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Oil Pulling Tips and Success Stories ~ Do You Swish?

Oil pulling is a simple technique with lots of big claims and very little risk. Scroll down to learn about the history and purpose of oil pulling, along with some tips from Dr. Bruce Fife, probably the foremost oil pulling authority.

Tips Tricks for oil pulling

Quiz: What did you do upon getting out of bed this morning?

  1. Pray a morning offering/devotion.
  2. Get back in bed and pull the covers over your head, screaming, “I’m not facing the day! Go away!”
  3. Immediately start breakfast for ravenous mouths, still in your PJs.
  4. Look bleary-eyed into the face of a toddler and ask, “Why are you awake already???”
  5. Kiss your spouse goodbye for work.
  6. Run a 5K.
  7. Take a shower.
  8. Put oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes.

Other than the 5K, any one of those might be the first thing I end up doing on a given morning. (Okay, number two is a bit of a fantasy, and number 7 is kind of rare – sometimes my husband will turn on the shower for me before I emerge from the covers, knowing that I won’t waste the water so I’ll actually get out of bed instead of a milder rendition of number two…just keepin’ it real here, folks!)

Does number 8, the swishing oil thing, sound a bit kooky?

It did to me when I first heard about “oil pulling,” but the more I learn, the more I find myself fascinated about it.

If you read my first oil pulling post detailing my initial experiences with the process, you’ll note that I was a total skeptic, had trouble finding time for the routine, and also that I had quite sensitive teeth at times.

I still don’t keep to the oil pulling routine every morning to be sure, but a few times a week I manage to get 20 minutes in. I can honestly say that I hardly ever notice sensitive teeth anymore, just a little bit when something really cold hits my mouth unexpectedly, and I don’t think I notice the sensitive-to-sweet anymore, like when I used to eat a date and cringe when the sweet date got down to my gums and all stuck in my molars. And I’ve eaten a lot of dates recently since I gave up chocolate and all sugars for much of Lent! (Do you know they are quite marvelous dipped in peanut butter?)

It could be the new way we brush our teeth via OraWellness, it could be that I’m just getting farther from the body-draining process of pregnancy (although I am still nursing), or it could be that oil pulling is a technique that holds some water.

I haven’t been oiling pulling very often for the whole year-plus since my initial exploration, however. I renewed my commitment to the process after listening to Bruce Fife’s talk via the HealThy Mouth Summit recordings that I am so fortunate to have been given access to.

Fife’s is the only talk I’ve found time to listen to in full, but I was fascinated the entire time. I need to take more long, solo drives with an iPod (and maybe see if my library has his oil pulling book link goes to Amazon, for all my free time)!

I’m going to share my notes today on Bruce Fife’s talk entitled “Benefits of Oil Pulling for Greater Oral Health and Whole Being Wellness.”

Below is paraphrased and annotated from Fife’s interview.

History of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling actually has a pretty long history, since Ayurvedic medicine times. Then it was called “oil gargling” – but that sounds kind of yucky and is inaccurate because you don’t actually gargle the oil.

Oil pulling is the process of putting some oil into the mouth, traditionally sesame oil, but often coconut oil is recommended for its antibacterial qualities. The person then swishes the oil around and around, letting it move around and between the teeth, around the tongue, gums, etc., ideally for 20 minutes.

The basic purpose is to “pull” bad bacteria from the mouth and spit it out in the oil when you’re finished (never swallow after oil pulling!). It’s the physical property of the oil that attracts all the “gunk” in your mouth, similar to the way the physical property of cohesion allows water to be so effective in the handwashing process.

If it sounds too simple to be true, you’re not alone. Even Bruce Fife, the speaker who has a whole book on oil pulling, was a serious skeptic at first. He thought it was more a myth than anything, but he kept hearing more and more stories of healing via oil pulling and finally decided to look at every journal/research article he could find on the technique. What he learned surprised even himself.

Oil Pulling

The Mouth-Body Connection

Although oil pulling is commonly used to aid people in healing their oral health issues, such as gingivitis, tooth sensitivity, plaque buildup, and more, it also has been found to actually improve a person’s overall physical health.

How can putting oil in your mouth and swishing it around possibly do anything to the rest of your body, you might ask. My husband would call it voodoo and roll his eyes, then do a Swagbucks search for “oil pulling quackery” and see what he could find. (More on that below…)

“The health of your mouth is tied to the health of your whole body.” When you have a healthy mouth (bacteria), you lay the foundation for a healthy body overall. In an interview I did with an expert on probiotics, I learned how many bacteria are in residence in our bodies (100 trillion of them, 10x more than we have cells…!). Every process that runs in our bodies to keep us alive and healthy depends on bacteria, so we need to keep them healthy and in balance (85% good guys, 15% bad guys).

Although over 80% of our immune system is in the gut, there are still trillions of bacteria in the mouth. Where does everything that goes into the gut pass through on its way?

Bruce Fife told the story of how Dr. Weston A. Price began to discover the connection between oral health and bodily health. A woman he had given a root canal to was wheelchair-bound and absolutely crippled by multiple sclerosis soon afterward. He was helping her with the symptoms of that disease, I believe, when he decided to test a theory: he asked he if he could remove her tooth with the root canal. Within weeks, she was walking!

Dr. Fife talked a little about root canals: Even with root canals, when the tooth is totally cleaned by the dentist, of course bacteria gets back in there because there are trillions of bacteria in your mouth. It’s a dead tooth sitting there, causing disease in your mouth. He says there’s no way a root canal can result in a healthy situation.

To continue to prove the whole body health connection to the mouth, Dr. Price did experiments by putting people’s teeth that he had removed under the skin of rabbits, and within days, the rabbits would develop the same (non oral) health problems the people suffered from: arthritis, heart disease, etc.

What is Oil Pulling Used For?

Beyond oral health issues, people have found great relief for a surprising number of conditions: Arthritis, heart troubles, diabetes, joint issues, fatigue, and more. The list of things people heal with oil pulling is crazy amazing! I wish I would have been able to type them all out but I was driving while listening and took notes later by memory…

One thing I do remember is when he talked about a “healing crisis” that sometimes happens when something is being healed. Healing crisis issues might include nausea, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, etc. Most of these things make people think that they have either gotten sick or that the oil pulling is having an adverse effect. People get freaked out, but that just means your body is fighting something and/or herxing.

According to Fife, it shouldn’t last more than a day to maybe two weeks, tops, and then you’ll be in better health than before once you’re on the other end of a healing crisis. “Don’t stop oil pulling!”

The tricky part about that for the skeptics is the “what if?” issue – what if that’s all part of the bunk and you’re really hurting yourself? It’s a legitimate question, and one I’ve been asked when I mentioned a similar healing reaction as I battled candida – the idea of getting worse before you get better comes up often in natural health, but in modern medicine chemo is one of the only things I can think of that hurts you to heal you.

What do you think? Can a “healing reaction” present itself negatively but actually be a good thing?

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling Tips from Bruce Fife

If you’re more intrigued by the history and success stories, the details of which I didn’t share very specifically here, and not dissuaded by the skepticism, you might be interested in a few more details about the “how to” of oil pulling. Here are Fife’s tips:

  • Oil pulling is best in the morning, but his reasoning was that you remember it then, not that it’s exponentially more effective at that time of day.
  • He says if you’re trying to tackle serious health problems, do oil pulling three times a day.
  • The best oil is coconut oil. Just a teaspoon is fine, for most people a whole tablespoon is probably too much.
  • Always spit into the garbage, not the sink.

What else can be done with coconut oil? Oh, my friend – try making homemade hard lotion

Who Should use Oil Pulling?

According to Bruce Fife, everyone should oil pull, just like everyone should brush their teeth, even if you don’t have oral or other issues you want to treat.

That was an interesting perspective to me, because of course everyone should brush their teeth – we practice many forms of preventative care on ourselves when we don’t feel sick, and oil pulling falls into that category.

I listened to Bruce Fife talk because I had access to the HealThy Mouth Summit, which is a collection of about two dozen oral health experts doing interviews (now offline). You might also be interested in the Bass brushing technique, research-proven and just as fascinating as this (almost).

Is There a HOLISTIC Dentist Hiding In Your Town?

Robyn Openshaw over at Green Smoothie Girl spent months calling every holistic dentist she could find in the U.S! She learned what services each of them provide, and made a special guide so you can find a holistic dentist who uses practices that are non-toxic, so you can avoid heavy metals, root canals, radioactive x-rays, and more. She’s made all the information she gathered available for free in one amazing resource, The Insider’s Guide to Holistic Dentists.

