! The coconut oil I have is solid. Do you heat it up 1st? Or does it become liquid after swishing for a little while?

          • My oil isnt staying solid in the heat. Does liquid work as well?

        • My coconut oil says its liquid above 76 degrees and solid under. 🙂

          • I use mine either way, if it’s solid I dig out a spoonful and it melt in my mouth. My niece says the solid makes her gag so she melts it first. It’s great and the important thing is to use it.

        • It becomes a liquid in your mouth
          It’s easier to store and use
          I prefer the solid version
          Hope this helps

        • In my opinion it is much easier heated up and put into your mouth as a liquid than a solid. Sticking a gob of oil into my mouth as a solid was really not very appealing and the thought of chewing on a chunk of oil made me want to gag. JMO

        • It melts in your mouth. Mine is solid too

        • Yes it is solid at room temp. It will liquify quickly in mouth. Sometimes i set mine gently in warm water before pulling.

    • Does fractionated coconut oil work as well? Because it’s already liquid it seems easier, but maybe some of the benefits are gone due to the process it underwent. Thoughts?

      • I believe that is what she was referring to in her article as MCT or Medium Chain Triglyceride which is fractionated coconut oil. 🙂

    • Save all your used plastic bread bags or other bags and spit the oil in the bag and throw it in the trash. You don’t want to spit in the sink or toilet or you”ll clog your drains over time. Besides you don’t want that toxic stuff in the water system. I save all my plastic bags that will end up in the trash anyway

      • Never mind the dumps you flush down the toilet, you don’t want toxic oral bacteria in the water system!

        • For real?

          You know what else goes through the sewage pipes, right? A few bacteria from the mouth are the least bothersome.

        • You don’t want the oil in your pipes. Over time, they will clog. The bacteria is not the issue. LOL!

        • FYI: When bodies are autopsied, the blood drained out of the body goes into your local water system.

      • You do know what goes into the sewage system right? The toxins from your mouth aren’t that bad compared to other activities. I was interested in your blog until I read this comment. It made me skeptical.

        • The main reason you spit it into the trash is that coconut oil becomes solid at temps below 75 degrees. In plumbing it can cause great problems clogging drains and drain pipes. Poo breaks down in water, but coconut oil does not.

        • Why be a jerk and comment then?!! Common sense, which you don’t seem to have, would tell you that putting oil down a sink is a bad thing. This women has a great blog. Don’t read it if you don’t like it and keep your nasty opinion to yourself.

          • can it get rid of a infection

        • The oil hardens and will clog your pipes. It’s not the bacteria she is warning you about..

        • Yes, coconut oil hardens and coats where it sits

        • It’s simple! Coconut oil will turn solid and clog up pipes. It has Nothing to do with the bacteria going down the drain.

    • I would use unrefined instead of refined. Refined uses bleach and changes state of coconut oil. I use aviva pure Cocopull packets because they’re easy to use and travel with.

  2. Katie, after a friend of mine pointed me out to your website, he talked to me about oil pulling and referred to the old article you published a couple of years back. I have been oil pulling for about 6 months now and I can totally see the difference. You are completely correct, using coconut oil is so amazing on my teeth and oral hygiene in general. My teeth are way wither than they were… I also use the activated charcoal at least once a week and I try to do it more and more.
    Thank you for inspiring me to oil pull. I love it and my dentist LOVES YOU!

    • I’m so glad it’s working so well for you! Thanks for reading!

    • did you brush with the charcoal before or after the oil pulling?

  3. 20 min sounds like a long time. Are you still able to talk? Or is this a dedicated time? Just wondering this as a busy mama!

    Also please expand on why not to spit in the sink. . .What happens?

    • If 20 minutes seems too long, start out with less and work up. And yes, your mouth is pretty full, so you won’t be talking. People seem to have luck combining oil pulling time with their shower or morning routine (that way they avoid talking while pulling).
      You don’t want to spit in the sink because once it leaves the heat of your mouth, the oil will turn solid and gunk up your pipes.

      • I love the idea of doing this in the shower. Perfect solution for me. Can’t wait to start this in my shower today!

  4. I have been oil pulling for almost a year now. I do it about 5 mornings a week, fitting it in with my morning routine before the rest of the family is up. I have always had pretty good oral health, so I can’t say I see any dramatic improvement, but I do think me teeth are whiter and they definitely feel clean for longer than they used to throughout the day. I really don’t see any downside to doing it.

    • Lost my job and couldn’t afford to go to the dentist on a regular basis but noticed that my teeth felt like there was some type of coating on them and were turning yellow. Once I started this 20 minute routine I noticed a difference almost immediately. Frankly I think my teeth look better and now then when I was going to the dentist on a regular basis.

  5. What is the effect, if any, of the oil on dental work such as porcelain crowns?

  6. Would safflower oil work well? (That’s what I’ve been using as I don’t currently have coconut oil, etc.)

    • It’s generally agreed upon that coconut oil is the best because of its natural antimicrobial properties. If you only have safflower, however, you could use it for now.

    • Unless it is organic safflower oil, most safflower oil in the U.S. is from GMO rapeseed.

      • Canola oil is derived from rapeseed, and yes, much of it is GMO these days. Safflower oil is derived from the safflower plant.

  7. I have been oil pulling off and on for about a year. I have read numerous times that the oil will be thicker and milky white when spit out. I’ve never noticed either one to happen when I spit it out after 20 minutes. 1. what are the reasons for the thickness and milky white color? and 2. what is the reason these don’t happen for me?

    • The milky color occurs when using seseme oil. Another oil used in oil pulling. You should also Google oil pulling because the benefits exceed oral health alone! It is quite amazing ????

      • I use organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil and after 20 mins it’s milky white. Started off clear. I don’t think it is just a safflower thing.

  8. Where did oil pulling originate from?

    • Oil pulling originated in India

  9. Can oil pulling affect dental work? I tried it for about a week (not long enough to see any obvious results) until I read someone’s comment about it loosening their dental fillings. I’d love to have whiter teeth, cleaner mouth but can’t afford to replace fillings.

    • I am also concerned about the loosening of fillings. I first learned of oil pulling on your site, and I was planning to start with the coconut oil today, but read an article that said people with current fillings could result in cracked teeth or loose fillings. Has anyone with dental fillings tried oil pulling? If so, what was your experience?

      • It’s just oil, people! Do you eat any food with oil in it? It couldn’t possibly loosen your fillings anymore than swishing with water. Chewing meat is more worrysome. You’d better puree all your steaks and burgers from now on….

      • been oil pulling for about a month now and I have not experienced any loosening of fillings and I have a lot of them. If anything it’s made my teeth stronger and less sensitive when I chew, when before it was somewhat painfull, and my mouth feels way cleaner than before…good luck

      • First time I ever did oil pulling, I went to brush and floss and my front tooth chipped off a small section but compared to the size of the tooth, it was significant. Can’t say it was due to the oil pulling, but not sure if it would have happened had I not done it.

      • I’ve oil pulled with coconut oil on and off for years, i have 5 crowns and one filling and have had no issues what so ever. I can’t imagine this could be any more harmful to dental work than regular eating. My gums do look better though.

      • It might depend on how old the fillings are and the quality. Fillings can come out when they get older no matter what you do. Flossing can even do it sometimes but you should still floss. Also, not all fillings are the same quality. I have fillings from two different dentists and the ones from the first aren’t very good. I only just started oil pulling so I can’t say whether it effects any of my fillings or other dental work (I have really bad teeth..genetic from my grandfather) however, it’s just oil. I doubt it can be any more damaging than scraping the teeth at the dentist, flossing, eating fruit, or drinking soda, or chewing chewy food or gum.

