Health and Nutrition

What is coconut oil pulling?

What is coconut oil pulling?

What is coconut oil pulling? Did you know that there are over 700 different spices of bacteria living in your mouth?
While maintaing the ecosystem of your gut flora is essential, there is little point in trying to eliminate pathogens from within your gut if your mouth the “gateway to your body,” is a breading ground of harmful bacteria.

In a healthy mouth, beneficial bacteria are actually your immune system’s first responders, while     the constant flow of saliva helps keep acid-producing bacteria from getting established. Even with all these natural defences harmful microbes can still upset the balance.  If your gums bleed regularly when brushing your teeth, this could be a sign of bacterial overgrowth. Good dental health is not just important for your teeth and gums the bacteria that resides in your mouth can travel throughout your body and cause other health problems.

What is coconut oil pulling? Oil pulling, also known as “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity. It involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 10-20 minutes. Traditionally, other oils such as sesame oil or sunflower oil were used but I prefer coconut oil because it contains many health benefits such as lauric acid (one of the fatty acids found in coconut oil) which is proven to be antimicrobial… it can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Reported benefits of oil pulling include:
Helps treat tooth decay
Prevent gingivitis
Heals bleeding/inflamed gums
Whitens teeth
Kills bad breath
Strengthens teeth and gums

How to guide on coconut oil pulling:
Make sure to oil pull first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth or drink anything.
Gently swish 1 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth for 10–20 minutes, making sure that you don’t swallow any of the oil.
Spit out the oil in the rubbish bin (not the sink so it doesn’t clog up the plumbing).
Rinse your mouth out with warm salty water (I use 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt for added extra antimicrobial properties).
Brush your teeth with fluoride free toothpaste.
I recommend oil pulling three to four times per week.

Sources:
webmd (2014) Should you try oil pulling? Retrieved from URL: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling

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