Oil Pulling for Oral Health

The dentist’s chair. It’s a piece of furniture that sparks feelings of dread in many people. Generally speaking, many people do not look forward to going to the dentist. But what if I told you that your teeth are an indicator of your body’s health? Fortunately for you, today we will be discussing a simple at-home method for keeping your teeth and gums healthy in between checkups. For women contemplating conception, this method is just what the dentist ordered.

The mouth is a dirty place; billions of germs and bacteria are breeding inside your mouth as you’re reading this article. The problem occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria produce toxins that promote inflammation, such as tooth decay and bleeding gums. Tooth decay creates tiny openings that allow germs to invade your teeth and eventually make their way into your bloodstream. Once these germs enter your blood, they can have a detrimental affect on your organs. According to a Harvard Health Publication, several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found within harmful atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels, which can lead to a heart attack.

Kavala graham, or oil pulling as it’s commonly known, is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that uses oil to help remove harmful bacteria and germs from your mouth. Why is oral health especially important to women TTC (trying to conceive)? A healthy mouth is important for your health, and your health is directly related to the health of your future child.

One of the first things that you should do, as a woman TTC, is to clean up your mouth.

Scientists at the International Association for Dental Research show a link between expectant mothers with severe periodontal disease, and infant prematurity. Oral germs can put you at risk of health conditions, which you may unknowingly pass onto your child in utero.

Oil pulling is a beneficial addition to your daily dental routine. It’s a very simple concept that involves “pulling” the oil through your teeth by swishing. The whole process takes 20 minutes, and it doesn’t interfere with your morning routine. You can oil pull while cooking breakfast or even while you’re taking a shower!

The two oils I recommend are cold pressed sesame oil and coconut oil. Sesame oil is widely used in Ayurveda for its healing properties; it’s the oldest oil used in this practice. Coconut oil also has strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Dr. Bruce Fife N.D., author of the book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing, is a strong proponent of using coconut oil. You can alternate between both oils, or you can create a mixture of the two. For an added germ killing boost, add a drop of tea tree oil or oil of oregano per one tablespoon of the sesame or coconut oil (use only one drop as both of these oils can irritate the skin).

Below is a quick guide to oil pulling:

  • Upon waking and before eating or drinking, put one tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut or sesame oil into your mouth.
  • Swish and pull the oil through your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Important: Do not swallow the oil while you’re doing this.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, spit the oil into the garbage or into your toilet. Rinse with water (twice).
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Oil pulling can be done up to three times a day (on an empty stomach).

That’s it!

Many people notice that their mouths feel cleaner and fresher, often after the first use. Testimonials of less tooth pain, reduced plaque and mouth odors, healthier pink gums, and reduction and / or elimination of bleeding have all been reported. Oil pulling is like a liquid magnet, targeting unsuspecting food particles hiding out in between your teeth. This is a great addition to regular tooth brushing and flossing.

Your diet also plays a role in the germs in your mouth. In order to get the maximum benefits from oil pulling, reduce sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods, as these items contribute to an overgrowth of harmful oral flora.

Improved oral health from oil pulling will support your overall health before and during pregnancy. Oil pulling is a regimen that you can continue for the rest of your life. Although oil pulling is important for oral health, it is not a substitute for regular dental checkups. So, you’ll still have to face the dreaded dentist’s chair. However, making oil pulling a regular part of your oral regimen will help to reduce the amount of time that you spend in the chair.