        • I have genetically bad teeth too! (All I can day is at least they look good from the front when I smile lol) I asked my brother in law (a dentist ) about this last week. His personal opinion was- it can’t hurt and might help. I’m on board! I have my first side cavity and in between jobs so I don’t have the $$ to go to the dentist. I took a picture before starting and will see if it has any Change at all in a couple months! I’ve seen pics all over the Internet where this helps but I really don’t think there will be much, if any difference! To be continued…… 🙂

          • I’m having serious problems with severe periodontal disease. Will oil pulling help reverse this.. I’m way to scared to go to a dentist to many bad issues as a kid.

      • When I started oil pulling my filling loosen and I had to get my tooth pulled.

      • No problem with my filings, I’ve been oil pulling with virgin coconut oil for almost 5 years. The hygienist has very little work to clean my teeth. No cavities, no gum disease. You can’t go wrong with it. I average 5 times a week.

      • I’m wondering who wrote the article you read about oil pulling harming dental work. Was it written by a dentist whose income could be negatively affected by patients who start oil pulling?

    • I think It loosens filings because long term oil pulling is said to heal cavities. Maybe it forces the filling out because new enamel is growning. YES, i know we have all been told that enamel doesn’t grow back but you can’t believe everything you hear lol

  10. Ive been using extra virgin olive oil…do u recommend that one as well?

    • i have a tooth ache on my molers upper left second tooth inside the crack
      wondering if the oil pulling heals that , i use extra virgin olive, planning on getting unrefined cold press virgin coconut, so my main question is does it heal a tooth ache, for when i floss it sends a shiver through me like the start of a cavity

      • It won’t heal a toothache and definitely won’t heal a crack! It also won’t cure gum disease, it is a serious disease and once you have it you have it for life! It can’t hurt I’m sure to oil pull but it’s not going to cure dental caries or gumdisease so very important you keep up with your six monthly dental appointments and three monthly if you have gum disease!

        • it can certainly be used as one part of a plan to heal your teeth though. … yeah, wild, I know. teeth can regrow. who knew. no one eating sugar n grains anyway. 😉

  11. I truly love reading your blog (so thank you)! I have been doing oil pulling for several months now & totally love the results – my TMJD symptoms have been improving, my teeth feel cleaner than ever, I sleep better, etc. I almost always use coconut oil – and recently I have been adding raw honey (1/4 tsp) a few times a week or activated charcoal (~1/4 tsp) in with the coconut oil; and I feel this helped dramatically.

  12. I have been oil pulling for about 4 months now. I must say that I have noticed a difference in gum pain and tooth sensitivity issues. I was told that I have decay under a crown, and that it needed to be removed, another root canal and another crown. I opted for oil pulling instead, too my own decision. I have no pain in that tooth anymore. I will continue to oil pull. I will follow up with my dentist in August. Thanks

    • It will not reverse decay. It doesn’t replace dental work. It’s not Magic.

      • I’d say it did reverse the decay if that girl said it did- she’s the one who experienced it.

      • Reread her comment. She didn’t say it reversed the decay– she stated it eliminated the pain that was a result of the decay…

    • Hi. I have really bad oral health. Need 3 root canals. Just started oil pulling after reading this article. Can you let me know if your tooth healed. Will it help me in my case?

  13. I have to make a comment about the charcoal – I have teeth where the enamel is worn away and the dentin exposed. Unlike enamel, the dentin is very porous. When I tried brushing with activated charcoal to “whiten” my teeth, instead, they absorbed the black – and I would say 6 months later, some of it still remains. I do not recommend charcoal unless your teeth are already well-protected with strong enamel. That said, I have had good results with using coconut oil.

    • Hi Blythe …. your comment may be of great help to me. Just this past month, I’ve decided to do really be faithful with the oil pulling, teeth brushing with tooth soap, and followed by a gum healing product called Peri-Gum. And, the results …. my teeth are turning brownish, and getting translucent, and causing me to not smile in public anymore! It’s embarrassing to say the least. I purchased the activated charcoal, but will not use it until this problem is solved … yet, I am perplexed as to what is causing the problem in the first place. (I also switched from drinking coffee to drinking tea … I also wonder if that is part of the problem). Well, my question to you, have you been able to rebuild your enamel? Or , is that even possible?? Thanks, anyone, for their reply to this.

      • I can’t see where oil pulling will hurt (after brushing) but nothing can substitute for proper brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush, using toothpaste (preferably one with baking soda and calcium carbonate) and flossing. Reducing the number of bacteria i.e. removing the materia alba or plaque formation, is the goal. Oil pulling with coconut oil may soothe the tissue but the teeth and gums must be properly cleaned first. I can guarantee you, swishing oil in your mouth will not remove heavy plaque or calculus that has formed on the teeth nor will it whiten them.
        Some herbal teas may stain the teeth as well as some ingredients in certain toothpastes. Coffee, black tea, red wine, soda and other beverages may also cause stain. Receding gums expose the root surface of the tooth which is called dentin, it is different from enamel, much softer, a darker color and more porous. It is more susceptible to caries, staining and damage. Enamel cannot regenerate once it is lost but you can strengthen the tooth surface that remains by regular gentle brushing, a good toothpaste with calcium carbonate, natural fluoride that is found in tea leaves and proper minerals in your diet.
        T Edwards RDH

        • Have you tried it? Can you testify of the results? I understand you’re highly educated and experienced within that education, but this article and website are about alternatives to conventional dental treatment that she has experienced herself. I believe it, because it has worked for me and 4 of my kids who had abscessed cavities. The infection went away and the cavity drastically improved. Just would like to hear testimonials of real experience…

      • Yes you can rebuild enamel! Look it up, it’s a hard to follow diet but it can be done! Possibly you’re just not getting enough calcium/vit D.

    • I made this mistake, too. My teeth look absolutely horrible now. It’s so embarrassing. Oil pulling has been great for my gums. Adding the charcoal in made me look like my teeth are about to rot out of my head. It’s so demoralizing.

      • You should try brushing with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide 1-2 x a week for whitening

        • I tried making a naming soda paste with just soda n water then swisher with peroxide. While it did make a difference in appearance- whitening my teeth, they became horribly sensitive. Even when my mouth was closed it felt like cold air was hitting my teeth. I was so bummed. It stopped about a week after I stopped with the peroxide.

  14. I love the way oil pulling makes my mouth feel. I just read about swishing with grape juice (organic). I tried it for the first time this morning. There were bits of things coming out in the juice which is not in the pure unused juice. Would love to know what you think!

    • I’d think it would be tiny bits of food trapped between teeth and under gums.

    • swishing with juice sounds idiotic to me.. juice is full of sugar which bacteria feed on and turns acidic within the mouth

  15. Thank you for all of the wonderful information both on your blog and on your new podcast-so helpful for the busy mommy with only so much reading time available! I started oil pulling about a year ago because of you and have not looked back, my teeth feel so clean, they are no longer sensitive and they are whiter than I ever thought possible. Thank you!

  16. I’ve been interested in oil pulling for a while now. But I thought I read somewhere that it’s not suggested for someone with amalgam fillings. Have you heard that too? That’s why I’ve avoided it so far. I’m thinking about having them removed possibly but I intend to have another baby and wanted to wait until after I’m finished nursing.