Is There a HOLISTIC Dentist Hiding In Your Town?

Robyn Openshaw over at Green Smoothie Girl spent months calling every holistic dentist she could find in the U.S! She learned what services each of them provide, and made a special guide so you can find a holistic dentist who uses practices that are non-toxic, so you can avoid heavy metals, root canals, radioactive x-rays, and more.

She’s made all the information she gathered available for free in one amazing resource, The Insider’s Guide to Holistic Dentists.

The Opposition: Oil Pulling is a Myth

I realized I shouldn’t say that my husband would look up oil pulling myths without then doing it myself. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

  • There’s no such thing as detoxification, period, so oil pulling certainly can’t do that.
  • Lisa Barger says there’s zero legitimate research on oil pulling and that it’s not even described in Ayurvedic history, that “oil gargling” does not match the description.
    • This study, done after the above post, states, “The myth…of oil pulling…has been broken.” It connected oil pulling to good oral health.
    • This one demonstrated oil pulling’s effectiveness against bad breath and the organisms that cause it (bacteria), compared to mouthwash.
    • This one showed similar results comparing oil pulling to mouthwash in the battle against plaque-induced gingivitis.
    • This study concluded, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health,” but it was looking at reduction in the count of Streptococcus mutans in plaque and saliva. Their findings were slight, and not as effective as mouthwash in the saliva, so it seems to me like the conclusion was a bit of a jump without any qualifiers.

All the studies above were done with sesame oil, not coconut oil, and unfortunately, all seem to be variations on the same group of only 20 kids. Bruce Fife mentioned in his talk that he had read hundreds of studies, and I’m sure he did, but as an amateur researcher with access to only public databases, I didn’t find many. However, I also didn’t find any journal publications that debunked oil pulling as a hoax and proved why it didn’t work.

So. You can believe Bruce Fife, that oil pulling is a hair’s breadth (or is it hare’s breath?) short of a miracle healing technique for the whole person, or you can believe that it’s nothing more than a total load of bull. Or you can fall somewhere in the middle, that it can improve oral health but not whole body health.

Any way you look at it, it’s pretty low risk – there’s not a lot of expense or time lost in swishing coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes, during which time you can do something else, like take that shower, check your email, make breakfast, or read your favorite blog (wink, wink).

Oil Pulling Tips and Tricks

Buying Options

Virgin, unrefined coconut oil tastes like coconut where refined does NOT. As long as your refined oil is from a trusted source, you could use that if the coconut taste bothers you.

Do you “pull oil?” What are your experiences? What are your questions?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

About The Author

137 thoughts on “Oil Pulling Tips and Success Stories ~ Do You Swish?”

  1. No reply to my question about metal filling so I’ll try another route: Does anyone with metal fillings oil pull with success? Or has anyone with metal fillings ever had any trouble because of OP?

    I have been wanting to try oil pulling for a while now but, because I have many metal fillings, I’ve put it off not knowing if it could be counterproductive. Any info would be great!

    1. Andrea,

      I’m not a dentist, but as a chemist, it seems unlikely that there would be a problem from a chemical perspective between metal fillings and vegetable oils (yes, even natural organic coconut oil is a chemical). I’d be more concerned about people who have non-metal/resin fillings.

      Think of it another way: a tablespoon of oil is ~15g of fat. A serving of potato chips is 10g of fat. A donut is 11g of fat. A medium McDonals fries is 19g of fat (not necessarily a good point of comparison, but it is a point of reference). My point is, a lot of people eat oils, and it if were a problem to eat oil with metal fillings, we would have heard about it.

      That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions, but when messaging people we don’t know on the internet, we are forced to speak in generalities.

      For what it is worth, I just tried oil pulling, and my teeth feel amazingly clean. Even if that’s all it does, it’s enough for me.

      Good luck!

    2. Hi Andrea,
      I’m so sorry about that! I do see your comment above now, and I am all caught up on comments, but yours must have just been lost in the shuffle. (I also am not sure what Dr. Fife says about metal fillings to be honest; If I didn’t write it in these notes it probably wasn’t in this particular talk, but I feel pretty certain it would be in his book.)

      I’ll ask this question on my Facebook wall this week and see what people say, okay? We’ll get back to you in a few days!

      🙂 Katie

    3. Andrea,
      Here’s what we have from the KS peeps so far:

      “I have metal fillings and I’ve been oil pulling for almost 2 years now. It’s been good for me. The last time I went to the dentist (he was a more “natural” dentist), he told me that oil pulling was fine and furthermore, my gums were in perfect condition. And I NEVER floss. I use organic coconut oil.”

      ” the controversy regarding oil pulling and metal/mercury (even composite fillings can still contain mercury), is that the toxins will leach out and circulate into your body making you sick. I haven’t been able to find definitive answers regarding this. most say if you have mercury in your mouth, you should avoid oil pulling or at least be able to chelate the mercury out of your body. chlorella??, etc. and try to have all fillings removed properly. if you are basically healthy overall, may work for you, but those with health concerns or chronic health issues may worsen them.”

      “I’ve been op for about 2 years with multiple metal fillings as despite lots of research I hadn’t realised there was an increased risk. My teeth are certainly cleaner (no need for hygienist) but I’m unaware of any other benefits. I have been more concerned about the bentonite clay in my tooth powder. Maybe I’ll stop both for a while. I wish I could afford to get my filings removed but there isn’t much tooth left in some cases and the cost of getting it done safely in the uk is astronomical.”

      “Oil pulling detoxifies the body via the access to the lymph system access in the mouth. I cannot see how it could possibly hurt a person, although the detox process can make a person ill if they are detoxing more quickly than their body can handle. If that happens I would just slow down and do only a few days a week until it is apparent that the body can handle it. and yes chlorella can help bind the toxins and flush them out of the body so can several other foods, I believe cilantro is one of them, but in some quantity. Also important to note is that there is real value in feeling that you are doing something helpful for your body and for your family, that feeling alone that power of positivity can cover a multitude of ills. if a person goes through life always wondering how they are damaging their body they will do more damage because of the power in those negative feelings. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 and 6. Pray about what you do and the Lord will lead you . He blesses our efforts with health and all things. It is just like eating organic foods or not, you do the best you can with what you have and trust God with all of it. He is more powerful than all of our contemporary knowledge.”

      ” we don’t op regularly, but we did for a while and one of my family members has several fillings. I never thought about it causing trouble. we certainly didn’t notice any difficulties. From what I’ve read metal fillings are constantly polluting your body anyway. My (uneducated) guess would be that op would let you spit out some of that instead of it all being absorbed.”

      (from here in case anyone adds anything else:

      And this thought via message:
      I am wondering how activated charcoal compares with oil pulling. I have personally seen better whitening from swishing activated charcoal and water than with oil pulling, though the charcoal was for a shorter duration (2 min). AC removes toxins from the body via adsorption which might make it more effective for detoxing. However, it would not have some of the health promoting powers attributed to oil. AC also binds to minerals when taken internally, so that may have a negative affect in swishing.

      Now you have some ideas from others at least!
      🙂 Katie

      1. Katie, this is amazing! Thanks so much! Sounds like it may be worth giving it a try and just seeing how things go.

        If I have anything unusual happen, I’ll be sure to post about it here. Thanks again!

      2. One of the reasons OP works, is because toxins usually bind /bond with the oil, allowing it to be spit out— also bonds with mercury residue, helping it to be spit out, instead of retreating deeper into the body.
        When patients at our old office headed to the dentist, we counseled them: PRIOR to dental visits:
        1. Avoid large doses of Vit. C for 24 hrs. before appointment, as this causes need for more numbing drugs. AND, DO eat high-fat foods just before the appointment, as these bond with heavy metals and help get them OUT of the body, instead of them hiding in body tissues.
        AFTER procedures, as soon as possible:
        2. DO take large amounts of Vit. C, such as EmergenC in water, as this is antioxidant that gets toxins out faster/ helps detox from numbing drugs often used.
        AND, DO take another high-fat snack, again, to bond with toxic junk let loose by dental work, to get it out of the body via the digestive tract, in case anything goes there.
        OP’ing was also suggested for after the dental work, because of that.

