Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil to Transform Your Dental Health

Young Woman SmilingI love it when I learn new things from the comments people leave on my site.

About two weeks ago, I wrote an article about coconut oil – an awesome tropical oil with many health benefits.

A few people commented that they use coconut oil for something called “Oil Pulling” – which is kind of like using an oil as mouthwash.

Apparently, there are quite a few studies that support this process and a lot of people on blogs and discussion boards swear by it.

I have now been doing this every morning for about 10 days… and I am impressed.

What is Oil Pulling and How Does it Work?

Oil pulling has been used for thousands of years as an Indian folk remedy.

It involves putting about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swishing it around your teeth for 10-20 minutes.

There are thousands of different types of bacteria in the mouth. Some of them are friendly, others are not.

Certain bacteria can cause harm, such as Streptococcus Mutans, which is the main culprit behind plaque buildup, gingivitis and cavities.

The bacteria in the mouth create a “biofilm” on the teeth – a thin layer that they use to adhere to the surface. This is what we know as “plaque.”

Having some plaque on your teeth is normal, but if it gets out of hand it can cause all sorts of problems.

The way oil pulling works is simple. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria “get stuck” in it and dissolve in the liquid oil.

Basically, you remove a large amount of the bacteria and plaque in your mouth each time you do this.

I Personally Prefer Coconut Oil

Traditionally, the Indians used other oils such as sesame oil or sunflower oil.

Oil pulling should work with pretty much any oil you choose.

I prefer coconut oil because Lauric Acid (about half of the fats in coconut oil) is proven to be antimicrobial… it can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi (1, 2).

The taste of coconut oil is also fairly pleasant compared to other oils. I found it rather disgusting at first having my mouth full of oil, but I got used to it after a few days.

Now let’s look at a few studies on oil pulling…

Oil Pulling and Streptococcus Mutans

Streptococcus Mutans is one of the main bacteria in the mouth and a key player in plaque buildup and tooth decay.

In a study published in 2008 with 20 adolescent boys, oil pulling (using sesame oil) caused a reduction in the number of Streptococcus Mutans in the plaque in as little as 2 weeks (3).

It was not as effective as a Chlorhexidine mouthwash, but much cheaper and MUCH less nasty.

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Plaque and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is caused by inflammation of the gums and happens when the immune system starts attacking the bacteria in the plaque.

Another study compared oil pulling and chlorhexidine in adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis. Both oil pulling and chlorhexidine mouthwash were effective against gingivitis (4).

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is in many cases (not all) caused by the smell of chemicals and gases produced by bacteria in the mouth.

It makes sense that if you get rid of some of these bacteria, you reduce bad breath.

In a third study of 20 adolescents, oil pulling therapy significantly reduced all markers for bad breath and was just as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash (5).

How to Oil Pull

Coconut Oil

Oil pulling is incredibly simple and effective.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.
  2. Swish the oil around your mouth for about 10-20 minutes.
  3. Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth.

If you use coconut oil like me, then you may have to chew on the oil for a few seconds for it to melt, because it is solid at room temperature.

It is best to do this on an empty stomach, before you brush your teeth.

I prefer to do it while I take a shower in the morning.

I put the oil in my mouth, swish it around while in the shower and try to “push” and “pull” the oil between my teeth.

When I get out of the shower I spit out the oil, rinse my mouth with water and brush my teeth.

There is no need to use a lot of force here, if doing this causes pain in your facial muscles then just relax a bit. Try using less oil next time and don’t swish it around too forcefully.

It’s important to spit out the oil. You don’t want to swallow it because it is full of bacteria and nasty things.

What to Expect

I’ve been doing this for about 10 days now.

I’ve definitely noticed that my breath is fresher and my teeth look a lot cleaner… both whiter and more shiny.

I’ve never had any dental problems, but I can see how this could have benefits for people that have them.

There are a lot of wild claims out there about oil pulling and how it “pulls” toxins out of your bloodstream. I really don’t think that makes a lot of sense.

However, oil pulling IS effective at reducing the harmful bacteria in your mouth and improving oral and dental health.

I have to say that I am really surprised at how effective this is. I plan to continue doing this for a long time.


  1. 20 minutes? Gosh this sounds long. Might try it : D

    • She means 20 minutes. At first it is hard, but the more you do it, you can work up to the 20 minutes. I put the oil in my mouth as soon as I get out of bed. Then head to the shower. Once the shower is complete, so is my oil pulling.

      Generally from time I start until my show is complete is anywhere from 12 – 20 minutes. It gets easier the more you do it. Oil pulling with coconut oil is amazing! I really do swear by it.