  17. I am having some teeth sensitivity where a root canal was done and thinking about doing oil pulling. But I am also breastfeeding, and have read it can cause detox affects that can go into the breastmilk. Wondering if that’s true? I also bought that book Cure Tooth Decay so I will also try out the Cod Liver / Butter Oil blend… I’m trying everything I can to see if the sensitivity will go away. Can’t afford to get another root canal!

    • Yes it works well! It should certainly help with your sensitivity issues. Don’t forget to cut out anything with phytic acid and definitely try the butter oil/FCLO pills, they have helped me immensely. Also you can try boiling and grinding up local, organic eggshells and adding them like salt to your food. They are very high in calcium and other trace minerals 🙂

  18. I would like to try this and I’m wondering what coconut oil is the best one to use here? Right now I have a raw organic coconut oil on hand.
    It has a soft, creamy consistency. Would that work? And instead of Oregano Essential Oil, could I use Sage or Tea Tree as these are the only ones I have on hand right now and they have similar properties from what I see. And here you specifically point out to spit the oil into the trash can and not sink as this would cause problems with the plumbing. I tried the coffee vanilla scrub which works great so far but now I was wondering if there is anything to keep in mind regarding the plumbing when rinsing off since it has a little coconut oil as well and ground coffee. I’m a little worried it may cause some problems at some point.

    • I too have raw organic coconut oil, and would like to know if that will work?

  19. I was wondering if this would be ok to do since I am nursing my baby. Would any toxins it pulls out get in the milk? Should I wait to start this after i wean her? Thanks:)

    • I’ve done it while nursing and haven’t had a problem with it since the toxins should be pulled in to the oil and not in to the blood stream.

  20. I have generally healthy teeth (my hygienist always says they look great) but I’ve been having extremely painful nerve sensitivity for the last while, especially with anything sweet, and cold to a lesser degree. It’s not just one tooth – it the entire area where the food touched, often the entire row. The top is much worse than the bottom. The worst was a piece of dried apricot – the pain was so excruciating I thought I’d pass out. I’ve even had it with seemingly innocuous foods like a gluten-free cracker. The starch in it must’ve clung to the tooth. Swishing with warm salt water helps (tho is painful at first). My hygienist said my gums were swollen and exposing the roots, causing pain. I had been using Tom’s fluoride-free toothpaste but discovered it now contains SLS so switched to an Ayurvedic one, and I use a super soft nimbus brush. At my ND’s suggestion, I started oil pulling with EVCO but have not had any improvement yet. Though I know I’m not doing it as regularly as I should. I have chronic Lyme so inflammation is a big issue (one we’re working on) and could be contributing. I’ve been more rash prone too, at the same time my teeth pain got worse. Just developing rashes all the sudden in reaction to moisturizers, soap, etc, even stuff for sensitive skin, and also the day after shaving – terrible red bumps over the area. Just mentioning these other issues as background in case they’re related to the gum/teeth issues. Anything else you would recommend to help with this extreme sensitivity? Or something I should add to the EVCO when I swish? I’d really really appreciate it! Thanks so much!

    • This is the perfect situation for oil pulling – I feel that any sensitivity I get is due to an internal infection/inflammation around the nerve or root – and when I pull oil I can literally feel that area getting warmer/hotter and I feel that that is the oil attacking those bodies. I was in excruciating pain and could not sleep, tried multiple things. Clove oil numbed the pain for a short while but did not ameliorate it. Oil pulling took the pain away almost immediately and the pain free period lasted a good while. After eating again, I pulled oil again. This diminished the pain entirely. Now I am on a regular schedule of pulling oil daily, or if I feel I have eaten food that would aggravate the issue, I pull oil again afterward. Super effective!! 🙂

  21. Just a couple of questions for you: do I brush my teeth then oil pull then brush my teeth again or start my routine with oil pulling then finish with brushing my teeth?

    Also, how frequently do you recommend doing oil pulling per week?

    Thank you so much for the info!

    • You would typically want to do oil pulling first, before you put anything else in your mouth. You can do it everyday (some people do it up to 3 times a day, like brushing). You can start small and work up if that seems daunting, though. Maybe do it once or twice a week at first.

      • Actually Dr. Bruce Fife in his book on oil pulling recommends brushing your teeth first and then oil pull.
        Then brush your tongue with a tooth brush set aside “after oil pulling tongue brushing” and then swish your mouth with a xylitol rinse for a minute or two. You can make your own rinse by using 1/4 teaspoon of pure xylitol and about 4 oz of water. This is enough for about 3-4 rinses. Xylitol has anti-bacterial properties.

  22. Just started oil pulling. Coconut oil definitely better and easier than olive oil. Just after oil pulling I experienced an intense earache and headache. Coincidence? or does this mean something?

    Love your website! Thanks!

    • I’m no expert, but my guess is that you might be swishing with the oil a little too intensely. The very first time I started oil pulling, I went at it like a champ and swished it around rather vigorously for 10 minutes and noticed a tension in my head afterwards. Pretty much everything as far as jaw, throat, ear canals, sinus cavities, and eyes are all connected (ever notice how when you yawn and sometimes your ear pops or when you sneeze and sometimes your ear gets plugged up?) It all has to do with the pressure inside your skull, and swishing oil for 20 mins can affect the pressure. Plus, I bet the muscles in your face/jaw were just a little sore from swishing. Perhaps just be gentler the next time around.

      Hope this helps!

    • I am going to go in a different direction with this and say that some antibodies/bacteria from your sinuses were killed off, causing a fluid imbalance or a need for your body to change the fluids therein. This might have made you feel pressure in your sinuses, leading you to feel those pains. I’d say keep it up and you may be healing something dormant you didn’t even know was there 🙂

  23. Can I do this while 6 mo. pregnant?

    • I do it when I am pregnant, but if you are concerned, speak with your doctor!

  24. Katie, do you know if oil pulling/activated charcoal works for interior teeth stains? I just came from my dentist and I have small greenish stains near my gums and my dentist said that “there was nothing they could do”. I found that it could possibly be a result from exposure to copper, nickel, or mercury mixed with bacteria. Possibly from my drinking water? No idea, but curious to see if anyone would know if these remedies would help with interior stains before I decide on laser whitening.

    • Well, it does help pull out toxins, so it may help those deeper stains. It certainly could not hurt. Everyone is different, so you might give it a try for a period of time, see if you notice results, and then decide if you want to try something else. It’s so simple (and inexpensive) that it’s worth a shot.

  25. Ive tried oil pulling but have a sensitive gag reflex. I can only handle about 15-30 seconds. Any suggestions to trick the gag reflex?

    • Do other mouth rinses also trigger your reflex?

    • I read somewhere that someone put a small drop of mint flavor in it to help them with the taste. You can probably put any food flavor extract. Also someone melted the coconut oil first because the texture caused them to gag. It melts very easily.. Good luck!

      • I am unable to chew the hard oil I gag immediately. I decided to melt it and also added a drop of peppermint oil and I have absolutely no troubles now. Because of the gag reflex I am also only able to swish 1 TBS at a time. I try to do this once a day and I feel like it has made a tremendous difference in my oral health.

    • I do too! I melted it first and was able to do the whole 20 min. Just now!

  26. Hi I thought I should share my experience with oil pulling. I started about 6 months ago after a really bad episode of toothache and a scary dentist visit. My ancestors – I am Indian – have been doing this for the longest time according to mum. So i tried with organic cold pressed coconut oil .Initially it was torturous as I could not pull for more than 5 minutes and now I have progressed to twenty minutes. I do it twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed time. In addition, to my whiter teeth, my once broken half tooth has regenerated … it i s so weird. My husband who poohed me then – now does oil pulling too 🙂 thank you again for your wonderful blog. Stay blessed.