        VERY good advice to slow down, if daily OP-detoxing rattles loose too much at a time.
        Tailor how often you do it in response to how your body responds.
        One old saying: hurt-good is OK [like some deep tissue massages, or a light-case of flu, for instance], hurt-bad is not [like getting beaten up or having really bad flu]: each person can tell for themselves, where that cut-off point is, and adjust how often and for how long each round of OP is done.
        OP is absolutely a good thing; the hard part for a few people, might be this adjustment and detoxing period, and overcoming fears that every thing they try is automatically going to hurt them…in many cases like that, sensory triggers are always on high-alert, meaning even little things that should register as “nothing” hit the body as if it were a bus, instead..just because it’s expected and feared, down deep inside, even where we can’t always identify it as that.

        OP does GOOD things for the body–this is one way to love yourself: you care about you, as no one else can, so you do something good, to reverse health issues, to feel better in the long run.
        IF someone is loaded with toxicity, it takes time, patience, and persistence, gently bringing the body along until you are able to do more, healthier.
        There’s some heavy psychology involved in human feed-back loops, NOT related to OP’ing itself, but in trying something new, and learning how to individualize it effectively.

    4. YEs–I had responded somewhere in here about that.
      I’ve been OP’ing for about 2 years, nearly daily, at least 2 rounds daily;
      I use only 1 tsp. each round, as that is all that will fit, and slush it through teeth at least 5 minutes each round.
      DENTAL HX:
      ===All mercury fillings removed in 1990’s, related to constant pain and neurological issues…that helped some.
      ===NUMEROUS composite fillings placed over 30+ years–which means there are several kinds of composite: ALL of them have stayed put..
      ===40+ yr. old bridge supports a false tooth: it’s stayed stable–probly a statement in favor of the skill and artistry of the dentist who placed it!
      ===One 20+ yr. old, patched crown: this was badly done to begin with, on a tooth that formerly had mercury fillings replaced about 3 times in about 50 years. This has been chronically, intermittently tender/ inflamed, tending to infect around base of crown, and develops gum-pockets fast, if I slack off on OP….OP has saved this tooth.
      ===Currently, ramping up to 2 to 4 rounds of OP each morning, to save that crown—the dentist doesn’t believe it can be done, but it seems to be helping.
      I also use, to great effect, the Dental Herb Company’s “Tooth and Gums Tonic” mouthwash, which also works instead of toothpaste.
      OP’ing and the herbal mouthwash have SAVED my teeth, and NEVER harmed any dental work.
      These 2 things have also caused only cursory, IF ANY, cleaning to be needed–totally avoided “deep cleanings”
      –THAT saves much money!
      My Dentist is a University teaching dentist, who has been monitoring progress with these methods.
      They WORK.
      He keeps being amazed.
      He sells the herbal mouthwash from his office.
      I don’t know if he tells other patients about OP’ing or not.

  2. I oil pull everyday and have been for over one year now. All I can say is that for me it does work. It has kept me from getting sick and I am serious because it pulls all the mucous out that usually stays at the back of my throat. Salt water doesn’t even do this for me. In addition, I do take graviola, spirullina, chlorella, and quercetin as my daily vitamins so these help as well. Oil Pulling is a great way to get up the bad germs in your upper respiratory track. I always reccommend OP along with my other vitamins, but most of the people I know won’t listen to me because none of what I take is FDA approved.

  3. Hi, I am writing this while I have coconut oil in my mouth “pulling”. But I am getting a sore jaw and have only been going for 4 minutes. This is my first time trying this after getting inspired from reading all the comments above. I’m wanting to spew! Is it ok to have a rest for a few seconds or so?

  4. I tried OP a year ago & didn’t stick with it, so a couple of weeks before I went to the dentist I started up again. He said my mouth was one of the cleanest he’s seen, especially since I hadn’t seen a dentist in 5 years.

    I had all six silver fillings replaced Oct 30, & have continued with the OP since. I came down sick Nov 1 & have been detoxing ever since. Feels like a bad cold with coughing & chest congestion. It’s my normal detox/healing crisis routine I’ve been through before.

    It was amazing how different my head felt after replacing the fillings! Lighter, less heavy. But then all the detox hit. I’m sure the OP is helping with that. I am actually feeling better today!

    I am sure that my detox is a bit more than most people have as I am really sensitive to weird things. Going to the dentist usually brings on a day or two of something. I am continuing the OP & hope to clear up all this sinus/chest junk I have going on!

    PS I keep a small amount of Coconut oil in a little jar, & just put it in hot water for 30 secs & its ready. Microwaving is not good for you, especially oils. The hot water is just as fast if the jar is small. I use coconut oil to remove makeup & people always ask about my skin.

    1. I meant I started a couple of DAYS before the dentist…not sure if detox is from fillings or the OP. Probably would’ve been better to do one or the other & not all at once!! Seems to be getting better. Sticking with the OP.

    2. Wow! Six fillings the same day? I’m no doctor but I’d bet my bottom dollar you got sick from mercury overload via the silver fillings. My dentist would not do that many in the same day… ps. I’m in love with coconut oil… sooo yummy too! Hope you’re better by now.

  5. I am so glad you have an article on it! My routine is : Get up- Brush teeth- put in Organic EV Coconut Oil (you don’t want solvent extracted oil in your mouth!!) and set my timer in my nitchen or on my cell phone for 20 min. Then I get my toddler ready for the day, get breakfast going, check email, etc. Then it is time to spit!
    Same thing at bedtime….. put in the oil, set the timer & get Toddler ready for bed.
    I had heard of it before, but never really stuck to it, UNTIL….. I woke up July 3rd 2013 and had horrible blistering eczema around my eyes and mouth. They looked like pimples at first, but I soon realized it was eczema. I eliminated wheat/gluten/caffeine and it started to subside, but not completely as I have been eating gluten/wheat for 33 years, and I could not expect that long of a time of eating gluten/wheat to be out of my system in a few days. I stuck with it doing it at waking, before lunch, and before bed. 3 months later, my face is clear, I lost 13 lbs, my teeth are white and are no longer sensitive!
    I believe in it SO strongly that I recommend it to everyone. It is just oil in your mouth, oil you can eat, what is the harm? BTW, I am a gaggy person, so I started with 2 tsp and worked up to 1 tbsp. It takes 8 weeks to make a habit stick….. It is a habit I plan on doing from now on! I feel wonderful, and it has helped me when I started feeling like I had a sore throat, or being sick. It is so easy to do, but such a hard sell to others….? Not sure WHY, but I know that I cannot run myself crazy trying to convince others. They have to find out themselves. Vitacost has the 52 oz Organic EV Coconut Oil right now on sale for $16.99 and it is from the same manufactuerer as where Nutiva gets theirs! I tastes exactly the same (buttery & delicious) and it really works! I hope I am able to help someone else with my story so they can heal themselves & stick to it!

  6. Katie, have you heard or read anything about oil pulling messing with fillings? After pulling for a while I had to have a cracked filling replaced :-/ and a “crunchy” friend told me she’d heard oil pulling can pull fillings out! Now I’m having another tooth show signs of sensitivity so I’m wondering if it could be true?!? PS They aren’t metal like the person above asked about…but I’d like to read your answer to her question too as my husband has metal fillings and pulls regularly!

    1. Hey Mindy,
      I’m not sure how your question got lost in the shuffle, but I was just scrolling up on this post and noticed I didn’t respond! 🙁 It would be odd that OP would cause sensitivity – unless you’re thinking it’s affecting/cracking a filling in that tooth? I don’t think I’ve heard too much about that issue, but maybe there’s something on Dr. Fif’e’s site or his book? Someone has to be able to address this, but in my personal experience, I haven’t had it happen. Maybe that filling had a problem and needed to go anyway. We can hope, right? 🙂 Katie

  7. I’m surprised this question hasn’t yet been asked here: what about amalgam fillings? What did Fife have to say about that? I can never seem to find a straight answer about the safety of OP with metal fillings.

  8. All I can say is that for me, it really does work. For starters, as a mental health professional, I know first hand how somethings have more of a placebo effect but after having a toothache for the past week that was growing increasingly nagging to the point of migraine; then after two days of swishing oil for 20 mins it disappeared not returning thus far, I’m sorry….. this thing works. Having experience an abscess tooth before, I also know one of the signs is having a sudden misaligned bite. The building of pus begins to make the tooth push outward from the gum and biting down on it is EXCRUCIATING. After swishing with the oil, the swelling subsided and biting down on it feels normal. I will continue with the pulling and see what else it can do.

