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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.

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.

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

  1. I have had a terrible toothache, that came out of no where since Friday (4 days) the pain radiated into my jaw and my lymph gland is swollen as is inside of my cheek and tongue. I saw a dentist (day 2) who gave me antibiotics and pain medicine and sent me to an endodontist today. He showed me on the x-ray, a large abscess at the base of my back lower molar. I am awaiting call for an appointment to have this tooth removed by an oral surgeon. I thought I would try OP today and what a healing crisis, I am absolutely in the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. It did not hurt much when I did the pulling until I spit it out and rinsed. It has not stopped for the last 8 hours, stabbing, aching, and the tooth feels almost loose and I can tell which tooth it is, like I have a strange “awareness” of this tooth that I previously did not have. If I press on it, it hurts now. I actually thought it was the tooth in front that was causing me problems. My tongue is throbbing and feels like I have bit down hard on it. I’m having doubts that I should have done this….I was able to sleep the last few days but I have now not slept in 24 hours and no sign of letting up. I have a lot of health conditions and I feel as if I just unleashed the hornets nest. I don’t know what to do, at least before I did the pulling the antibiotic and Advil was making this bearable but now it is driving me insane. HELP when will this get better and how can I make this pain go away!!!!

    1. Kate,
      Oh yikes, what a terrible experience! Has it calmed down by now, I hope? I wish I knew more about how to help you but I”m just a mom, definitely not a medical professional. I’m so sorry the oil pulling sent you into this healing crisis! 🙁

  2. Hello! I’m from Philippines. I hope you read this. i just wanna ask if I can use fresh coconut oil. I mean, I make my own Is it working? Please reply soonest. My teeth started to have cavities.

  3. I discovered tonight that I had an abscess forming in my gum area near my sinus cavity (I think that’s what it is called ). It’s not necessarily on or under the bad tooth it is middle jaw area where the nasal and tooth cavity connects. I gargle with apple cider vinegar and then I tried oil pulling (organic olive oil) it did help the pain become bearable for me to fall asleep (because before I did that I was crying and the pain was excruciating.) I woke up to a very swollen face the pain is still bearable but what did I do wrong for my face to swell? It’s like I made the abscess bigger. Can someone please respond???

  4. Is there no promo code? Sometimes when you post about a product/company, they will offer your readers a discount… not this time?

    1. Hi Lina,

      Thanks for asking! This post is nearing 3 years old so while we might have had promo codes, I don’t believe any are current. But – good news! In this new post about Katie healing her cavities there is a code for Perfect Supplements. They carry coconut oil and hopefully any other supplies you were looking for:

  5. I’ve been pulling for about a week now and can already see a difference in my adult acne. My face is much clearer every morning when i wake up. I’ve been sleeping well and having vivid dreams that i actually remember when i wake up. I’m defiantly going to keep it up!

  6. So my husband is doing a crazy experiment….and I’m just along for the ride.

    He has been oil pulling, once a day, with coconut oil for 20 minutes.

    He has noticed the enamel on his teeth is growing back. His teeth are now always super smooth (without the fuzzies). He rarely gets food stuck between his teeth, AND he NEVER has bad breath.


    Another part of his experiment is to NOT BRUSH HIS TEETH. I know! Crazy right?

    He’s going on 6 weeks now and we honestly believe that because he isn’t brushing his teeth twice a day the enamel finally has a chance to come back!

    I’ve never seen his teeth look as healthy AND his gums are health too. Insane I know! But he keeps saying “Dentistry is a business, just like medical care. They tell us to do things that keep us coming back.”

    I have a friend who is a dental assistant and she goes to courses regularly. She recently told me that Mouthwash is evil. The alcohol dries out your gums and CREATES gingivitis! Yet dentists recommended adults AND CHILDREN use it once a day! Why? So we keep coming back.

    We also don’t eat meat or ANY refined sugar so this helps our oral health as well. I still brush my teeth twice a day and have yet to try oil pulling but I am amazed at the results of my husbands experiment. I just had to share!

    Honestly, how many times do we listen to big companies and not think for ourselves? Pretty much most of the world is this way. But I think more people are taking a stand, a healthy one, and are realizing that our health (90%+ of the Country) is consistently decreasing. So maybe we should run in the other direction when we hear any health advice from “professionals” cuz frankly their advice is total bullshit.

