Oil Pulling & The Importance Of Oral Health

Jan 14, 2015 | Healing & Herbs, Nutrition



I thought I would carry on with the natural beauty regime theme and explain a bit more about oil pulling. Plus this week on the Flourish course that started last week is all about cleansing and detoxing so this topic has been swishing (oil pulling pun alert!) round my head all week!

Oil pulling is an old practice by which you swished oil around in your mouth for about 10-20 minutes and then spit it out. It is used to improve oral health, detox the body and really boost all round wellbeing.

I have been oil pulling on and off for about a year now and use it as a simple way to regularly cleanse and detox my body. So often we think of cleansing the body as this massive ordeal but really it can just be about doing small things every week to that support the bodies own detoxification process.

Also I think it really important that we address oral health when we are looking at getting healthy. The more I read and research the more I see the strong link between oral health and overall health. Notice when babies are teething it’s so common and expected for them to have temperatures and other non oral ailments isn’t it? As in the WHOLE BODY is impacted by the growing of their teeth. But as adults we seem to have totally disconnected from this, disregarding any messages or symptoms coming from our mouths and just conclude we need to floss more!!

IMG_2811But more on oral health another time as I feel a rant coming on:)…

Oil pulling is said to help whiten teeth and a few studies (See below for link) that show the benefit of oil pulling on the teeth and reducing plaque. This is likely to be the case as the coconut oil you use (you can use olive or sesame too) have antibacterial and anti viral properties so it gently cleanses the teeth. It is also said to help with receding gum lines as well 

It detoxes the body too. As I said above it help support the bodies own defense and detoxification process. Our mouth is one or our ‘gate keepers’ for the body meaning that lots of potential bacteria and germs can get in this way. Oil pulling removes them before they have a chance to enter. 

There is also lots of testimonies of people saying it helps with migraines, gut issues skin problems and aid with hormonal changes and other health issues but not conclusive studies showing this. But I our bodies are so connected that if you improve one area it impacts positively another. Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist and a certified nutritionist (with a Masters in oral biology) says


“When we improve oral health, we improve so many other things in the body,” Moldovan (a periodontist and nutritionist with a Masters in oral biology) said. “People with bad oral hygiene have higher incidence for cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and strokes, and a higher incidence for pneumonia. Men with periodontal disease have a greater risk of erectile dysfunction. Even with diabetes, improved oral health can help control problems in diabetic patients. Also, pregnant women with gum disease have lower birth-weight babies. Yes — everything is connected.”


So oil pulling is really about making sure you are not neglecting a key aspect of health – the mouth. So although this may seem like some hippy hogwash, it really is about looking after our whole body, recognising the significance of good oral health and realising how connected it is to our overall wellbeing.

Dr Moldovan goes on to say:


“When there is a healthier mouth, there is less inflammation in the body, and overall then everything can heal, the skin is better, you’re in a better mood, you have more energy, because gum disease — if you have all this infection in the mouth, your body is constantly trying to fight this bacteria to keep it from entering your body,” Moldovan said. “That is stressful for us. That chronic infection in the mouth, once it improves because we have better oral hygiene, we feel better and look better.”


So this would explain why oil pulling has become rather fashionable over the last year or so, it is by no mean the cure all answer but I think it is an essential (and easy and pretty cheap way) way to cultivate even greater health and immunity – hooray!


 Simple put grab about tsp of coconut oil place in mouth and swish it around for ideally 20 minutes.

Work up slowly to 20 minutes if that is too much. Ideally you want to do it in the morning before brushing your teeth but any time do day would be beneficial. I do it when in the shower, driving first thing or throughout the day by my computer if I don’t manage it first think. (I am quite a morning person so not speaking for 20 minutes is not appealing!)

Then once 20 minutes or longer is up spit into the bin (not the sink otherwise you could clog it up!) and brush you teeth afterward with a fluoride free toothpaste like this one.


So if you want to make detoxing a bit more of a regular habit then this is the perfect way to give it a go. Especially if you struggle with poor oral health then why not give it a try and see if it makes a difference in your health.

(Did you see I am running another FREE 14 Day Green Smoothie Challenge starting next week? Click here to find out more)

Have you every tried oil pulling? Noticed any connections between oral health and all round body health?


Sources & studies



Research paper abstract

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  1. I’ve just started oil pulling! Been doing it for 2 weeks now. My teeth are whiter and my mouth feels cleaner. Still waiting for any other effects though! But it feels good to do it every day 🙂 I do it whilst I’m in the shower too so it’s no bother.

    • So good isn’t it. I tend to do it a few times a week even if I am doing computer work = happy health teeth and body!

  2. Funnily enough I’ve been meaning to give this another go – I’ve just had a minor freakout about my oral health and am giving a few new things a go! This should really be one of them. Like you said, building up to the 20 mins is the important part – I think if I build it into my routine I should be able to keep it up this time!

    • I phase in and out of it too but even a few times a week is beneficial:)

  3. I just started oil pulling and I love it! I don’t do it for long enough and need to work up to 20 minutes (although I don’t think I could manage that long!)

    • It does take a while to build up – i do it when in the shower or answering emails!:)


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