  27. I’ve tried this a few times and I can’t seem to get past 10 minutes with it in my mouth because it fills with saliva! Ick! Is this normal? I started with 1 tsp of coconut oil and now I’m sitting here looking like a chipmunk, trying to fight the urge to spit some out. Should I just spit it out and put in another 1 tsp for another 10 minutes? I’m going to explode.

    • You can spit it out and go again if you need to or you can try a little less oil. This is a common reaction.

  28. For my own personal experience. I’ve been coconut oil pulling on and off for about a year and a half since I came across your original artical about it. I have the worst teeth ever and very weak. My mouth is full of dental work. After pregnancy, my teeth were in the worst shape yet and had 7k of work done. Sadly, no joke in that number. Yikes. Once I was done with the work I started to oil pull, I figured I had nothing to lose since I was already on every dental prescription there was. To my surprise and my dentist for the last year and a half I’ve not had one cavity and my over all mouth is so much healthier! None of my fillings are coming undone at all. I’ve not had to have any dental work since oil pulling. My teeth did not get whiter, but my teeth stay white even with coffee and tea use daily. I’ve never had bad plague build up too, I’ve just had weak teeth since I was a kid. For the first time in my life I’ve gone a year and a half without one cavity!! I oil pull on and off for 20 min. I don’t do it every day anymore like I did in the beginning, but doing it a few times a week has kept it up. Love it. Thank you so much.

    • Do you have any amalgam fillings? I have no dental insurance and my oral health is not the greatest. 🙁 I’ve read about all the benefits of oil pulling but I’ve also read you shouldn’t oil pull if you have amalgam fillings. I just want to know the experience of oil pulling from someone with amalgam fillings. Thank you.

      • Lucinda, Amalgams won’t be affected at all by oil pulling. This question was asked by someone on Dr Mercola’s site and he said it was perfectly safe.

  29. I would like to try Oil pulling. Where can I buy this unrefined coconut oil? Thanks 🙂

  30. My children and I do oil pulling with coconut oil, but my 11 year old daughter just had braces put on. I was wondering if this means she will have to stop oil pulling until she has her braces removed? Will the oil loosen the brackets or have a harmful effect on her with all that metal in her mouth?

  31. Can you tell me if this is ok to use while wearing braces??

    • hi there,

      i dont think it would be a good idea to oil pull with braces, as it supposedly whitens your teeth so you dont want yellow squares on your teeth when you get them removed

      • After I had gotten my braces off they whitened my teeth for me so just contact the orthodontist and ask. But I’m sure if they see a major color change that they will probably whiten it for her.

  32. Can’t wait to try oil pulling. But if the membranes in the mouth are very thin and permeable – which is why sublingual absorption of medications and hormones works so well – then wouldn’t any toxins pulled out of teeth or gums be rapidly absorbed through the thin membranes in the mouth? Sure you’re spitting the oil out after 20 minutes rather than swallowing it but isn’t sublingual absorption even greater than via the digestive tract and bound to be in an issue? Would love to hear others thoughts 🙂

    • The reason it works so well is because of the high rate of trans-dermal absorption of the mouth – it allows the toxins to come out, using the oil as a medium for said toxins. You won’t add any toxins to your system by oil pulling, but you can certainly remove some! Catch my drift? 🙂

  33. So what if I combined coconut oil with tooth powder to make a paste? Would that change the effectiveness of either?

  34. Hello Katie,

    Thanks for your insight and comments on oil pulling for oral hygiene. I just recently started using coconut oil 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. 7 months ago I had a scrapping done on my teeth at my dentist and it was very costly, not to mention uncomfortable to say the least. I was told that I had a lot of plaque build up and so started vigilantly flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial twice a day. I have always taken care of my teeth, but I guess age caught up with me and now I have to be even more careful, but no matter how hard I tried it could feel it coming back and didn’t like the way my mouth felt, never quite clean enough. I heard about oil pulling quite by accident. I thought it sounded kind of gross, but actually it was not as bad as I thought it would be, and during the 20 minute swishing process, I did my dishes and took a shower and before I knew it, it was over. The best part was how it made my mouth feel…really clean and after a few times my tongue looked very clean with no white film. My teeth also look amazingly shiny and whiter and I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks…I am anxious to see what the results are when I visit my dentist next time….

  35. Dear Katie- I have started this new regimen of taking 1 tablespoon of MCT oil mixed with half a tablespoon of olive oil and half of a squeezed fresh lemon. I have heard that olive oil and lemon juice can be a kidney cleanser and of course we know MCT oil is awesome for you. Do you think that the combination of these oils and lemon juice is safe to take combined once daily?

    • Jane, I wouldn’t use lemon juice as it is acid. The oils you use sound great.

  36. we use the Tropical Traditions pure Coconut Oil because it does not have the taste factor and I have wondered if that was just as effective for the oil pulling- is there any difference that you are aware of? Thanks

  37. Hi. I’ve been doing coconut oil-pulling for 6 wks with great results. Teeth are nice and white. I’ve got my 86 y.o. mother doing it too – 3 days so far Her teeth are grey and stained. Will she get whiter teeth at some point (in a week or 2?), or are some people unable to see results with oil pulling? Her usual dentist’s cleaning doesn’t make much difference. Thanks!

  38. 20 minutes of swishing? I am reading that correct?

  39. Okay, okay, you guys are convincing me to keep going. I’m pregnant and saw my first-ever cavity. Ahhhh! Set a dentist appt for later this month because I wanted to give myself 4 weeks of pulling before I went in.
    Is 4 weeks “enough” time if I’m faithful? How have people’s health been affected during pregnancy?

  40. hello All, I am new to the group and highly impressed by it. My tooth enamel has eroded in some places near gums and it made my teeth sensitive, what can i do to regain the enamel naturally? I stay alone so not able to eat healthy and also make the home made toothpaste, still I will try..Please help me with healthy breakfast options (currently I eat oatmeal with milk and sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) and also for my oral health..

  41. Hey! I love your site.

    Im wondering…I both oil pull and use a toothpaste of baking soda, calcium powder, and coconut oil….would adding calcium powder to my oil pull aid in remineralization or would it block the “pulling” effect?

    Thanks so much for all your work and dedication….it’s wonderful!!!!!

  42. Is oil pulling safe to do while breast feeding? I’m trying to reverse cavities, and would like to add oil pulling in the mix. Obviously, only if it is completely safe while breast feeding! Thank you 🙂

  43. How often, and for what length of time would you recommend for oil pulling? Im curious if it’s a detox that is only needed once in a while or a daily routine. I.e. how many times a week and for how long to reap the maximum benefits?

    • Generally it is done once a day for 20 minutes at a time.

  44. Hello Wellness Mama,
    Can you pls reply to my post above..

    Thanks in advance

  45. Why is it best to do it before you eat. So in the morning, if I oil pull and then brush my teeth with home-made tooth paste, what exactly do I do after i eat (which will be soon after)?

  46. I have been oil pulling for a few months now and I love it! Recently, I infused a container (small cup) of coconut oil with rosemary and peppermint oil and oil pull with that and, omg! I love it My teeth are so healthy and white, and now my mouth feels amazingly fresh with the addition of the rosemary and coconut oils 🙂

  47. Katie,
    I went to the Tropical Traditions website and like a car lot, there are so many options! Which label or type of coconut oil do you use? The green label says organic but the gold label is supposed to the top quality. Help! THanks!