    My daughter has NEVER been to the dentist or doctor and I have never met a more health kid in my life! EVER.

    Growing up I always went to the doctor, went to the dentist annually, and did everything they told me and it only made me sicker and sicker and more pathetic! It wasn’t until I started eating whole foods, kicking out all the man made garbage, went organic, got athletic, and listened to my body instead of doctors that I turned my life around. I even healed ailments doctors said I would have for the rest of my life. Anyway…I am so off track but seriously! If oil pulling can save our oral health, maybe we should all learn from my husbands experiment and say F U dentist! Plus your teeth can heal themselves if you eat a healthy diet! So kick the slurpees, candy, and cereal (products high in refined sugar) to the curb and get healthy!


  7. Hi!

    I have been oil pulling every morning for 20 minutes with unrefined organic coconut oil, and am getting somewhat discouraged by the fact that after every pull I still have gunk on my teeth (plaque I think), and then I brush it off every morning. I stopped using toothpaste. Has anyone else had this problem? I am worried that if this is happening then my teeth aren’t actually getting clean. Is there something I am doing wrong?

  8. James Hudson

    I believe in oil pulling because I felt the symptoms of detoxification whilst doing it.

  9. I know I’m late to the party here, but just wanted to add a bit. Besides the reduction in sensitivity in teeth, and healthier gums, I have also found two definite skin improvements. First, the soles of my feet. They were always dry, with thick peeling skin. That disappeared after a month or so of oil pulling. I am amazed at the soft smooth skin on my feet, and callouses are almost gone. Another thing I noticed is that a skin fungus-like rash on my chest no longer happens. I used to get itchy every few months, and start the rash, and had to treat it with selsun blue shampoo (selenium sulfide, I guess). No more itching or rash at all, for over a year. I haven’t changed my diet, so I know it’s the oil pulling. If I go for a few days without doing it, my feet start to feel more rough …. My husband also does oil pulling, even more routinely than I do, even though he’s the world’s biggest skeptic about things like this. But we tried it, we really noticed actual results, and we’re sold.

  10. This site, for some reason, never goes directly to the post I get notified about…so it’s virtually impossible to find the needle in the haystack to answer!
    “Author: curious Comment:
    im about to get all my teet pulled an full set of dentures an am wondering can or should I oil pull after, an would it help in the healing process or how long should i wait to do it ?”

    OP’ing should help heal the tender gums faster, if OP’ing is done GENTLY.
    It heals gum pockets and periodontal issues faster.
    It will still work in toothless people, because it helps “pump the lymph system” to remove waste products from the salivary glands and lymph nodes in the area of the jaws–so it helps not just the mouth, but the body, too, in a ’round-about way.
    Just be gentle after having tooth or teeth pulled–IF the tooth or teeth are pulled AND gums are NOT closed by sutures, let that tissue heal longer before OP’ing.
    IF there are sutures, OP’ing might be started sooner.
    Just do it gently and only to tolerance.

  11. im about to get all my teet pulled an full set of dentures an am wondering can or should I oil pull after, an would it help in the healing process or how long should i wait to do it ?

    1. Curious, Sorry, no idea about safety with dentures. I would Google that specifically though and I’ll bet you’ll find someone who knows more than me. 🙂

      Here’s a reply from another reader who couldn’t find your message to make sure you saw it:
      “OP’ing should help heal the tender gums faster, if OP’ing is done GENTLY.
      It heals gum pockets and periodontal issues faster.
      It will still work in toothless people, because it helps “pump the lymph system” to remove waste products from the salivary glands and lymph nodes in the area of the jaws–so it helps not just the mouth, but the body, too, in a ’round-about way.
      Just be gentle after having tooth or teeth pulled–IF the tooth or teeth are pulled AND gums are NOT closed by sutures, let that tissue heal longer before OP’ing.
      IF there are sutures, OP’ing might be started sooner.
      Just do it gently and only to tolerance.”