  9. I am on my third day using unrefined expeller pressed coconut oil-got a huge tub from costco yay. I have been reading a lot about the benefits of coconut and using it as a moisturizer with great results, so when I learned about oil pulling thought it sounded great! Thing is, I pulled twice yesterday and once the day before, now today I did just this morning and have only been able to work up to 12 minutes. But have been crazy lethargic and flu symptoms-literally it was not fun. I want to keep going but am afraid of how long this “detox” if that’s what it is might last? I have a pretty physical job not like I can run to the bathroom every half hour. Wondering if I should go to every other day…I really want to get to the other side of this and improve my oral health, see if it’ll help allergies, and even my arthritis and migraines. My teeth do feel great lol! Can this really be a cleansing/detox happening to me?

    1. I wonder if your symptoms are coincidental. Maybe you do have a virus that your struggling with. I’ve been oil pulling for a couple weeks, once or twice daily, 10 to 20 minutes without any uncomfortable symptoms. My teeth have no stain and my skin looks even better. I love this.

    2. Andrea,
      You’ve got a few more days passed to see if you had a virus like the other commenter – and I wonder the same thing – it does seem like a pretty violent “detox” symptoms if that’s what it is! Every other day couldn’t hurt, you know? LMK how you’re doing! 🙂 Katie

  10. I ve had root canal done on two of my molar teeth. there has been an abscess for about 3 years now in the gum between these two teeth. An invisible one.I have had problems with my sinuses and pain in my jaw…. started oil pulling 3 days ago and i didnt have any terrible symptoms at that point but today i have a pocket next to my tooth filled with pus. it looks like the oil has started to drain it. im a bit in pain but i read that i shouldnt stop because my body is getting rid of the infection. i hope so…. 🙂

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  13. I read about oil pulling a few years back when I was just investigating home health remedies. WOW what a difference.

    I’ve been using coconut oil to oil pull -yes the texture at first is super nastyness, but it gets liquidy super fast I promise.

    My teeth are definitely whiter, and visits to the dentist have much less bleeding and gum issues, but what surprised me was how my energy level changed. And I noticed on the days I forgot to pull, I felt really sluggish. It also helped with my GI health, too. OH! And SINUSES! WOW! I didn’t fully realize how much I was not smelling until I started pulling. Yeah its kinda gros but it pulls down mucus, too, if you’re abundantly mucusy like I get in the summer.

    Whether or not you believe its alkalinizing properties, I can’t go without it. Something is happening there and it has changed my world.

  14. Jacilynnw Woods

    Question…where do you all purchase the coconut oil…I see it at Walmart…is that doable or is there a specific kind? This is the first I have heard of oil going to give it a go, as I am having problems with my teeth…65 next month…lol

    1. Jacilynn,
      I get mine as I describe here:

      I don’t know what brand Walmart carries, but you definitely want unrefined…they may not have the best quality. ??

      Good luck! 🙂 Katie

    2. I get mine here: , they have several different sizes/quantities available. And as you can see this brand is very positively reviewed.

    3. I am going to guess that Wal-Mart carries LouAna brand. This is a refined oil and not the best in my opinion. They don’t have much on their website about how it is processed and so on. I did buy a bottle to try since it is cheap, but I just don’t like how it looks or tastes. So I used it up and won’t buy again. Definitely read Katie’s post, and I agree with John that Nutiva is a great one, and so is Tropical Traditions. I also like the Trader Joe’s brand as it is a great price and high quality.

  15. I’ve definitely noticed fresher breath since I started oil pulling, and slightly stronger gums too. No differences in teeth color yet.

  16. I have been OPing for a week now. Great success! My mouth feels clean and tastes better than ever. My teeth are a shade whiter. Working on some bad stains but it seems to me they are lifting. I used to have a constant bad taste in my mouth. Not any more. I have noticed sinus/allergy probs have surfaced. This was something I fought off for about a year but finally stopped a few months ago. However it never went away completely. I am going to keep oil pulling and see if it goes away. My skin is more balanced too. I can get bouts of eczema occasionally but it has subsided some. The other thing is arthritis. I have noticed a difference but still have other factors to consider such as weather, alcohol consumption, and exercise. Overall I love it and I don’t think I will ever stop. I have used sesame because it was recommended but the first couple of times I used eevo and I had a much cleaner feeling and pleasant taste. It was delightful. Thinking of upping it to 2 times a day.

  17. Hello!! I am still breast feeding my 14 month old. I want to oil pull and dry brush my skin. Are you oil pulling while nursing? I think it’s ok to do. What do you think?

  18. Pingback: Oil Pulling: For beginners/everyone ~Coconut oil, Colloidal silver, Essential oils & Tips/FAQ’s/Info | Natural & Frugal: Raising 6 kids

  19. I’m an oil pulling rookie. I did my first this morning, complete with all the saliva challenges and managing not to swallow for 20minutes.
    I used sunflower oil though; is this okay?
    By the way, thanks everyone, for all the enlightenment.

    1. My understanding is that the two BEST oils to use for oil pulling are sesame and sunflower. They should be organic and unfiltered (always on hand at Whole Foods). This info comes from and various other avenues I’ve followed in the course of my own research.

  20. I don’t know whether oil pulling really works, but I know it can’t hurt. I have used various oils short of motor oil and they all seem to do the same thing. Olive oil (not the cheap stuff) works very well, is antibacterial and tastes good, too. Oil of oregano works. I once used Baby Oil – it does the job, but tastes bad and leaves a disgusting residue although it does an excellent job cleaning oily skin pore when followed by a soap wash – cleared my acne in about a week when I was high school.

    All of these oils seem to soften hardened substances, get under them, and then plaques, germs, food remnants, and dirt just wash away. I favor olive oil because I only need to buy one oil for cleaning, eating, and cooking.

  21. I gave him a printout of the same report that “Ruth” gave the website for, early in these comments:

    I think it’s the best arguement for OPing you can give your dentist.

    As an aside, I think OPing does help with seasonal allergies in combination with nasal irrigation and eye washes. Keeping the orifices of your head moist and clear of existing allergens, allows the surfaces and cilia (slender, microscopic, hair-like structures in the respiratory tract and middle ear) to do the work they’re intended to do. When they get dry, theyget overwhelmed and can’t prevent the allergens from getting further into your system and sinuses, where they can settle and get infected.

  22. OK. Here’s my experience:

    I do OP inconsistently….about 4 days a week. My understanding is the best method is three weeks on, two weeks off alternating. I use organic, unrefined sesame oil (from Whole Foods).

    At the beginning, after about three days of OPing, one tooth got really sore and I was worried that I might’ve stimulated something and would need to go to the dentist. I had heard of the detox reactions and held off for a day. The pain subsided within 24 hours and never returned.

    When I last went to the dentist, he mentioned that he was surprised that my gums looked so good even though my teeth needed cleaning. He said he would’ve expected more gingivitis. As you get older, you get quite a bit more of it and it is the leading cause of loosening teeth. My last two annuals required treatment. This year I’m good. My dentist is now considering OP as an effective preventative for gum disease.

  23. I’ve been pulling for three days. Day #2, I sneezed all day . Day #3, felt like the Flu….horrible. Day #4, I feel good….even, above average.

    I use coconut oil ( because that’s the oil I had in the kitchen). I’m not a big fan of “almond joy, peppermint patties, coconut water or milk, but the smooth taste of coconut oil doesnt bother me. By the way….I cook with coconut oil and my food tastes better, not to mention the fact that, its better for me.

    If you have never “pulled” give it a shot…..what do you have to lose?

  24. Ok Katie, I’ve done this 3 times now, and like someone stated above, I can’t help it, I swallow reflexively! I don’t actually swallow much (if any!) of the oil, but it makes me nervous. I literally cannot help it though! It’s like telling my heart not to beat! Does everyone have this?? And you just do your best not to actually swallow the oil/saliva?? And also, how long will the sensitive teeth last? That’s kind of annoying!

    1. Mindy,
      I’ve never personally had that happen – I must have a tongue thrust thing going on that is different in your mouth. ?? Try less oil? My sensitive teeth aren’t caused by oil pulling – did it sound that way in the post? They are just sensitive, potentially as a result of pregnancy and nursing, but I think oil pulling helps it a bit, maybe 75% better? I need to get back in the habit; mornings have been rushed lately! 🙁


    2. Mindy, sometimes I do that too, maybe like 3 or 4 times each time but I’m pretty careful to keep the oil towards the front of my mouth most of the time. I’m sure I swallow small amounts of oil that I don’t notice but I personally don’t think it’s worth any concern.