  48. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could help me with this question, I’ve looked everywhere and haven’t found something as particular as my issue. I mistakenly got a root canal done a few years ago; before I knew of what could be done as alternatives. Now the root canal seems to have an infection and I have been in severe pain for a few days. I have been oil pulling which has helped with the pain. However if I am told I need re-treatment, I feel that I shouldn’t get it done because it will always be a recurring issue. But I do not want my teeth pulled because I cannot have 2 empty spaces in my mouth. Would do you recommend I do?


    • Hi. I am a mom of 6 and long before I knew about oil pulling, I knew root canals were not the answer. In 3 very close pregnancies, I had infected molars that “needed” a root canal, but I just had the tooth pulled instead in hopes that down the road I could afford to get a post and crown. I also had 2 molars that never formed an adult tooth and so during the last 4 years have lost both as well. It’s been 5 years since the last one was pulled, and honestly, I haven’t had a problem. I eat steak, etc without trouble. Now my greatest concern is that I’ve heard that you can have bone loss if there’s not teeth in the jaw so I’m not recommending going without a replacement for that long. But as far as the empty spaces, I only have a total of 7 molars and 1 sideways wisdom tooth and it has not altered my eating ability. Just my experience????.

  49. Should the oil pulling always be done before teeth brushing (i.e morning or evening)?

    Or can it be done at any moment of the day?

  50. Has anyone experienced their teeth getting MORE sensitive after oil pulling? I’ve been going for about a month. But I’m having sensitivity to hot & cold & pain in some of my teeth. Could the pulling be causing this, and if so, why?

    • I pulled for and I decided to stop today because my teeth are so sensitive that they hurt. I purchased sensodyne in hopes of reducing the sensitivity. In case you are wondering, I OPed with organic coconut oil for about 20 minutes first thing in the morning then rinsed followed by brushing with a natural toothpaste. Everything that I have read, no one seems to address the sensitivity. All the articles mention how great it is and all the benefits but I have yet to find one question on the sensitivity piece answered so I cut my losses and try my detox in other ways. I am guessing that it is not for everybody and that is really too bad because I was looking forward to one of the great benefits…I know it is not the answer that you were looking for but I wanted you to know that you are not alone!

      • Nicole, thanks for the reply. Glad to know I am not alone on this. I hate it because my mouth feels clean and my gums look healthier when I do OP. But the sensitivity is too much right now. I haven’t had any luck finding any info about this but if I do, I’ll let you know.

        • I began pulling specifically to help with my sensitivity and my teeth are now way worse! Have either of you found out anything more about this?

          • I never could find any information about it. I took a break for a while, and now I only pull for 15 minutes instead of 20. That seems to help. I also don’t do it every day. I haven’t had any issues since.

            It is odd that many are being affected this way,. I pulled every day several years ago when my health was far worse and didn’t have any issues. Now that I am healthier I am having issues. I don’t get it.

          • I’m glad I found your comments. today is just my 3rd day of oil pulling and I can already feel the sensitivity. I don’t have sensitive teeth and it’s kind’a sad that oil pulling caused this. Maybe I’ll try oil pulling few times a week instead of everyday and see if there’s any difference. ^_^

      • Teeth Sensitive person: Did you try a different oil – Sesame, Olive, or Sunflower? I started oil pulling for sensitive teeth and gum pockets. In one day the sesame oil got rid of the horrible sensitivity I was having for many months. Finally switching to virgin coconut oil stopped my receding gums in their track. I did notice after about a year of doing this, my teeth felt thinner albeit whiter, and I had a clearer tongue, and, for some reason I looked younger. I heard then heard about diatomaceous earth (food grade) and began taking it (1 tsp morning and night.) Within a month, my thinner teeth became chunkier, even more anchored than before, letting me know that I was missing nutrients like the silica in Diatomaceous Earth for my teeth and bones (hips also stopped cracking). I have continued oil pulling at least 4 times a week and taking the diatomaceous earth most mornings and evenings, plus adhering to a keto diet that is really thinning me down. People say I really look wonderfully healthy and my eyes are whiter (the “earth” and extra water, I’m thinking) and I love the fact that my teeth no longer feel weak, moving, and sensitive. I’ve even experienced an 80% lessening of my tinnitus which gets somewhat better when I cut out milk and cheese, my allergen foods.

        • Cat, I’ve read good things about taking Diatomaceous Earth. Did you take the tsp in a cup of water or juice?

  51. I would like to use the Tropical Traditions but when I got it in the mail, it was solid because the weather is so cold. Any suggestions how to go about this solid oil?

    • If you would prefer a liquid oil, you cna gently melt it by heating a dish, then adding your oil to the dish. It should melt quickly. You can also allow the solid oil to dissolve in your mouth.

      • Thanks for that response. I’ve been wondering about the solid oil!

  52. Hi Katie!

    So my husband and I have been oil-pulling for a week now. We both have this sour taste when drinking tea/coffee? can’t figure out why….maybe this is how we are detoxifying?

  53. I can’t seem to find organic virgin/ or unrefined oil of any kind :/. Although I did find pure coconut/sesame oil. Do these to work as well?

    • Hi Aalia,

      Try Vitacost it is an online store. They have organic virgin coconut oil and a variety of organic and non-gmo foods.

  54. I tried oil pulling this moenimorning and the texture almost gagged me as soon as I put it in my mouth. Is there any way around this as I am eager to give it a try.

    • I didn’t gag, but it wasn’t pleasant…but as soon as it completely melted in my mouth it felt like water! So maybe try to melt it before putting it in your mouth may help!
      I just did my first oil pull today! I have terrible teeth, I hope this helps me!

  55. I have been oil pulling on and off for a year now. I use organic coconut oil. I use coconut oil because of it’s antimicrobial properties. I usually pull like 1 to 2 times a week. I brush my teeth well, wait a little while, pull then rinse my mouth out with warm water.
    I have always used whitening toothpaste and an antiseptic rinse. I must say, oil pulling has really helped my teeth feel stronger and whiter. I am also a smoker and a heavy coffee drinker.
    Oil pulling is beneficial to health, not just teeth. It has been proven to reduce migraines, ease joint pains and ease a lot of other pains. Research the health benefits, you will see.
    Good luck and good pulling!!

    • Hi! I had an issue with idea of using this oil pulling technique whilst smoking as a lot of whitening products can actually leave you with horrendous stains from smoking during the process. As you’re a smoker too, has this happened at all to you? Worried it may leave my teeth more stained than they are! Thanks in advance 🙂

  56. I need advice:
    I started oil pulling as an experiment for my husband. He has a lot of cowing and is unable to floss. He also has issues with plaque even though we use tartar control toothpaste. After approx one week of oil pulling I have increased sensitivity in one tooth in particular. It is my left upper cuspid, the tooth right next to my front teeth. Now usually I have good dental health, however, approx a year ago I had a pin hole cavity that need a deep filling in this tooth. I had a lot of sensitivity immediately following the filling and told the girl. SHe said it was normal and would go away. I few days later, it continued and I called again. They said to be patient and it will get better. Now I had a dental cleaning Dec 2014. It went well but this time I told the doctor about the sensitivity. At that point it wasn’t constant but heat and cold definitely did not feel good. He x-rayed and say a tiny white circular make on the tip of the root. He said It would probably need a root canal in the near future. I wanted to see what it looks like in 6 months at my next visit. This brings me to now. I have immense pain in this tooth that I did not have prior. It hurts even to chew mashed potatoes. I can’t bite anything. I stopped oil pulling after about a week. Has it brought something to the surface and it is working its way out? I stopped pulling for 3-4 days and I started back today. Thinking that if the pain gets worse, I will just go see him again. It has only been a day, but so far it is the same relentless pain. I am looking forward to hearing what you call think.
    Painfully desperate, Renee

    • I don’t have any first hand experience with that, but my Father in law brushed and swished with activated charcoal a few times a day to help with the pain and followed the diet in Cure Tooth Decay to avoid a root canal.