      🙂 Katie

  12. Jana Williamson

    Well I started oil pulling and after about 1-1/2 weeks I got a yeast infection in my mouth, like thrush. I also use Young Living Essential Oils and put 1 drop of thieves in with the oil. I was told that was a detox effect of the oil pulling. I am a diabetic and was also told most diabetics have candida, so not totally bad that it happened. I am trying to continue the oil pulling, but really want to be rid of the candida.

    1. Jana,
      Oof, bummer, i hope the thieves oil helps get rid of the yeast infection. 🙁 I think candida might need bigger guns than oil pulling, but it’s really interesting that the yeast reared its head becuase of this. ???

      I’ve written a little on candida too:

      Best, Katie

  13. Thank-you very much, i was searching for this article. I already have removed one teeth but i want no more tooth decay and gums disease. I have a question, is it possible to extract oil directly by grading that fresh coconut which is shown in above picture??? Or should i use the dried one? please anyone answer, urgent …..

  14. Have been op’ing regularly each a.m. on rising for 2 weeks now. Back story: 3 yrs ago I had gum reduction surgery for multiple deep pockets. My periodontist now wants a repeat in one spot in the same area where a 7 mm pocket re-developed and has been lingering for 1 yr or o. Did an online search for “7 mm pocket” that resulted in information on op successful results, so I immediately began with 1 dessert sp virgin coconut oil every morning on rising (from small jar previously warmed in hot water – warm is much more palatable than a gob of solid) for 15-20 mins. Hold in place and move around slowly, aiming for troublesome pocket, no actual ‘pulling.’ I try not to let it get to the back of my throat for fear of swallowing some or gagging, but still nose and sinuses tend to start draining mid-swish and then I have to avoid natural impulses. After spitting out oil/saliva in garbage, I stuff my mouth with 1/4 of a paper towel to absorb most remaining oil and stop gag. I rinse with warm water, brush teeth, continue sporadically spitting drainage from nasal passages and coughed up mucous from air passages for roughly 10 mins, then have tea or coffee as usual…
    My regular dentist (not periodontist) is open to op I discovered, after consulting on the pocket business with him. Let’s see how the pocket is doing in September!

  15. Hello, I would like some insight in what happen when I was on day 4 of oil pulling. First of all I love it. I used cold pressed Sesame oil. The first few days my sinuses were amazing clear could really breath better. on like the 3 day my stomach was really hurting and I was bloated, gasy. Pain late at night and early morning. I had H pylori in sept and in nov took the breathe test and was told it was not active. The symptoms are similar. Could this be Detox???

  16. Sheryl Salter

    I have recently started oil pulling and have noticed after a few days I started feeling nauseous midday. After day five that went away. I have noticed a very clean silky feeling on my teeth. I had a root canal done that the dentist could not quite get the crown to fit well leaving a large gap where food gets stuck. I have to floss it after everything I eat because the stuck food causes much pain. I have noticed the pain has gone from that area since oil pulling. I do not brush my teeth after oil pulling. That doesn’t make sense to me. I brush before. If you brush after you are washing away the protective coating of the oil which helps prevent plaque build up I would say. I love the coconut oil because after I spit it out it taste good….like coconuts! I haven’t yet noticed anything other then sensationally feeling clean teeth but will come back after a while and see how things are going. I use a teaspoon to a tablespoon every morning before leaving for work and it takes 20 minutes to get to work. The only downfall to that is that I cannot sing along with the!

  17. Hubby and I have started to go more natural on foods, skin and medicine…Today I started OP Therapy, or “Pulling with coconut oil.” Here’s my experience. You’re suppose to swish the oil between your teeth and over you gums for 20 minutes; That’s right I said, “Swish for TWENTY minutes. Did I make it? NO, it’s not as easy as one would think, or as I have read in other’s testimonies.

    I began with 1 tsp. of oil; at first, it gagged me…lol But after I fought through that reaction, I was able to “Pull” for 15 min. Then, my sinuses started to drain down the back of my throat and I accidentally swallowed a little, which you’re Never supposed to do…lol It stung a few seconds, I spit the rest into the trash, rinsed thoroughly with hot water, then drank a Large glass of very warm water to dissolve what I’d swallowed.

    Yes, I am going to try it again, because there are nothing but Glowing Reviews from people who do it daily. They tell of less dramatic experiences when they pulled than I had…lol!