      1. Thanks for confirming I’m not a nut job, Tiffany! 🙂 Also, are you the same Tiffany that talks above about having senstitive gums for the first week or so? I’m having sensitive teeth…I hope it goes away soon! Katie, I think I was confusing your sensitive teeth and the comment about sensitive gums in the beginning…I’m taking it as a die-off sort of effect and hoping it passes quickly! 🙂 Did your sensitivity change (for better or worse) at all with pulling? My husband has terrible teeth, so I really need to get him pulling, but he also has sensitive teeth, so my onset of sensitive teeth isn’t encouraging him! :-/

        1. Mindy, yes, I had sensitive gums the first time I tried pulling a few months ago. However, I was silly and also started a new toothpaste at the same time I started pulling. I’m now wondering that it may have been the toothpaste that made my gums sore. It was a super duper whitening toothpaste (I know, bad). This recent round of pulling hasn’t given me sensitive teeth or gums (changed back to old toothpaste). But maybe it’s because I didn’t have as many toxins built up in my gums? I don’t know. One thing that has been consistent with pulling is that spicy foods are now really spicy, I can’t handle much! The pulling must be “cleaning” my taste buds or something. I’ll also agree with Katie that it helps my sensitive teeth.

  25. Ancient practices all the way! our ancestors knew a thing or more. This is not a new practice for ancient India, however it is getting popular in the western world in the recent years. Ayurveda rocks! Love traditional practices becoming popular.

  26. I just found this post yesterday and at 5:30 my throat began to be sore (daughter and g’daughter both diagnosed with strep in the last few days). When I woke up this morning, my throat was pretty sore but I decided to try the oil pulling. After ‘pulling’ for 10-12 minutes, I noticed that my throat didn’t hurt any more! It doesn’t feel normal, but the pain is still gone at lunch time. I’ll be oil pulling again as soon as I get home from work tonight!

  27. I have oil pulled with sesame oil. The amount of gunk that comes out is disgusting! It wasn’t that bad, but I did forget about doing it. I have sensitive teeth, allergies (thanks for the acv tip!), endometriosis, and chronic pain 24/7, also depression. I think I will try this again to see if it helps any of it. Coconut oil is amazing!! I juice and make smoothies daily and read that if you eat 1 t coconut oil with it, it helps with the blood sugar spike. So I have been just eating it…it is so good! This will be much better than the sesame oil! Cannot wait to try it!

  28. I tried this, but I can’t seem to get past a few minutes and seem to swallow reflexively a lot (not swallowing the oil, but still). I will try for awhile and see if it helps. My dentist does not take any whining about flossing hurting. 🙁

  29. I understand the yucky feeling of solid coconut oil in your mouth. I struggled with it too the first week or so. It does get better after time. HOWEVER, I discovered that using unrefined virgin coconut oil is so much easier to deal with. I had mistakenly bought refined coconut oil for my first go at this a few months ago and it’s flavorless and seemed to be more solid than the unrefined (I think that’s part of the refining process). Also, the unrefined virgin coconut oil has a lovely coconutty taste/flavor that made it much more palatable and not so yucky. Gosh, I couldn’t imagine doing it with the traditional sesame oil!! Yuck!

  30. I’ve done oil pulling on and off. I definitely find it seems to help with bad breath. I haven’t noticed any other health benefits personally, but again I’m not consistent. It’s hard to explain, but it just seems like it “washes” my mouth better than toothpaste alone. I oil pull first and follow with brushing. I aim for about 15-20 minutes of swishing.

    For people citing time as an issue — swish while you’re in the shower! By the time you’re done & dry, you should be good to go.

    It’s funny how many people hate the feeling of cold coconut oil. I just don’t find it that weird. And because it’s solid it’s less messy than when I use sesame oil.

    Yes, you do get a lot of saliva built up. But if your mouth feels too full here’s a possible trick: open your mouth and release some air. I’m always surprised how I naturally puff my cheeks with air when swishing. 😉

  31. Nina via Facebook

    I’m on day three – I worked up to a tablespoon and worked up and I’m almost at 20 minutes 🙂

  32. I’ve been oil pulling for almost a month now. I’ve read about it for a long time, but had only tried it once. I got started again because my seasonal allergies were flaring up and midwife also encouraged me to try it. I’ve been consistent every day, and during the first week and a half, I was still using a homeopathic allergy tincture 3x/day, and eye drops and nose spray as needed. We’ve had a weird spring, hot and cold, sun and snow, so it’s hard to say what’s going on with the pollen. However, I am no longer using the allergy tincture at all. I still wake up with slightly itchy throat and eyes and nose, but it improves after the oil in the morning, and is tolerable throughout the rest of the day.

    My mouth also feels fabulous! I feel like I’ve just had a professional teeth cleaning every morning. Also, my oldest son was complaining of a sore gums, and he pulled with me for a few days and it cleared right up.

    So far, I’m going to continue and see if there are any other benefits.

    1. Cinnamon Vogue

      Andrea use Apple Cider Vinegar for your allergies. Warm a glass of water in the microwave for 30 seconds (no more), then add 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (no more) and drink every 8 hours. Usually works the first time. For severe allergies 3 days every 8 hours will stop your allergies. I have yet to come across for whom it has not worked. Use organic unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. Believe me I was a severe allergy sufferer. Now I have thrown away my Allegra. In fact I have thrown away all medication including cough syrup. Follow instructions exactly and you will be cured. Really it works. I also own a couple of preschools in California, so you could say I am an expert after having had to deal with all manner of crazy illnesses. Now all my teachers take ACV at the slightest illness and I have zero absence due to routine illnesses.

      1. I’m confused. Do we drink the glass of ACV over the course of 8hrs or do we drink it all down at once and then repeat 8hrs later.

    2. Ok, I feel like I have to post an update. Our weather has finally warmed up and we’ve had several hot, dry, windy days and my allergies are still bothering me. I’m still oil pulling, but it looks like the relief I was getting allergy-wise had more to do with the weather. I also tried the ACV for three days and saw no change in my allergies, though I do believe ACV has a lot of wonderful healing properties.
      I will keep oil pulling though because I love clean my mouth and teeth feel, and I’m hopeful there are other benefits. But like with all things natural, it takes time for things to change.

  33. Just tried this…loved it! I used coconut oil. I put a teaspoonful in my mouth in solid form, and then swished until it became liquid.

    However…I found that the saliva really built up in my mouth, and the amount of liquid swishing around there just kept increasing. I actually spit some of it out a couple of times to decrease the volume. But then it felt like I was left with just saliva. So…has this happened to you and how do you deal with all that saliva?

    Note…I do think I have a very active saliva production, as a couple of my dentists have mentioned it.


    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I was thinking as I read that maybe you produce more saliva than me, because I really haven’t had that issue. I wonder what the best solution is? Maybe less oil to begin with, and then just spit and add more, like 1/2 tsp. at a time, do it twice, and stop when you can’t hold the amount in your mouth anymore and call it good for that day! Then at least you’re not diluting the oil…

      🙂 Katie

    2. I put a tablespoon of oil in a cup and microwave it for 16 seconds so its not chunky but not hot either. Then I put about half in my mouth and swish and pull for 10 minutes, spit it out and put the other half in. That’s the only way I can do it for 20 minutes because of all the saliva. you could maybe put a 4th of it in and spit after 5 minutes and do that 4 times. Seems like it could work haha!

  34. I do oil pulling with coconut oil 3 times a week for about 5- 10 minutes while in the shower. I have found this to be effective for me in regards to oral health.

    What sold me on oil pulling was a trip to the dentist. It was 2011 and I had not been to the dentist for general cleaning for two years. I had bleeding gums, sensitivity and suspected some cavities. I read about oil pulling three weeks before my appointment so I began right away. I did it everyday consistently for 15 minutes.
    At the appointment, the dentist was amazed at how healthy my gums were and how little plaque I had. It was amazing!

    So now I do it fairly consistently to keep my oral health! If I were to have other health problems, I would considering doing it more often to see how it would effect my health.

    It worked for me!

  35. Learned about this several years ago and cringed.
    Went to dentist this year… not good, but I didn’t want to follow the standard protocols.
    Instead, I chose oil pulling with coconut oil. It was much easier than expected. I also floss and brush right afterward. Oh, I do this first thing in the morning and use my time getting foods, etc. ready for the day and time passes quickly.
    NOW, the really good part. I went back to the dentist after only seven weeks and learned that my inflamed, bleeding gums had healed! Office staff wanted to know if I would continue… duh 🙂
    Who knows what else will transpire? I’ll just continue and wait to be surprised.