    • You don’t have to literally stand there and do it for 20 min. Here is how I do it: As soon as I get up, I run to the kitchen and put a tablespoon full of Sunflower Oil in my mouth. I like to alternate between Sunflower Oil and Coconut Oil. I then continue to do other things that I would normally do, such as making the bed, washing up, etc. By the time I am done with those things, my 20 min are up . You’ll be surprised.

      BTW, 20 min is a good time, b/c you want to make sure that you get all of the bacteria. Here is a site that goes into more details: http://oilpulling.com/

      There are various links at the top of that site w/ useful info.

      • I started using Nuco coconut oil but it’s a liquid? But everything I have been reading keeps saying it starts as a solid and you need to let it melt a little? So did I buy the wrong product? Basically just want to know what is best to buy.

        • Coconut oil melts at room temperature (around 24°C/76°F). If the temperature in your home is that high, then it will be a liquid.

          • I’ve been oil pulling for about a month now with sesame oil and to me it seems like my teeth have gotten yellow. I read that your teeth should get white? Could this method be turning my teeth yellow?


        • Normally it is solid. But you can also get it in liquid form, I’ve seen it in Walmart. I don’t know if there’s something added to it or not to keep it in a liquid form. But yes I have seen both. I didn’t know it could be bought as a liquid, I’ve just only known of the solid form. You might want to research it to make sure there’s nothing added to it. If there is, then you’ll probably want to switch.

          • Christine says:

            You want to look for cold pressed because sometimes chemicals can be used to express oils. I’ve used the one at Walmart that is mostly liquid, I didn’t feel like going to another store, no shame. The ingredient label listed only coconut oil. Just buy the better quality next time.

          • I’ve seen it in cans for baking spray as well as in solid form near other oils/fats at Walmart.

        • Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, but if your house is warm, it will be a liquid. Mine is a solid most of the year, and melts in my hands as soon as I touch it. In the summer, since I don’t have AC, my coconut oil completely liquefies. If you buy your coconut oil in the food section, this is what you should have and it is edible. There is something called Fractionated coconut oil that comes in liquid form and is only used for cosmetics or as a carrier oil for essential oils.

        • Oh, I just looked up Nuco coconut oil, and you are right, they do make a liquid coconut oil you can eat. I don’t understand what they are doing to it to make it a liquid. I would research that some more. It sounds like a lot of extra refining and taking out some fatty chains according to their website. I would like to know if this is making the coconut oil healthier or unhealthier. They don’t sell this Nuco liquid coconut oil where I live.

          • Marie, I think you are definitely right not to trust the liquid coconut oil. The liquid is being processed a LOT, and the unprocessed food is what we are all hopefully trying to move toward if we want to be truly healthy.

          • Here’s a good read on different types of coconut oil that may answer your questions: http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/what-type-of-coconut-oil-is-best-how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil/

          • Gretchen Starke says:

            MCT oil is manufactured from coconut oil by removing the lauric acid, which is one of the fatty acids that keeps coconut oil solid at room temperature.

            There is all this talk about how wonderful MCT oil is, more digestible, liquid at room temperature, good for weight loss, etc.

            But the, to me, most valuable part of coconut oil is the lauric acid, which is 50% of pure coconut oil, and which is the “germ-killer” part of coconut oil and what gives it all its marvelous health benefits. So I cannot see any way that MCT oil is healthier for you than pure coconut oil. Lauric acid is only found in coconut oil and human breast milk. Personally, I want the benefits of the lauric acid, so I will only use pure coconut oil.

            Coconutoil.com says the MCT oil has been around a long time, as a by-product of removing the lauric acid which is used in a variety of products including drugs. The MCT oil was used in a lot of cosmetics.

            I refer you to the website I consider most knowledgeable source of information on coconut oil – coconutoil.com

            On this site you will find many research articles about coconut oil and every aspect of it is explained. In particular the article in this link explains fully the difference between MCT oil and real coconut oil:


        • In my understanding it’s important to buy virgin coconut oil as the methods of processing other forms reduce its effectiveness and benefits.

        • I was wondering the same thing. I read that the best oils to use are sesame, sunflower or coconut oil. I think sesame and sunflower oil only come liquefied but coconut oil looks like lard. I can’t seem to find any clarification as to whether it’s ok to use liquefied oil or the stuff that looks like lard. The coconut oil I saw was not “melted” at 76 degrees.

      • Millie Kemrer says:

        You’d spend a lot more time in the dentist chair than 20 minutes for a cavity, this is time well spent and the savings on dentist bills should justify it. Since the dentists push fluoride I really don’t believe in them anymore.

