The Secrets of Oil Pulling: An Interview

Oil pulling. It’s one of the latest things people are doing. I haven’t tried it myself (yet), but one of my good friends recently did.

I was curious, so I decided to interview her to see what her experience was like…

So…what is oil pulling and how do you do it?

“Oil pulling is the process of swishing a tablespoon of organic oil in your mouth and then pulling it between your teeth for 20 minutes.

It is an ancient practice that is supposed to be a remedy for oral health and detoxification. The pure oil works as to pull bacteria out of your mouth.”

How did you hear about oil pulling and what made you start doing it?

“I saw it online. It was initially probably on Facebook. At first I thought it was crazy and just one of those health fads that comes and goes. But…I kept seeing things and hearing more about it.

I saw one article that said it helps with TMJ (Temporomandibular Join Disorder), which I have. For me, TMJ causes my jaw to sort of pop out of place for a while. It is very painful, and I could feel the pain every day. The article said oil pulling was supposed to help with this.

My jaw was hurting pretty bad and continuing to flare up. In an effort to keep my jaw from popping out, I thought I would give it a try. And it worked!”

What are the benefits of oil pulling?

  • Whiter teeth (the other reason I started doing it!)
  • Overall strengthening of the teeth, gums and jaw.
  • Prevention of oral diseases, such as cavities and gingivitis.
  • Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat.
  • Some articles say it can reverse cavities, but I do not know if this is actually true or not.
  • Prevents bad breath.
  • Remedy for bleeding gums.

What kind of oil do you use?

coconut oil

“I use organic coconut oil. You can also use olive oil, extra virgin oil, sesame oil, etc, but the smell of the coconut oil didn’t bother me as much. I thought I could handle it better. I don’t mind the taste and it’s worked well, so I haven’t tried any other kind yet.”

Have you noticed any differences?

“Personally I have noticed several:

  • My teeth are much, much whiter. (People have even made comments!)
  • My breath smells much better overall. (And it isn’t as bad in the morning when I wake up!)
  • My TMJ has not been an issue, since I started pulling.
  • My lips are much moister and not so dry/chapped.”

oil pulling

Do you have any tips that you have learned along the way?

“I have been oil pulling for about a month and a half. It is totally worth the 15-20 minutes a day. I have learned a couple of things in my time doing it, however.

  • It is best to do it right away in the morning (before brushing your teeth). The 20 minutes goes really fast if you do it while you shower and get ready for the day.
  • I have to melt my spoonful of oil before I start swishing. It will melt in your mouth if you are patient, but the texture got to me and I just couldn’t do it. I just keep a small bowl next to my tub of oil and I stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so before I start pulling.
  • NEVER swallow the oil when you are done. It is filled with toxins and bacteria that are pulled while you are swishing. Always spit it out.
  • NEVER spit the oil down the sink or drain. It will solidify again and clog your drains. I always spit mine in the garbage.
  • Brush your teeth afterwards to get all the remaining gunk off. Believe me…you’ll want to.”

Has anything funny ever happened while you were oil pulling?

“Two things actually. One time I was sitting on the floor killing time playing with my cat while I was swooshing. I don’t remember what she did, but it was kind of funny and I chuckled. Not being able to hold back the giggles, I accidentally spit some of the oil on her back. She didn’t appreciate it very much! 🙂

Another time I was sitting at the table swooshing and all of a sudden I needed to sneeze. I am sure I had quite the face trying to hold back that sneeze, but I was able to hold it in and avoid sneezing out an entire mouthful of oil all over the table and room. (That would have been a nasty mess.)”

So should I (Lindsey) give oil pulling a try? Who else out there has tried it? What stories/experiences do you have? Comment below and let me know.

As always, check with a doctor for anything medical related.
  • Thomas Matty

    Wow, I’ve never heard of anything like this before. It is an interesting concept. I’m not sure how oil would have so much power on bacteria, but your results speak for themselves. I think I’m going to try it. I have some coconut oil laying around. I put some in my coffee for time to time.

    • Lindsey Bridges

      In your coffee? That’s a new one for me 🙂 What’s the benefits of putting it in your coffee??

      I haven’t been able to try Oil Pulling yet, as I’ve heard different conflicting messages about doing it during pregnancy, but look forward to giving it a try in the future.