    1. Sandra,
      Not the best first experience, that’s for sure – but I bet it will get easier. I thought it was very unpalatable at first too! I wonder if the pulling impacted your sinuses directly – some say that they get drainage the first few days and then feel healthier afterward! Hope it works out that way for you! 🙂 Katie

  18. Pingback: Feeling so crunchy and granola right now | makingthetrek

  19. Wow! Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to write about their experiences. This is just SO helpful. I have one more question: Does it matter what time of day you pull? I thought I had read 1st thing in the a.m. but that is tricky for me. Is it ok to pull after breakfast or after eating anything?

    1. Andrea,
      I think it’s one of those things where it’s best in the morning, but some folks do it multiple times a day too, so really, any time is just fine. Just make sure you rinse your mouth out and maybe brush your teeth afterward. (Did someone famous talk about oil pulling yesterday? Suddenly thousands of extra people are searching for this term?) Thanks! 🙂 Katie

  20. After getting a second tooth extracted, I decided to do some research on natural remedies for repairing teeth. I don’t have a dental plan and simply cannot afford all the work that I need done. I came across a website praising oil pulling and it interested me so I kept looking. There are endless positive testimonies. I went and bought a jar of extra virgin organic coconut oil and started right away.

    The taste/texture didn’t bother me a single bit. I kind of enjoyed it but had to break it down into intervals of 10 minutes. I can do 20 now…Within 3 days, I noticed the tooth next to the extraction site, was hurting less and the site itself seemed to be healing a little quicker. I was still skeptical but kept going thinking “well, it can’t hurt to keep trying”.

    It’s been about 3 weeks now and I have to say it is DEFINITELY helping. My coffee stains have faded considerably, the extreme sensitivity in my teeth has been reduced by about 90%, the aching tooth feels fine now and my gums are much pinker and don’t bleed at all anymore. There has also been one more benefit for me. I have had geographic tongue consistently for about 3 years and since starting OP, it hasn’t been acting up.

    On a side note, I gave up commercial toothpaste and now use organic toothpaste without fluoride. I know the controversy about its benefits never ends but after all these years of faithfully using fluoride toothpaste/mouthwash, I found it never helped at all.

  21. I’m coconut oil pulling right now! My girlfriend seems to be having nausea (and possibly acne?) from it and wants to quit. I, on the other hand, have only noticed positive effects after two weeks. I’ve had more energy, and fresher breath.

    1. Jeff,
      Based on knowledge and experience:
      I would think your GF’s nausea and acne are caused by other things, NOT OP’ing.
      BUT…OP’g could possibly stir things up, and she MIGHT have some amount of “flu-like” symptoms caused by stirring up and getting rid of some toxins stored in the body.

      The body will “sequester” [hide] large amounts of junk, to protect itself from them, for a very long time, before symptoms of sickness show up.
      Rattle those out of their hiding places, and they can cause sickness, until they get cleaned out, or at least knocked down to smaller amounts.

      ALSO, the sensation of plain oil in the mouth is unpleasant for many–they’re unused to it–there’s a learning curve to this.
      Some people have been drilled for years that “fat is bad”, and developed strong aversion to consuming any fats.
      Also, one is never supposed to swallow ANY of the used oil.

      IF a person feels nauseated, or flu-like soon after starting any protocol that gets rid of wastes/toxins from the body that might have been hiding out for a length of time,

      OP’ing can be done using as little as one teaspoon of oil at a time, and only doing it once per morning.
      I had to do that.
      Now, I can safely do several small rounds like that each morning, to very good effect.

      As for her acne?
      Look to what’s being consumed daily, or, what’s been being consumed for a long time before changing to healthier diet.
      Acne is definitely related to what one eats [swallows].
      Acne can also be related to makeup, body products, cleaning agents and other irritants, and food allergies and sensitivities.
      She should talk with a good Naturopath that is knowledgable about that.

      Allergy to truly Organic Coconut is extremely rare–documented real cases of allergy to truly organic coconut is RARE.
      What HAS been heard of, though: “organic” products that really aren’t, which contain residues of chemicals used to grow the crops, or process them incorrectly—such as I suspected from Spectrum Naturals [story not for here], for instance.