  36. I hate coconut, but I am able to do the swishing with coconut oil. The initial chewing to get it melted is icky, but not gaggy. I don’t know how people could possibly use a tablespoon. I do about half a teaspoon and after a couple of minutes have so much saliva added that I can’t do the pulling between teeth, just whole mouth swishing. I haven’t done it regualrly enough to know if it really helps or not. I am having trouble with cold sensitivity, which motivated me to try it again.

    1. I love my extra virgin coconut oil. I just started seriously taking it for the last 8-10 days. The oil pulling I have been doing for 4 days. The first time was 4 min. and have increased up to 20 min. now. I too have trouble with the pulling , too much saliva production. So I just swish. Having had a serious problem with Sinusitis and other respiratory issues I was thrilled to find my sinuses draining and helping me with my breathing. Also have a lot more energy. Don’t know if this is a fluke but hope it continues.

  37. I started oil pulling a couple of years ago. I needed to have a root canal, but instead opted to have the tooth pulled. I knew that root canals were bad, but didn’t really know what to do for a bad tooth. Anyway, after the tooth was pulled, I kept feeling that same painful drainage down the back of my throat on the same side that I had lost the tooth. I started oil pulling and it went away and would stay away for a couple of months (I didn’t oil pull every day- six kids, very busy). I think oil pulling is wonderful. I still don’t do it every day, but if I feel a cold or illness coming on, I immediately start oil pulling and it zaps it in its tracks. I want to also add that since I have started using my homemade bentonite clay toothpaste, I have had similar results and haven’t needed to oil pull as often.

    1. Can I get you toothpaste recipe? I’ve tried 3-4 different recipes and my husband only liked the first. Which of course I can’t remember. Lol! Life!

      1. If you can’t come up with a recipe of your own, try Earthpaste. ( We’ve been using their clay&oil based paste for a while now, and I am amazed by how clean my teeth and mouth feel afterwards!

  38. Would you do this instead of brushing teeth? Before? After? What if you already use the OraWellness product and toothbrush? Is this instead or in addition to?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Good questions! You don’t stop brushing your teeth, so this is in addition to. In fact, it is recommended that you brush right after doing it to really get all the junk out of your teeth – no matter what you use to brush. 🙂 Katie

      1. Thanks so much, Katie! I have been putting this off for wayyyy too long. Thanks for the post. I’ll let you know how it toes. Got my coconut oil ready to go now!! Mary

        1. I don’t brush with toothpaste at all any more. I just use a tooth brush for a minute or so while I’m pulling. I have no gunk in my teeth, because the oil pulls it out.

  39. Rachael Varon Try using just a little bit and work up to a teaspoon. It was super hard for me at first, but now it’s like nothing. If your oil is solid, chew it to soften it faster, don’t suck on it. 😉 Good luck!

  40. Sooo, if I can’t commit to doing it every day, any thoughts on what a reasonable goal is? That would still be effective? Also, SO glad to hear first thing in the morning is just a recommendation for the sake of remembering! There is NO way I could do it in the morning…Oh sorry boys, mommy can’t talk for 20 minutes, we’ll discuss breakfast via sign language! 😉 Unless of course I got up 20 minutes earlier…but I struggle to do that for my God time, so I surely wouldn’t ever do it for my oil time! 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I HEAR you on the early thing! I’ve actually learned to talk around the oil…I should make a video just of that! 😉

      As for frequency, I’m hoping 2-3x/week does me good, because that’s about how often I remember it. I’m thinking that as with many health things, if you see something good happen, make sure you do it enough that that good thing keeps happening. Good luck! 🙂 Katie

    2. Before our newest baby put an end to having a regular time to shower I found that oil pulling while I was in the shower was the only way I could find the time. (I kept a jar in there for spitting)

  41. I tried this for a while and had to melt the coconut oil first. If I didn’t and just ‘ate’ it off the spoon I totally would gag. When only room temperature it was the consistency of eating cold Vaseline. Ugh! I didn’t notice any major changes and for the most part would forget to do it. Also, 20 minutes is a looong time to hold liquid in your mouth all the while swishing it around. My mouth would tire lol.

  42. Cinnamon Vogue

    Well I think it’s a load of hog wash. I am on your husband’s side. My main pet peeve is that people drink coffee or eat before brushing their teeth in the morning. To me that is like the ultimate sin because high levels of bacteria accumulate in your mouth overnight. When you drink or eat something without at least rinsing your mouth, the large number of bacteria forces your stomach to work harder to bring gut bacteria into equilibrium.

    Of course I also brush after breakfast. So the “ Oil Pulling “ is not doing anything more that creating a rinsing effect. Better to boil a cinnamon stick and make some cinnamon water and rinse your mouth with it. It’s far more anti-bacterial than coconut oil. Since you can also drink it, maybe drinking a glass of Cinnamon water or hot te de canela with lime made with Ceylon Cinnamon in the morning might be a good idea for people with health issues, especially gut health issues. It’s a well-known prebiotic and very good at improving gut health.

    But why spit into the garbage where it can accumulate and spread germs. Why not spit into the toilet where you can flush away any germs? Mostly why can’t I spit into the sink?

    1. Because if you’re using coconut oil, you’re spitting an oil that is solid at room temp in to your pipes… it could potentially start building up and clog them.

    2. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Rob hit the nail on the head with the oil/drain issue, PLUS you don’t really want that bacteria in your sink or toilet. It’s kind of hard to wash away, but easy to throw away the garbage. Hopefully a kitchen garbage goes out every couple days anyway. 🙂 Katie

      1. Your point about the garbage made me laugh! I hadn’t thought about spitting in the sink until the other day when I noticed my sink was draining rather slow… Thankfully it was easy to clear up by dumping several pots of boiling water down the drain. I spit in the trash now 🙂

        1. CV- just follow the links to some of the studies provided, it’s definitely more than a rinsing effect… but i wanted to share my method for disposing of oil in general- because dumping it down the drain is obviously a horrible idea, i learned that at a very young age, and dumping it in the trash can be a mess.. i keep a used coffee tin in the freezer and dump any waste oil in there. when it gets full just toss it. no mess, no funk, no worries.

    3. I honestly cannot think of a single reason to spit the coconut oil out at all. It pulled junk out of your teeth? That’s mostly digested stuff that you already eat. It’s full of bacteria? You swallow that stuff all day anyway. Coconut oil is nutritious, all that saliva has already partially digested it, coconut oil costs money. Why spit it out other than a mental “gross” factor?

      1. Dan,
        Everything I’ve ever read on oil pulling says that it’s very important to spit out the oil – it’s a detoxing thing, so even though, sure, you’re swallowing your own saliva all day long, the oil must *pull* out some stuff from a bit deeper than your saliva, stuff your body wants to get rid of. Even if I’m not completely wrapping my brain around it, I wouldn’t break that rule… 🙂 Katie

        1. Well I experiment with things to understand them, not just to follow silly rules. My stomach has made no complaints from swallowing, and neither has the rest of me. As for the body wanting to get rid of it, your body at most wants it out of your teeth. I can’t think of anything that could be there that my stomach can’t handle, and I feel good after swallowing.

          1. Well the oil has a ton of toxic bacteria mixed into it so whether your stomach can handle it or not, why would you opt to swallow it? If you detox in a sauna, do you collect your sweat and re-drink it because your stomach can “handle” it? Coconut oil is healthy yes but why wouldn’t you just spit out the toxic mixture and scoop a fresh spoon into your mouth afterwards? It’s expensive? That’s the cost of this hollistic practice and for the cost, just the action of removing the harmful toxins should be good enough to cover. Besides it’s not about rules being silly or not, it’s just the science of it: It doesn’t make much sense to remove and pull out toxins out of your body just to put it back.

  43. I’m going to check our library for his book. I had been pulling for a few weeks then got out of it, for no good reason, really. I had more energy in the morning, I remember that. I also remember having really sensitive gums for the first week or so. I figured it was part of the detox process. I had a checkup at the dentist not long after I stopped pulling and they asked me if I had been flossing (no) because my gums weren’t bleeding at all during the cleaning. That’s a good sign! I bought unrefined coconut oil last week to start doing it again (had refined last time). This post was the last little nudge I needed 🙂

  44. I found this study, which should be accessible to everyone, and it used sunflower oil, young adults and some pretty in depth analysis.