  57. hello! I was confused with refined and unrefined oils when I was buying one in the grocery when I was about to start oil pulling. I’ve been OP for a week now using the refined oil that I picked and I have not seen obvious results, except that my one and only front tooth infected with medium-severe decay has been hurting since then. does extra-virgin oil has the same results with unrefined? or does unrefined damages your teeth instead of helping it? can I still continue OP? I bought 1L, it may last for a month. thoughts?

  58. The coconut oil consistentcy makes me gag. It could be a mental thing of putting oil in my mouth. Can oil pulling be done with coconut milk? Is there anything equivalent to coconut oil that I could pull with?

  59. Thanks for the article. Got organic coconut oil from costco today.I am so excited to try this new concept! Can’t wait for tomorrow morning!!

  60. How do I make this kid-friendly?? I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old. The 7 year old seems to have issues with cavities despite all we do to try to prevent them! I can’t imagine him swishing oil around for 20 minutes…

    • Hi Lindsay

      A bit of a lat reply, but there are simple things you can do. Make sure they only drink water during the day (this is easily done by NOT buying and stocking soft drinks or juices at home and not giving juice in their packed lunch). It took a little while for my kids to get used to drinking water most of the time but they DO get used to it! Or just juice in the morning – but AFTER they have brushed their teeth. If they are brushing their teeth not long after eating, they are brushing on soft enamel and wearing it away quicker. It takes about 40 minutes for the acid in our mouth (from normal eating, drinking juice, tea etc) to neutralise so – before it is neutralised the enamel on our teeth is softer.

      Less snacking, less juice, more water and brushing first thing in the morning before eating and at least 40 minutes after eating in the evening will work wonders. Teach your children to reach for water when they want a drink, it will help keep their teeth healthy.

      Oil pulling may be beneficial but perhaps wait till they are older, and start with just 3-5 mins until they get used to it as it’s not easy to master at that age (and too easy to swallow by mistake!). Good luck! 🙂


  61. I started to do oil pulling with virgin coconut oil.. My dentist did tooth scaling for my several teeth and now I feel not comfortable with it. My teeth have exposed more after tooth scaling and Im in afraid will it fall down. now my teeth became sensitive and numb. I want to regrow my gums as previous by oil pulling and strong my teeth..Can I hope it with oil pulling? Will loosen tooth fix strongly after virgin coconut oil pulling?

  62. My teeth aren’t horrible, but I am pretty uncomfortable with the shade of yellow they are. I brush regularly and well, and I don’t drink coffee every day. (Though I do like it as a treat!) I’m heading off to college in August, and I’m anxious for my smile to be more presentable so my focus can be on other things and I won’t be so self-conscious meeting new people. So excited to try the oil pulling! Can’t wait to see the results; thank you so much for the great article!

    ~Sherlock Horatio Holmes

    • I have on and off serious sensitivity in the back of the lower row of the front teeth. A red line forms in the gums. With the coconut oil the pain gets better. /Dentist wants to give deep cleaning for all the teeth. Never trusted that. and on top of that it is never cheap. Minor more sensitivity since i started the OP in some other teeth is a small minus. Maybe it is the acid in the coconut oil that is also responsible for the whitening effect.
      And NOW Sherlock Holmes. natural yellow teeth will not easily get white. I would not bet on it .If they are yellow from staining maybe so .. Good luck..

  63. I have just started pullin oil… I was wondering if it can make your teeth sensitive? Its just the front teeth that are sensitive. . Reminds me of how my teeth would feel if I bleached them…
    I’m hoping its a fluke, becuse I have really enjoyed doing this.. I notice that I get a TON of energy after doing this.. should I go to like every other day?

  64. I have just tried using the oil pulling for the first time and found it really hard to keep in my mouth. I have the weakest of stomachs ever known to man and this just made me vommit, how do I get past this? My teeth are and have always been in a really bad way and I am really desperate for the miracle cure, please help me.

  65. I just had a tooth pulled, upper molar, Root canal that ended up with a bad infection. My question is how long should I wait to start oil pulling again, can’t wait to start back.

  66. I’m wondering about brushing with coconut oil vs swishing with it. I wonder if the results would be similar?

  67. Can you use organic coconut oil refined to do oil pulling?

    • I think unrefined is better, but it would still work.

  68. Our Coconut oil sits on the shelf as a solid. Do I liquefy it first then start swishing or let the heat of my mouth do the melting? So excited to try this!

    • Either is fine, although I find it easier to measure if it is solid. If you start with it solid, the heat in your mouth will melt it quickly once you start pulling. Some people do not like the feeling of solid coconut oil, though, so you can also warm it gently first if you prefer.

  69. Hi,
    I had deep cleaning. but I feel my teeth are sensitive. I’m afraid that my tooth will fall down. I started coconut oil pulling and did it every morning. after deep cleaning can I regrow gums to fix my teeth? Now I’m doing oil pulling since 3rd of March 2015.. but I feel some uncomfortable with this sensitive tooth and feel will be fall down.. what should I do to protect my tooth..I don’t want lose my tooth now itself. Because of deep cleaning I’m in bad situation.. 🙁

    Thanks all..

  70. Can this pull toxins out and cause me to have a sore throat and drainage? Day 3 and I am not feeling well at all!

  71. Hi..

    I’m doing coconut oil pulling.. should I brush my teeth after oil pulling.?


  72. I got a root canal 5 days ago. I’m going to get a crown on that tooth in 9 days. Should start doing the oil pulling now or wait until I get the crown?

  73. Hi,

    I’m doing coconut oil pulling. After 01 month I saw that my teeth enamel eroding.. Can I prevent it by some natural ways?


  74. Ive been brushing with only Coconut Oil for a few months now and I am noticing my teeth are becoming brown and translucent… why is this?

    Thank you.

  75. I have a tooth that has been crowned. I am still having a lot of problems and pain with it. On X-rays it shows the tooth is fine. I started oil pulling yesterday and the pain was worse. Today I still have a lot of pain but I have pain in my chin further from the tooth. Is this kind of like it’s going to get worse before it gets better?

  76. Dear Wellness Mama,

    Do you recommend oil pulling daily, nightly, twice a day, or something else? In other words, how often do you recommend oil pulling?

    Thank you!

  77. Katie,

    Thank you for the article.

    I have testicular cancer and am 8 months pregnant with 32 crowns. Will oil pulling be okay? I can’t find coconut oil, will used motor oil be okay?

    LOL, of course just kidding. People should really read up to see if a question they wish to ask has been previously answered. They should also read the article well, as quite a few questions asked were answered in your article…. d’oh. I also didn’t see any health related credentials in your “bio”, so I believe your article is based on your experience and possibly some other research. Funny how people are asking questions that they should be asking their health practitioner.

    I landed on this article from a search and then romped around your other offerings. Nice blog and thanks again.

  78. Hi,

    Thank you for your post, I wanted to know if it was okay to oil pull and brush with the coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste daily?