      ALSO: IF some organic, real food product, like coconut, is put on the skin, and seems to cause a rash or acne, PLEASE examine whether something else had already been residue on the skin before the organic stuff was put on the skin.
      [[hairspray residue? Perfume residue? Any strong soap? Fabric softener drier sheets? etc.]

      We live, daily, in a huge quantity of toxic chemical soup, that our bodies must cope with.
      LOTS of choices make far more sense than Coconut oil, causing Acne.
      [[For instance: we had patients who thought they were allergic to chocolate—they weren’t—they were allergic to OTHER ingredients in the chocolate they were choosing to eat, though.]]

      Just sayin’.

    2. Jeff,
      That is a really interesting reaction on your girlfriend’s part – it honestly does sound like a detoxing/die-off sort of reaction. If she’s game, she might try a shorter time or every other day and see what happens. Sometimes what looks like acne might be something inside trying to “get out” in a way (but not a scary “there’s aliens inhabiting my body” sort of way!). Here’s a weird experience I had:

      Thanks for sharing!!
      🙂 Katie

  22. I learned of OP many years ago, but gave up, because it was physically impossible to fit the required “1 Tblsp.” oil into my mouth, and still be able to swish it thru the teeth.
    No way. Neither could I find the apparently required sunflower oil at that time.
    THEN, last year, learned, it CAN be done using only 1 tsp. oil, and “oil” and “oil” includes sesame, sunflower, virgin coconut-
    ==After only 2-weeks into daily OP, glass-transparent teeth had remineralized noticeably; within a month, there was no more “see-thru teeth”.
    ==Gum pockets gone.
    ==ALL mouth pain gone.
    ==Teeth whiter despite drinking lots of tea.
    ==To date, have had 4 consecutive dental visits with barely any cleaning needed, NO further work needing done [though they keep looking for some to do].
    ==sublingual lymph nodes swelling is decreased.
    Am I sold on this practice? YES!
    Had to get used to oil in the mouth, but virgin coconut oil has fairly pleasant taste; had to be determined to get used to it.
    It is one of those “most-bang-for-the-buck” things.
    It’s saved us LOTS of money off dental work, not to mention the pain of the work, and likely pulled teeth from root canals.
    Currently, I have ramped up the practice, to try turning around the health of a tooth with a crown on it, the next step of which is a root canal or removal. I’d like to keep what’s left of my teeth!!
    I also use an herbal dental rinse for both rinsing and toothbrushing:
    == [Tooth and Gums Tonic by Dental Herb Company–my dentist sells it; I dilute this with 50: 50 peroxide and water, by about half, to make it last longer and to whiten teeth more].
    These things are WORTH IT.

  23. I just started Oil Pulling and was wondering if there were any studies done for people with Bridges/Crowns and Teeth Implants. I have a couple of implants that I’m hoping the OPing will help keep the area around them clean, but the gums have gotten sore since I started. Has anyone else experienced sore gums when starting OPing?

    1. I have a bridge that’s over 40 yrs old. There’s also an old patched crown that the dentist says can only be fixed by replacing that after a root canal, or pulling it.
      IMHO, OP has been saving my teeth. Been doing it for about 2 years, almost daily.
      When I DON’T do it, things get bad again.
      I’ve rarely gotten even a tinge of any sickness– anyone else gets whatever’s going around.
      OP seems to WORK!

    2. …Oh, forgot to mention, I also had all mercury fillings removed back in the 1990’s. So there’s numerous fillings that are the composite stuff.
      Gums REALLY respond well to OP…pocketing went away pretty fast using OP, and stubborn spots responded nicely to adding that Tooth and Gums Tonic herbal mouthwash.
      I avoid fluoride like plague…the form marketed is not natural like water supplies in , say, Denver—the man-made fluoride is TOXIC, and can do things like cause gums to recede. Look it up.
      Check your diet, too…carbs and sugars cause problems body-wide, not just the mouth.