    I’m still not sure I’m up for swishing oil, but I can’t stand mouthwash, so I’ll probably give it one good try.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Thank you so much, Ruth! I admit, I didn’t look very hard. 😉 Katie

  45. So with the detoxing effect, can you start oil pulling while pregnant or nursing. I have anEBF 2 month old. I have sensitive teeth and cringed a little when you were talking about the dates. Oye.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      You should probably ask someone more knowledgeable than me, but this came up a lot at the other post:

      I can say this: I was nursing when I first tried it, and from everything I’ve been able to cull, the detox is through the mouth only – not whole body like some others where the toxins might come through the milk. My 2 cents! 🙂 Katie

      1. Charity and Katie, I’m a home birth midwife and would also suspect that it would do no more than release toxins through the mouth. Makes sense to me that it should be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms and babies.

  46. I want to – I really do! But can’t quite get past the gag reflex at the mere thought of it 🙁

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I totally started out that way too! It’s funny because now it’s just like nothing…start with just a teeny bit and work up to a teaspoon. Do something to get your mind off it too. 🙂 katie

      1. I have been OP for about 2 weeks now. I don’t mind it at all. I look forward to it. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right though. Maybe I make too much saliva but I always end up with way way more than in the beginning. I don’t see any difference with my teeth as in the color at all. They are not any whiter.I will continue to op just because I like it.

    2. I had the same reaction at first, so I started with just a teaspoon and 1 or 2 minutes a day. Then worked my way up to 20 mins over a couple of months or so.
      It definitely helped me to melt the oil in some warm water first so I wasn’t melting the solid oil in my mouth- that really grossed me out!!
      I even got my very skeptical husband to try it and it helped tremendously with the pain and stench of a nasty tooth the dentist refused to pull. (Looong story!)
      Unfortunately we’ve gotten out of the habit now, but Katie’s post is a good reminder to get back to it! =o)

    3. i just tried it for the first time. the first 20 seconds or so were kind of weird, but after that it became less viscous and much more pleasant. the flavor of coco oil is kinda odd by itself, but after a bit it just feels and tastes like you’re swishing a mouthful of saliva. i started with a full heaping tablespoon and it was too much. it seemed to grow in volume and after 10 mins i had to spit some out. and then again a few minutes later. i guess that’s part of the ‘pulling’… saliva and all the gunk that comes with it…

      1. Linda Anderson

        I began with putting the coconut oil on my toothbrush. I began brushing my teeth which quickly whitened. Then I continued brushing my gums. I cld only wait less than 5 minutes as my top gums bled alot.
        I rinsed my mouth and plan to do this again as my mouth felt much relief.why did my top gums bleed so much?

    4. Hi, I was told (Almost 5 years ago) I needed a root canal, they put a temporary cap on it, and I never went back (WAY too scared of pain) Surprisingly the cap is still on it, but its INSANELY sensitive to everything and I am getting a bad cavity right behind it… I was told by a friend to try oil pulling… My MAIN question is: Will it cause pain…? During, right after, and/or if I stop doing it as part of my routine? Thanks.

      1. Ashley,
        “C” should receive an email with your question, but in case she doesn’t answer, my thought is – if it hurts, at least you can just spit it out, right? If chewing food hurts the cap and then stops once you stop chewing or rinse your mouth, I would hope this would be the same. 🙂 Katie

        1. Thanks Katie. Although, I haven’t been able to chew on that tooth in over 5 years from the pain. I avoid eating on that side of my mouth all together! If on the off chance I do accidently chew on it, it KILLS me!! Even after I am done chewing on it. It doesn’t help I have a 0 pain tolerance lol. I started brushing my teeth with “Tea Tree Therapy Toothpaste” and within 2 days I got an excruciating migraine and one of my teeth started hurting all day really bad. The toothpaste has oils in it, I was wondering if maybe I was experiencing the “healing crisis” that is described with oil pulling, but from the toothpaste I used. If anyone has heard of that or knows more, please let me know. I’ve stopped using that toothpaste cause I relay don’t want a migraine like that again, nor CAN I get one like that again (I have a 2 year old daughter I have to take care of and when this happened, I was useless, luckily she was asleep at the time)

          1. I have tried this for tooth pain. Swish with peroxide (straight up or diluted for 1 minute 10 days in a row. The pain was gone. I pull too, and love how smooth my teeth are right now.

          2. Totally off topic to this article, but I have to say that you need to get that root canal done. I used to have a paralyzing fear of the dentist and waited too long to get things done in my mouth (had a filling that fell out and was too scared to go to the dentist). When I finally went, ended up I had to go for a root canal. If you find the right person, you will feel absolutely nothing at all, I swear!! I was in a panic the day of the appointment, but the dentist took the time to make sure that I was fully and absolutely numb before he started anything. It’s not the most pleasant procedure, but I felt not a thing from it, and if I had to do it again (which I hope I don’t!), I will be much more relaxed for it. I would suggest asking around for the best guy to go to.

        2. Dear Katie,

          I have been reading about oil pulling the past few days after my discovery of it by accident from a website that had an article about it that I regularly read.

          I am appreciate a whole lot your contribution to trying to help people live a healthier life.

          This post is not connected to the message above the one you replied to but I didn’t know how to respond to you and wanted to get your opinion as soon as possible.

          I had a root canal done by a dentist over one and a half years ago because I was taking very bad care of my teeth which I regret now and ever since have been taking care of them as much as I can.

          In you article you state that, “It’s a dead tooth sitting there, causing disease in your mouth. He says there’s no way a root canal can result in a healthy situation.”

          In your opinion should I remove the canal if I want to have the best health as possible. It is one of my molers so I don’t care if it is gone because no one will see it.

          Thank you.

          1. Dr Bruce Fife and many others state having a root canal is the worst thing you can do as even though it is cleaned infection remains which can cause multiple health problems. If it is a molar I would have it removed personally. As you said you can’t see it. Alot of people still have problems after root canal treatment, at least that will help to remove any infection and save money in the long run. I wish I had known about oil pulling before I had my root canal done. It is visible. I have now been diagnosed with chronic fatigue, fibromyalga, arthritis and degenerative disc disease as well as frequent infections.

      2. If it hurts, GO TO THE DENTIST. They put a temporary cap on for a reason: it is intended to be replaced by a permanent filling. If it isn’t, you might need another procedure – or you could just get the tooth extracted. When I got my root canal, I was told to get an appointment with my regular dentist within a week to replace the temporary filling with a permanent one.
        At least go to the dentist and get it checked out – if you have an abscess, it could make you VERY VERY SICK, or even KILL YOU. Please, please go!!!

      3. Hey–I have gotten nothing but RELIEF from mouth pain, using OP daily.
        I simply use about 1 tsp. organic extra virgin coconut oil, and vigorously slush that thru the teeth for at least 5 minutes, then spit it all out.
        Some folks rinse with salt water between rounds.
        I try to do at least 2 or more successive rounds of this each morning.
        Depending on how painful things are, it might take some days to decrease pain–but usually, it goes down pretty nice even in 24 hrs.
        One of the BEST companions to OP, is using Dental Herb Company’s “Tooth & Gum Tonic” to also [at alternate times] slush thru the teeth, too. It has herbs that do a great job of killing germs. I DILUTE this by half, using a 50:50 solution of water:peroxide, to add additional germ killing and whitening activity.
        Those 2 things, plus brushing teeth, is the biggest effort I do daily.
        Occasionally, I brush off any gunk-build-up using –PLAIN original Bon Ami–that’s right–the cleanser. IT still “hasn’t scratched yet”–it’s similar calcium carbonate powder that dentists use to polish/clean teeth.
        Real cheap. Real effective.
        AND, I try to stay away from sugary foods and carbs as much as possible….which means mostly a Paleo-diet of proteins and veggies.
        That’s IT.
        That has netted me 4 consecutive “no more work needed, and only light, if any, cleaning” at the dentist–for the first time in over 40 years.
        Right now, I am ramping up OP to 4 rounds per morning, to try to save a patched-crown tooth the dentist said only had 2 solutions: pull it, or re-crown it after doing a root canal….I don’t want either of those. If OP buys time, or helps keep that tooth, I’m HAPPY!