  79. Hello,
    I was hoping to get some feedback about using coconut oil for oral health. I was told by my dentist that I have gum disease. I wanted to know what I should do daily in order to improve dental hygiene. I have read a lot about oil pulling and wanted to give it a try but I wanted to know what my daily regime should be with brushing and flossing. Thanks

  80. Hi,
    as for brushing, could you please do a piece on the natural miswak toothbrush?

  81. Hello,

    I found an article on oil pulling just a few days ago when looking up home remedies for my boyfriends abscessed tooth. We have since been doing this once or twice a day for the last 3 days. It has not healed the abcess completely but it does stop his pain, made our teeth noticeably whiter after only the first 2 days and I do have more energy and have also noticed my skin seems healthier. We are going to continue on our journey with it and would definitely recommend it for others as we are seeing benefits already and as far as I’ve read there are no negative side effects at all!

    Good health to you all!

  82. I went to the dentist recently and he told me that i had gingivitis. i didn’t like the dentist (or his pricing) so i passed on his cleaning. i did the oil pull once a day for about 10 minutes and now the gum pain is gone. I used organic coconut oil from costco.

    the first oil pull that i did created a lot of soft plaque between my teeth and i flossed it out. was pretty gross but i never saw so much cleaning from a flossing. it must have cleaned out my breath too.

    i am going next week for a cleaning to another dentist. will continue to oil pull daily.
    it has also helped control any of my epilepsy breakthrough seizures. i am swallowing 3-4 TBS per day. even better than the CBD oil.

  83. I have just started oil puling in the past week (have done it about three days now). My question is will it still whiten your teeth if you continue to drink coffee daily?

    • Coffee can really stain your teeth, but then oil pulling can really help too. I suppose it will vary depending on how each affects your teeth. The coffee and oil pulling may just end up offsetting each other.

      • Does drinking iced coffee through a straw help?

  84. I was looking for information on oil pulling and found your webpage. Thank you for your wealth of information and resources.
    I thought you might want to update your mention/link of “Brushing Blend” . The company has changed the name of this product to more accurately reflect its uses (in addition to brushing).
    It is now called HealThy Mouth Blend.

  85. I don’t really have time to do this in the morning, as much as I would love to have a 20 minute shower, but is it still okay to do as part of my nightime routine, once all the kids are in bed and I read a magazine at the same time?!

    • It’s most effective in the morning, but it won’t hurt to do it at night…

  86. When I oil pull for twenty minutes, daily, at night, my teeth start to ache.

    I have done it for 2-3 weeks now and my sensitive teeth are getting MORE sensitive.

    I recently stopped and the sensitivity went away.

    Has anyone heard of this before? Or have a solution?

  87. Hi – do you do this every night? Or Weekly or monthly? And you brush after correct? Thank you!

  88. Hi! I have a question…I have been “pulling” for about a week now and my breasts are starting to ache. Is this normal??? I can say that I was diagnosed with cysts in my breasts (I had several examinations and x-rays). It doesn’t seem as if the cysts are growing smaller, but again, I have only been doing this for about a week.

  89. I’m tried oil pulling but my teeth became so sensitive that I could barely stand to brush. Any suggestions?

    • I had the same problem. I had to quit. Would also like to know suggestions.

  90. I tried oil pulling for a while and ended up with 3 root canals within that year. Needless to say I stopped, but not soon enough. Anyone else have similar experiences with this?

  91. My teeth because quite translucent and grey from oil pulling! I would caution to maybe just do it with coconut oil.

  92. Hi,
    Dr mercola recommends doing oil pulling for 20 minutes or even longer to get more benefits? I do it for 20 minutes but I read a previous post that dr bruce is saying longer is not recommended? And Dr mercola says the opposite? Any thoughts?

  93. I started oil pulling using coconut oil last week. I still must work my way up to 20 minutes. My gums have stopped bleeding. A shallow filling has come off but I have no pain so will leave the filling out for now. My teeth are whiter are appear more attractive. A divot in my right lower gum has started healing. I love it but have to manage the gag reflex and use 1 tsp. At start I used too much oil. I love the flavour. Oh it has also helped my tongue be less painful. My tongue started hurting after my teeth were cleaned by dentist using ultrasonic equipment. My mouth has not recovered from that cleaning. I believe pulling helps.

  94. Could I do ten minutes in the morning of swishing and ten minutes at night?

    • To get the maximum benefit you should do 20 minutes continuously…

      • But if I had to do ten minutes two times I wouldn’t be reversing the effects of twenty minutes or anything right? Because I’ve done that for about two weeks thinking it would be better but now I’m going to do twenty continuous minutes.

  95. I just oil pulled for the first time with coconut oil and am amazed. My teeth actually feel the same as if I had just had my teeth cleaned at the dentist. I am so happy as I don’t have dental insurance. Thank you so much.

  96. I just started oil pulling this am. I also brushed after with salt and baking soda. My gums bled…did I do something wrong? Should I keep going or stop?

  97. I am so fortunate, I live in the tropics and get to enjoy this wonderful product whenever and however. But it is unfortunate that many here miss out on this regimen and has to look elsewhere for synthetics-based remedies. It is good to come across sites like these and people from halfway across the globe who advocate something so accessible to us here but has been overlooked or taken for granted. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  98. is the oregeno oil safein the pulling for pregnancy?
    i have had lots of problems with my teath after giving birth , it seems with each of the last 2 births i lost a tooth. thank you

  99. I have been oil pulling for a while now resulting in better oral health. The only shortcoming of it in my opinion is all the oil going to waste… Recently I started to collect the used oil in a jar where it accumulates very fast and all I can think is whether I can cleanse it somehow – does boiling kill the bacteria maybe and the remains suitable for frying? Or some other useful utilisation of the oil???

    • I would just pour it out outside or throw it away. I don’t think there is any way to remove the bacteria and there is also a lot of saliva mixed in.

  100. I am hooked on using coconut oil! My doctor recommended this to me, I suffer from Epstein Barr Virus, which can be debilitating. I began to use the over the counter supplements and then began using straight up coconut oil! I am feeling better, I have lost weight, it makes an excellent toothpaste and lip balm, hair conditioner as well as a body moisturizer and great for massages. My favorite is pulling. I had an annoying canker sore, those usually last for at least a week if not longer……I began pulling and it was gone in TWO days! My teeth are whiter and my mouth feels much cleaner! I wish I had known about all these benefits a long time ago!

  101. How can you do this for 20 minutes without swallowing?? It seems impossible. And if you do swallow, you are ingesting the bacteria you are trying to get rid of.

    • It took me a little while to get used to having the coconut oil in my mouth for that long. At first I did maybe 5 minutes, spit it out, regroup and did it again. Now, it’s no problem at all. If you do another task while you’re swishing it might help you keep your mind off it. It’s worth the effort.

  102. Can I do this if I have gum disease receeding gums

    • Yes, you should be doing it particularly if you have these problems. My brother in law had terrible gum disease and we talked him into trying oil pulling. He said he would do it for 6 months. He did and he got a great report from the dentist who saw much improvement. Now he’s been doing it for 3 years and he no gum disease or any cavities.

  103. Is fractionated coconut oil ok to use instead of regular OVCO?

  104. Fascinating info that I was not aware of until today. I see lots of repeat comments, but these haven’t been addressed:’

    1. I heard that BLEACH diluted in water could be used?
    2. I just tried Olive Oil and a couple of minutes in I had to sneeze. 😉 It sprayed my home studio, papers, computer monitor and my shirt. This is rather messy.