  24. Pingback: Oral Hygiene: Oil-Pulling Method | All Things New Blogger

  25. I recently started oil pulling with extra virgin olive oil but within an hour am sick as if I’m coming down with a really bad flu! Not good

  26. Is there a specific kind of coconut oil that should be used? I read in one article it should be raw, pure grade coconut oil. I bought Spectrum Organic, expeller pressed the other day at the grocery. Is that the right kind? Very confused.

    1. Julie,
      Your comment got buried and a bit lost, but I finally found it! Sorry for the delay – I think any oil will work, but virgin/unrefined oil would be best. Spectrum is a good brand – if it smells like coconut, it’s the best stuff. Otherwise, it’s still fine, but (at least for eating) you lose some Vitamin E and a few other properties with the odorless refined stuff. It really should still work for oil pulling though except maybe not the antibacterial properties. I’m not sure on that last one how they differ! But at least you know the difference – unrefined/virgin are the same thing, smelling like coconut. Refined is the other one, no odor.

      🙂 Katie

    2. Julie,
      I USED to like Spectrum Naturals–they’ve had an impressively long, decent track record.
      That’s been broken.
      Over the space of a year or two, I got several bottles of Spectrum Naturals “Organic” extra virgin coconut oil.
      ALL of them smelled terribly of burnt plastic or something nasty.
      Attempts to talk with the company FAILED, because the Rep was very cavalier about the reports of the repeated bad odor in the oil.
      Bad odor in oil indicates something’s wrong in their processing.
      It can mean chemical additives [accidental or on purpose], or the product gets too hot being processed.
      Needless to say, I refuse to ever get Spectrum Naturals again.
      Thankfully, there’re loads of OTHER brands that ARE good ones.
      Even Costco sells organic virgin coconut oil now–we got Nutiva brand from there, in,
      I think 1/2 gallon? –food-grade plastic jars.

  27. Five years ago, I was in a desperate situation concerning my health. I had water in my lungs and though 3/4 of it was removed via thoracentesis (procedure of removing water from the lung via insertion of a needle, a really painful process as the lung expands suddenly once the lung has been freed of water), the rest of the water had to stay as getting everything out can be fatal. The doctor said the rest of the water should disappear via medication. Two months of medication went by and it still didn’t go away. The doctor gave me an ultimatum that if it didn’t disappear in two weeks I had to be operated on as there was a possibility that the water would harden by then.

    A friend mentioned to me about oil pulling. I thought it was all bull, but being desperate, I thought I’d try it. I pulled oil twice a day, once in the morning before ingesting anything, and once before dinner.

    Lo and behold, I went back to the doctor and all the water was gone! I was a firm believer after that. Since then I’ve oil pulled and I hardly ever get sick anymore.

    To any skeptics out there, try it. You really won’t lose anything by trying. Who knows, it just might work for you.

    Because believe me, it works. :))

  28. Austin bo Bostin

    Well, here I am. I have been drinking too many libations these days. I went from once a week to 4 times a week and today I found out for the first time ever that I have the beginnings of a cavity at 29 years of age. I am making two choices. The first is to cut libations out at least temporarily if not permanently (especially ale). Second, I started OP after finding info online this afternoon and plan to continue this for a month and then have the dentist look at it again. The probe snagged in a fissure on tooth #30. I have very ~groovy~ teeth, baby. Anyway I will favorite your site and set an alarm to post my results.

    1. Austin bo Bostin,
      I had visible cracks in front teeth, glass-clear edges, and some tiny pre-cavity holes in a couple places–these ALL seem to be healing up.
      The clear-edged teeth are properly re-mineralized, nice and white. The visible line cracks in a few teeth, have disappeared. The tiny hole apparently also disappeared, since the dentist couldn’t find it last time.
      The transparent teeth edges were noticeably re-mineralized, but not entirely, in just 2 weeks; it took at least a month before the clear edges all turned back to healthy tooth-white.
      The cracks just gradually disappeared.
      Gum pockets all mostly closed up in 2 weeks, completely healed in a month.
      Keep watching your progress.
      Give it enough time.
      Results may vary!
      It’s great to get off with very little or no dentist cleanings!
      As for drinking: [not even addressing the usual arguments],
      1. Occasional = good; Binging = bad.
      2. Chronic use can hurt ya.
      3. Alcohol is sugar in the body.
      4. Beers these days have NO nutritional value [old German beers or homemade stuff, still might though].
      Sugars, and foods that turn into them, are a problem for teeth, as well as for the whole body.
      Over time, with chronic use, it hurts the body as a whole, and predisposes to chronic ills.
      Do yourself and your basically good teeth a favor: only consume what’s healthy for long-term decent health!
      Otherwise, pay too dearly by the time ya get to age 40’s and up–the price is way too dear.