        1. Honestly, the ONLY thing stopping me from OP is the fear of the “healing crisis” (Major pain while the OP is ridding the body of toxins)!!! I needed a root canal going on 5 years ago, they put a temp. cap on it but I was too afraid of the pain to go back, so now I have a half broken tooth, that needed a root canal, I don’t know what is wrong with it now, as I don’t know what happens to a tooth that needs a RC and you don’t get it done…(?) It is killing me everyday, and being winter here, that’s for sure not helping!!! I have a dentist here that can put me out if I want, but I am still WAY TOO scared!!! To the point where I just deal with the horrible pain and don’t go. But at the same time, I’d give anything for a pretty smile and no pain!!! As I have never had that. I used tea tree oil toothpaste and used that 2 times a day and within 2-3 days I started getting the worst migraine I have EVER gotten, so I stopped using it and they went away, haven’t used it again in fear the migraines will return. (Also, I have a 2 1/2 year old to take care of every day 8 hours a day by myself, so I can’t get a migraine like that again!!) It made me wonder if since it was tea tree oil based toothpaste, was it causing the “healing crisis”, like OP does? Or was it a coincidence? Any help/relief of fear would be great!! I am thinking I will just have to find a way to suck it up and go to the dentist and just be put out so my fear is gone. and deal with any pain after that. My hubby already promised if I make and keep an appointment he will take 4 days off from work to take care of our daughter and I for me after the dentist, so I can recuperate. I am beyond TERRIFIED, I don’t know what to do. All I know is I want a pain free mouth and pretty smile, be able to smile and not hide half of it with my hand and be ashamed.

          1. Ashley, as someone who just recently had oral surgery (by a biological dentist) to remove 2 dead and infected teeth, I can tell you that you *need* to go to the dentist and have that tooth taken care of! I lived with that sort of pain for too long myself (2 broken teeth, one that had had a temp cap on it 7 yrs ago) – and more after we tried to save a long broken and painful tooth (my doc believes in trying to save a tooth if it’s still living) that ended up getting abscessed. I can tell you that the sort of pain you’re living with is 1) a whole lot MORE painful than the pain you’ll have at the dentist, and 2) once you get it taken care of and get that infection out of your system – you will feel SO MUCH better!!!! Trust me!! After my most recent trip (where I had 2 extractions and he drilled into my jaw to remove a cavitation (abscess) that was there from when I had a wisdom tooth pulled yrs ago), I had *significantly!!* less pain within 24 hrs! Don’t keep torturing yourself by living in pain that is worse than the pain you fear.:)

            1. I agree, get that painful tooth out! You will feel so much better!
              I had two teeth extracted (one was an old cold-sensitive root canal done 13 years ago) and 2 cavitations cleaned out, two and a half months ago. It is so much better. The abscessed tooth made me miserable. I felt “hung over,” exhausted and toxic all the time. The procedure and recovery was intense for me nevertheless. Yet oral surgery gave me an excuse to take 3 days off from work and I rested, desperately needed.

          2. I worried about healing crises when I started using natural healing. I have yet to have a seriously uncomfortable healing crisis yet. Don’t be afraid to try oil pulling. Start small and work your way up to 1 or 2 teaspoons once a day. Don’t take my word for it. Do your homework, check out herbal medicine guides. You will find, again and again, that the recommendation is to start with less than the recommended dose and work your way up to the full dose over 1 to 3 days. The oil pulling is great. I don’t know if it will do all that the testimonials state, I do know that my teeth feel wonderful and clean. I hope it will have benefits for me beyond whitening my teeth. To me it is worth the effort to try. Best of luck.

            1. I started oil pulling about a week ago. I just dove right into it with 20 mins, starting with a tablespoon of coconut oil and then alternated with sesame oil. I wanted to see which one I could tolerate the best.

              Coconut oil is definitely my favorite in taste. I have experienced immediate results with my painful teeth and needed root canals. I no longer cringe with cold foods, and my teeth are so smooth. I started this right after my 6 month cleaning, and my breath is a lot fresher. I also battle dry mouth, and that has improved.

              The only negative I have experienced so far is an outbreak of acne….not horrible, but that is unusual for me. With these results, I will deal with a few pimples for a while. I’m sure this will clear up soon.

          3. If you start you can always stop. I got acne when I started, but my gums improved so much I wasn’t going to stop. I have a wisdom tooth that is slowly falling apart, I haven’t experienced any pain at all from pulling, pulling helps keep the surface clean. I use non-evoo olive oil, evoo can get bitter from the polyphenols. I am always curious as to why people use the oil they do, I haven’t found any concrete answers as to why one is better than another, and olive oil is better for you than any other oil, even if it isn’t evoo.
            If you want whiter teeth I would suggest magnesium oil, which tastes awful, so you are warned, but it neutralizes the acids in your mouth and people are amazed when they get white opaque teeth instead of the translucent dingy teeth they thought was just something they had to deal with. If you drink a lot of tea and coffee a slush of activated carbon and water works wonders. Don’t swallow any of it, whatever you do. Activated carbon will clean you out if swallowed, its used medicinally for food poisoning. You can buy capsules and take them apart to make the slush.

      4. Temporary cap is probably stainless steel?–that’s common. —are not supposed to stay in so long–stainless steel does things dental work isn’t supposed to do. Just not properly durable.
        BUT–you have pain, which means that tooth still has it’s roots?
        They didn’t do the root canal yet? Just stick on a temp. crown?
        IF that’s the case, there could be infection and/or inflammation under that temp. crown.
        What you do with that might depend on how long the pain has been going on, too.
        Mouth pain, tooth pain, and the cavity starting behind that temp., should respond well to Oil Pulling. OP’ing will gradually, and sometimes dramatically fast, relieve pain.
        How well / fast, depends on how long, how often, how vigorously, and how consistently you keep doing OP’ing, and also what the situation is under that Temp.
        Those who do OP’ing little, still get results–just slower.
        My dentist threatened an old, damaged crown I have: I’d had pain in that tooth for years.
        He assumed that was due to an infection in the tooth, invisible on Xray due to the metal crown–so he promoted doing a Root Canal with a new crown.
        I nixed that.
        Upped OP’ing from 5 min. daily to 10 min. daily: in 2 days, all pain gone.
        I don’t know if it will, but What IF that covered tooth slowly heals? It seems to be.
        So I canceled my appointments, told the Dentist how things were… told him I didn’t believe there was any infection in that tooth, since if it had, it would have killed off the root long ago, and stopped hurting. Instead, OP’ing seems to be in process of gradually healing ALL my formerly fragile teeth–even those with dental work in them, same as it’s been healing other teeth so well.
        Keep up the good work.
        Keep doing really good daily dental care, and keep doing OP’ing!
        Keep a record of how things are going for you.
        When more dentists start seeing this sort of good results, better dental conditions and far less dental repairs needed, maybe they will start recommending it.
        Mine actually started carrying a special herbal mouthwash after I talked with him about that–it’s really great in combination with OP’ing. Not sure he’s willing to Recommend OP’ing yet, though–it might drastically reduce his income, if his patients all were doing it!

      5. If, or especially when, you use smaller amounts of coconut or other good oil, and feel as though the inside of the mouth starts to feel sensitive after about 5 minutes of pulling, it means “you need an oil change”–that is: too much saliva has mixed with the oil–the watery spit can cause irritations when pulling through the teeth too long. So, spit the 1st batch out, and get a 2nd teaspoonful to pull–that stops that irritation.
        ALSO: When I have mouth infection, rot, tooth-cracks, periodontal issues, “sweet-tooth” pain, temperature pain, etc., I do MORE sessions of oil-pulling daily.
        That always has got rid of all of that pain. Damage seems to repair nicely, naturally using this.

    5. I thought this must be extremely hard to do at first and thought I would gag while doing it, however, since it doesn’t go to your throat there is no problem. I actually put a whole tablespoon the first time thinking this is how much is needed. It was fine and not as bad as I thought. So you just have to try it 🙂

    6. It is a simple matter to drop a few drops of your fav flavor/essential oil like peppermint or cinnamon onto the spoonful of swishing oil. I make up a mix from organic cinnamon and clove essential oils with coconut, olive, and sesame base oils, adding one capsule of Vit E to 1/2 cup to keep it fresh. Tastes like mouthwash!

    7. I tried this with Sunflower oil, and olive oil. Both times extra virgin, and /or Organic, which ever fits. Both times I gagged almost immediately, due to the feel of the oil in my mouth. Just recently tried Extra virgin organic coconut oil, WOW, does not even compare to the other oils. Coconut oil melts so quickly in the mouth, and feels just like swishing water around my mouth. Can only do abt. 6-7 min. but have heard alot of people start this way. Can’t wait to see the results, my mouth felt cleaner, just doing it the first time. Good Luck, I def think it’s worth a try, just start out with a small amt. and work your way up.

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