I have been hearing things about oil pulling for a while, but didn’t really think anything of it. However, I recently had a baby and my teeth and gums became very sensitive during pregnancy. I often bleed when I brush my teeth, and eating something cold or sweet can be painful. And I’m not even talking about ice cream! A simple glass of cold water makes me wince. I already dropped the standard shop-bought toothpaste and I am now using a neem-based one that is less abrasive. That doesn’t really help with the sensitivity though, so I decided to give oil pulling a go and report here. I went into this without really expecting anything; I don’t buy into the ‘miracles’ of oil pulling and I want to make my own opinion.
So what is oil pulling? An ancestral Ayurvedic technique destined to restore oral health, and by association a variety of ailments from eczema to sleeplessness. It is said that a healthy mouth means a healthy body; oil pulling is supposed to ‘pull’ toxins and bacteria and to leave the teeth clean and free of plaque. Now I don’t know much about Ayurveda, and in fact I’m quite suspicious about it as I know many ‘remedies’ sold in the West contain harmful chemicals, but I will now make an effort to learn more about it.
How do I do it? I use organic coconut oil and it works fine for me. I use it for all kind of stuff anyway (skin and hair care, cooking…) so I figured it couldn’t do me any harm. I haven’t tried with sesame or olive oil but the taste would probably be a bit too strong for me, whereas I don’t mind coconut at all. I pop it into the microwave for a few seconds as it solidifies at room temperature, and then take a teaspoon of it and gargle for 10 mins. I am planning to increase that to a tablespoon for 15-20 mins, but I am not sure if it is really needed. I do that every morning, but again I think a few times a week is probably enough. That’s all! Oil pulling is very easy, I do eat while cleaning up or checking my emails, so I can forget about it and it doesn’t feel like a real effort. Do not swallow the oil and make sure to spit it out in the bin, not in the sink, to prevent clogging the drains.
So what about the results? I am now on day 5, so probably not long enough to see a real change, but there is some improvement. I don’t get this sense of a pasty mouth in the morning anymore (but then that was not really an issue for me), and I do feel that my teeth are a bit less sensitive, especially to sugar. I still react to cold, but less than before, so I will probably keep oil pulling and report back in a few weeks! I can’t see a difference in terms of my teeth’s whiteness yet, but we will see… Oil pulling is also supposed to be great for the skin, and I do have a pretty clear skin at the moment although I don’t think it’s down to the oil, I am just careful with my skincare routine. Oh, and I haven’t had hayfever at all this week! Again I don’t know if it is related, I had a terrible weekend of sneezing and since I started oil pulling, I dont’ think I sneezed once. Has anyone else tried it? Do report back!