    • Try extra virgin coconut oil (I get mine from Amazon, more affordable) and it is really good. Great thing about coconut oil is you can use it on your skin, I take a bath & use it in my hair (I have scalp scoriasis), I use it when I’m soaking for my pedicures, you can COOK with it and it is delicious! So I am definitely going to give this “oil pulling” a try!!! Good luck to everyone!

      • Try Moringa oil. It’s far more anti-microbial than coconut oil and still has a great flavor – kinda nutty tasting. Moringa has recently been identified as an “Anti-Quantum Sensor” which disrupts a bacterial colony’s ability to communicate with itself, preventing it from realizing it’s grown strong enough to attack.

        Moringa seed oil is also very nutritious and full of Oleic acid. In addition to oil pulling, you can use it as a skin moisturizer & healing balm, cook with it, and make delicious dressings and sauces.

        • Where would one find a source of Moringa oil?

        • Bacteria do not make a decision to attack… They have lipopolysaccharides on the surfaces of their cells (specifically, called LPS) that are recognized by our immune system which then WE attack. Bacteria simply live wherever they are. They do not make attacks or anything like that. Please stop spreading falsities.

          • I think she meant to say “quorum sensing”. Its still somewhat theoretical, but there is a lot of evidence supporting the idea of bacterial communication. For instance, bacteria have the ability to sense there collective population before releasing certain toxic compounds. In this way they avoid early detection by the immune system.

            That being said, I too am interested in Moringa oil. – any stores/types of stores that sell it?

          • I agree with Jared. I have created the nanobugs – cartoon microbes personified to teach and train about practical microbiology and infection prevention (there is a nanobug for Streptococcus mutans!). So I am “into” personification with a purpose, but the idea that they “attack” goes too far – you lose the scientific integrity.

            Please check out http://www.nanobugs.com.

        • You mean “Anti Quorum”, and it’s not in itself a sensor, it disrupts the quorum sensors of the bacteria.

      • Janet Dejeu says:

        Would you explain how you use it on your scalp in the shower. Do you use it in place of shampoo and conditioner? Does it help with dry scalp?

        For skin, do you just rub it on and then rinse?

        Thanks for your help, Jan.

        • No need to rinse off your skin. It’s absorbed quickly. A little goes a long way. For the scalp, use before you shampoo. Leave on the scalp for 10-20 minutes. Then shampoo & condition as usual.

          Tip: after rubbing on the skin, run what remains on your palms through the ends of your hair. Helps with flyaways :)

          • Angie Davidson says:

            I make homemade soap, and I actually use coconut oil as the main ingredient in all of my soaps, including shampoo bars. It works great in lotion bars as well. There are many, many benefits of coconut oil for your health and your skin.

        • Before bed a couple of times a week I put coconut oil all over my hair, put on a shower cap and sleep with it on overnight. The next day this is how I wash my hair:

          Baking Soda

          Start by mixing 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water. I have shoulder length hair and mix about 2 to 3 tablespoon of baking soda with 3 times that amount of water in a small squeeze bottle. You can adjust this depending on your hair length.

          Apply the baking soda and water mixture to dry or wet hair by starting at the roots and working to the ends.

          Let it sit for 1 – 3 minutes then rinse with warm water.

          After washing and rinsing with the baking soda mixture, you’ll want to apply a vinegar rinse.

          Vinegar Rinse

          Mix 1 part white or apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water. To minimize the vinegar smell, I also add lavender, peppermint, and/or rosemary essential oils to the vinegar mixture. I like to mix a big batch of this ahead of time and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the shower.

          Tilt your head back, close your eyes (to avoid getting this mixture in your eyes), and distribute through your hair.

          If you have longer hair like I do, I like to then (still keeping my eyes closed) tilt my head forward and distribute more rinse through the ends.

          After a few seconds, rinse with cold water. The cold water helps to seal in moisture, smooth the hair, and add shine. I have straight hair and have noticed that this really made a difference with eliminating frizz and static.

      • Agree completely. Have lost alot of weight by using cold pressed extra virgin Oil. Also I don’t use shampoo anymore. It destroys your hair. I put on coconut oil at night and wash hair with soap in the morning. Just think, what did we use when shampoo was not invented?

        • What is your secret to using coconut oil to help you lose weight? I’m always open to something to improve health and help me in my weight loss battle!

        • How do you keep from getting your pillowcases oily? And what kind of soap do you use to wash your hair instead of shampoo?

        • Yes please let us know how you “lost alot of weight by using cold pressed extra virgin Oil.”

          • My BF and I started consuming coconut oil (MCT oil) in our coffee in the morning, and pour a tablespoon on our lunch salads too. We cook with it too. We eat lots of veggies and grass fed meat, no bread (no pasta, no rice). No dairy either, we’ve both lost weight and feel fantastic.