    1. Ozelia,
      Good question, I’ve never even considered that. I would Google it a little and check into what Dr. Fife may have published somewhere, but my hunch? Bet it doesn’t hurt. If I leave oil sitting in a pot made of metal, nothing bad happens to the metal…

      🙂 Katie

  29. I had a nasty sore in my mouth thanks to the dentist haphazardly giving me a shot of novacaine to cut off a temporary crown that wasn’t coming off easily. The sore was like a pea sized swelling. I tried oil pulling for the first time and swished for only 11 minutes, then brushed and went to bed. The irritating sore was gone the next morning. Gone.

  30. Sasha via Facebook

    As long as you don’t swallow the oil after the oil pulling, (who the hell even DOES that?) I cannot see it doing the least bit of harm. The benefits would vastly outweigh any negatives, anyway.
    I say go for it!

  31. Jennifer via Facebook

    i have a dental emplant, so i am hesitant. but i just read yesterday that some people have experienced their hair turning from grey to natural color. i would love not to color my hair anymore. but again, my implant…

  32. Terri via Facebook

    “following” means, “I’m commenting so other comments will show up in my newsfeed in case someone has a good answer that I want to read. But I don’t have anything useful to add right now.” 😀 I have done OP and I have many mercury fillings. I never noticed any adverse effects, but then, what would I be looking for? If the mercury was being vaporized by the OP and then I was absorbing it through my other tissues, would I notice something? I always spit the oil into a paper towel and put it in the trash when I was done.

    1. True, I’ve been doing OP for the past 5 years and I do have a lot of metal fillings, and I’ve never had any problem. If anything, I’ve rarely been sick since then (and that’s saying a lot since I used to get sick so often before op).

  33. Karen via Facebook

    Lori, Bentonite clay can absorb heavy metals and some people say it can damage the filings thus releasing more mercury.

  34. Brenda via Facebook

    I’ve been thinking of starting oil pulling. I didn’t realize the risk with metal fillings…so, I’m following, too. 🙂

  35. Lindsay via Facebook

    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.

  36. Andrea via Facebook

    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.

  37. Lori via Facebook

    What is the problem with bentonite clay Karen Lucas? Just curious, it’s in my toothpaste.

  38. Karen via Facebook

    Following. 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.

  39. Shirley via Facebook

    I was trying oil pulling, and stopped because I heard about problems with metal fillings, also at that time I was on warfarin and was afraid I was drawing it out of my body. Really interested in what others have to say

  40. Dawn via Facebook

    following. 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.

    1. Those who know, seem to believe that the oil actually helps bond with toxic or heavy metals, and prevent those ions or particles from being absorbed into the body—so if I still had amalgam fillings, I’d be OP’ing like a fiend, several times a day, to prevent more mercury entering my system.
      Patients getting mercury fillings monkeyed with, were advised by our holistic MD, to
      1. avoid taking Vit; C before work is done, for at least 24 hrs; then
      2. resume using high-dose Vit C AFTER the work is done, AND eat something with lots of good fats in it, to help capture the heavy metals, preventing them getting stored in the body.

  41. Lindsey via Facebook

    Didn’t realize metal fillings could be a problem. I didn’t read much before I started oil pulling 🙂 …oops. Following.

    1. PPL with metal fillings also use OP’ing, and nothing compromises the fillings.
      I have metal bridgework and a Crown, dis-similar metals, and it hasn’t hurt those either.
      All the previous, various Composite fillings, seem fine with this, too.
      But mouth health, and teeth health, have vastly improved [as well as body health]
      ….to the point I use this, along with an herbal mouthwash, regular daily care stuff…to prevent any need to have further dental work….the Dentist can’t even find anything that needs cleaning at periodic cleanings [try as they might]!

  42. via Facebook

    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.

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