  105. I use this Oil Pulling procedure . . .
    On arising, Daily clean teeth with Sodium Bicarb & Oral B with full Interdental Brushing.
    In particular Interdental Brushing must reach all places where Anaerobic Plaque may lurk.
    Spit out & rinse fully with very Hot Water.
    Repeat Sodium Bicarb brushing, do not spit out, then add ½ tsp Organic Coconut Oil.
    Oil Pull for 20min then expel down toilet.
    Rinse fully with the Hottest Water you can bear to remove all Oil & Toxins.

    Is this OK to use Bicarb as well – as I do ??

  106. When I went to see dentist, he was also very scepticaI, but still why not try it. I do find it bit weird in mouth at first but it seems to pull plague well and I would say my teeth became brighter.
    Also (sorry if it’s too detailed), but I had bit of tickley cough and found that the coconut oil helps to pull mucous that is stuck just by the throat. So another plus 🙂

  107. Yes true. Two years ago a friend shared with me excitedly about how oil pulling whitened her teeth. I tried for just several days and gave up, finding it weird the taste and oily texture. But another friend shared with me early this year that she’s been getting better in health since taking few spoonful of natural oils daily and mouth-washing with oil.

    I restarted the process for just half a month… Oh it really works. My teeth are used to have yellow stains due to heavy drinking of tea and the gum is not healthy as well. After two weeks I find that my teeth is brightened somehow and more apparently my gum looks softer and healthier.

    Satisfied with this result and will stick on this method.

    But I don’t know if my practice is the best way. I just take a spoonful of coconut oil for mouth washing for 5 ~ 10 minutes and then brush my teeth. Some people suggest that mouthwash with salt water after oil pulling would be better. What would you think?

    Thanks for your sharing. Cheers 🙂

  108. I find this to be disturbingly unscientific.I think it could potentially cause harm.

    • Then you should stay away from it.

  109. Hi
    I read an article like oil pulling helps in reducing sugar levels in diabetic persons.
    Not only helpful to diabetic person but also help in many more.
    But in your question & answer section I hav’t come across any of the questions except white teethenig ..
    Please enlighte me about other few uses

    • I’ve read this too, but haven’t found studies to back it up. We do know that oral health affects the body and can affect diabetes though: “Oral disease, “especially periodontitis, may affect the course and pathogenesis of a number of systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes mellitus, and low birth weight.” from this article :

  110. I mainly started swishing coconut oil for my allergies which caused me to have sinus infections. I had one when I started and got over it a lot faster than usual and I haven’t had one since which is amazing. My son had 4 or more bad sinus infections a year and he hasn’t had one since he started the oil pulling, he says that he is the poster child for coconut oil. Both our allergies are much much better than before. Our teeth are white and we get glowing reports from the dentist. My brother in law had gum disease and he got completely rid of it between his 6 month checkups by using coconut oil.
    Is great for skin infections and if you eat it it helps with joint inflammation.
    I use it for deodorant and I’m not going to say more because everyone probably thinks I’m a nut but it is some good stuff.

  111. I have been oil pulling off and on for ..6 months now and my teeth feel much better when I do the oil pulling.
    but I am finding out now that I may be doing it wrong?!? I usually brush my teeth first, with an sonicar tooth brush, then I oil pull for 5 to 15 minutes… will this create any problems, you know, brushing teeth first?
    I usually have coffee first thing in the morning because I get up @ 4am need it to think lol.. then I brush my teeth and then I oil pull. Can I continue doing it this way or do I need to oil pull after drinking my coffee then brush my teeth? Thank you for you answer 🙂

    • Ideally you should oil pull first thing when you awake, as that’s when the most bacteria have accumulated after sleeping. I would drink coffee after that, then brush teeth.

      • Thank you for your quick response 🙂

    • I’m sure it’s not the proper method but I like to brush my teeth first because the oil feels better. I think it’s good to oil pull, I can’t always do it in the morning so I do it anytime that I get a chance, many times it’s while I’m getting ready for bed. If I’m having allergy flair ups I try to oil pull a couple of times a day.

  112. Can I do this if I have braces?? I just got them and it’s only the top ones for now.

  113. I love oil pulling! I try to not go more than two days without doing it. My teeth are whiter, I feel better. Gums and teeth seem healthier. I usually do it on my way to work or in the shower. I get organic cold-pressed coconut oil their single use sachets are life savers.

  114. Swishing for 20 minutes seems impossible. Do you really swish for 20 minutes? You had me until that point. Thanks.

    • Yes. I’ll often do it while in the shower or while tending the garden…

  115. Hello, I’m going to start oil pulling because of this website so thank you for the information. I have a question about flossing and your thoughts. I have read through the comments about recommendations of doing it in the morning but I will be doing it at night due to my schedule. I like to floss my teeth at night so would you recommend oil pulling, then flossing, and lastly brushing with brushing blend to have the best results or otherwise? Then in the morning brush my teeth per normal?

    Thank you!

    • That should work, but for best results oil pulling should be done in the morning…

  116. Hey Wellness Mama! my Name is Sam, I’m a big fan of your blog!
    I just have a question about oil pulling in regards to translucent teeth…
    I have suffered from translucent looking teeth for awhile now.. and was wondering if this could help??
    I’ve heard some people say that oil pulling for them seemed to make it worse!.
    This frightened me a bit! and I was wondering if you new anything about that?
    Any advice would be MUCH appreciated! I am not researched enough on this.
    I also started using your toothpaste recipe about a week ago and have liked it!
    Thank you so much for putting it out there! 🙂
    I’m highly allergic to Aloe Vera!! and every toothpaste I try makes me super SICK!! one toothpaste putt me in the emergency room.
    I found your recipe on a search for aloe free toothpaste which seems to be impossible to find! unless you make it yourself.
    I hope to hear from you. 🙂

    • I don’t have any personal experience with translucent teeth but I would definitely check with a dentist about that. I did find that oil pulling and homemade toothpaste along with internal nutrients decreased my tooth sensitivity greatly.

  117. I started doing this a few months ago. I just saw my dentist and as the dental hygienist was cleaning she was so blown away by how healthy my gums and teeth were that she called in the Dentist to show him. I felt like a rock star. Best Dental visit ever.

  118. I’ve tried oil pulling with organic extra virgin coconut oil. The strange thing is that at first i got sensitive teeth, and i stopped, then later tried again, this time no sensitivity (period of some weeks). Then i felt boring and stopped for some weeks. Tried again oil pulling with the same oil and now i got my front teeth again pretty sensitive. Why other teeth aren’t responsing similar way? Mystery. However, it tells me i shouldn’t continue, pain is not gain with teeth. I’ve done always the 20 mins. Then flushing with warm water and some brushing.

    At some point i tried also extra virgin olive oil but cannot recall now was there any sensitivity issues. Probably not in this scale as can’t recall.

    Btw. Has anyone this weird issue that while oil pulling with coconut oil it makes yawn? Soon after started. It must be something in the oil what makes yawn. Olive oil didn’t do same.

  119. First I brush the entire oral cavity w Bicarb of Soda, then rinse out.
    Then I repeat also adding Coconut Oil & pull for 20 min.
    Can anyone see anything that conflicts in that process ?

  120. I have been doing Oil Pulling for 2 yrs & it has been beneficial.
    Can someone provide scientific studies for it or links to such studies ?
    I want to know the extent, composition, concentration & uptake of toxins & pathogens.
    That would help me to spread this very healthful practice to others.

  121. I think this oil pulling is helping me get rid of an infection down by the roots of a molar! My Dentist was thinking he’d have to go in there to try to get rid of the infection, but I was going out of the country for three weeks. I’m so glad, it’s given me time to try this other way and, really excited to get back and show that Dentist!!!