            Lots of info online on this subject. The science behind it is the way the MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) work as energy in the body and your body begins to burn fat as fuel. LOW Carbs, HIGH FAT!

          • Look up “ketogenic diet” or “MCT ketogenic diet” and you’ll find all of the answers you need. Basically it is a high fat, medium protein, low/no carb diet that puts your body into a state of ketosis. In this state, your body is forced to switch from glucose metabolism (since it is not getting much or any) to ketone metabolism, which is a byproduct of burning fat for fuel.

            Many naysayers will say “all that fat will clog your arteries and give you a heart attack”, but if you hear any of that nonsense, then they are blinded by the conventional wisdom and have not spent any time researching scholarly resources (or trying it).

            Like MudPie correctly stated, coconut oil is unique in that it provides about 60% of its caloric content as MCTs, which are transported directly to the liver from the intestinal tract to be burned off and increase metabolic rate, rather than be circulated through the bloodstream to be deposited in fat stores.

            This has worked wonders for me and many of my colleagues and clients, so do a bit of research and see if it is something you really want to pursue. Good luck!

      • Pat Russell says:

        I’m definitely going to try it on my scalp. I also have scalp psoriasis and the itching drives me bananas sometimes. I have dry scalp too, so it should help all the way around. Thanks for your information. It is very helpful.

        • For the itching that drives you bananas, try tea tree oil. It stops the intense itch on my scalp, heals and treats it. I haven’t tried it with coconut oil yet but I will. Right now I use it with other carrier oils.

          • Melissa Lyn says:

            Actually you have to be careful with tea tree oil because it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in a lot of people and should not be used full strength. Tea tree oil is also considered toxic if ingested.

            If you are allergic to ingredients from the same family as tea tree oil, such as cloves, guava, eucalyptus, or allspice, you may be at a greater risk for having an allergic reaction to tea tree oil, states the American Cancer Society. Please be advised of these things before you use this.

        • Tea tree oil works great for dry scalp. It’s easy to get at any drug store and it’s cheap. It does make your hair oily though. I rub it on my scalp at night and wash with normal shampoo and conditioner in the morning.

        • Try Hemp Oil on your scalp. Put it on at night and wear a shower cap to bed. Shampoo out in the morning. Try to use a more natural shampoo.

        • I use the tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner by Swanson vitamins that I buy online. It is amazing.

          It helped my friend get rid of winter dandruff and I have noticed a major difference in the softness and fullness of my hair. The shampoo does take a bit to lather up, but I love it. And it’s cheap from them. $10 for shampoo and conditioner combo. Much better than any nasty chemical laced shampoo found at the drugstore.

    • I discovered oil pulling a few months ago and I can attest to its benefits of tooth whitening. I was daunted by the thought of swishing for 20 minutes but learned that it’s worth it and effective.

    • To the author: about it pulling toxins out of your bloodstream… I believe that is correct because your dental health is in sync with the health of your body. When you have plaque and infection in your mouth it can go into your bloodstream and make you sick. It is all connected. Refer to Web MD – “Oral Health: The Mouth – Body Connection.”

      • Your dentition is the first step in the process of digestion. Makes sense that if you maintain good oral and dental heath it will have a positive effect on the rest of your systems.

      • I totally agree. Research links gingivitis to heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight in newborns, etc… and I am guessing you can fill in a lot of disease etiologies that say ‘idiopathic’ with the bacterial, particularly to oral bacterial toxins. So it’s not BS when it’s claimed that oral hygiene leads to overall body health (both therapeutic and preventive ways).

      • DON’T spit down the drain. ONLY in garbage. It will clog up pipes due to it being waxy. I have been using coconut cold compress for 2 weeks. My throat stones were gone within 3 days. I will keep doing this. O.P. is not an over night health fix. You must keep doing it. I love it.

        • So excited to read that it helps with throat stones. They are nasty and so hard to get rid of. Definitely going to try it. Never heard of oil pulling until today. I use coconut oil in cooking all the time and for my skin.

          • Please explain, what are throat stones? Do you mean food particles that get lodged in your tonsils?

      • I disagree with the author’s statement; “There are a lot of wild claims out there about oil pulling and how it “pulls” toxins out of your bloodstream. I really don’t think that makes a lot of sense.”

        hen I first started oil pulling – I developed the classic detox symptoms – the lymph nodes under my jaw were sore and swollen and I felt lousy for a few days. After those first few days of OP, I felt fine.

    • Helen Jacques says:

      The time goes really fast. Just sit quietly or listen to the radio or do some chores if you must. It’s a satisfying treatment, I can’t say why. It makes you feel good and happy.

      • I did it as soon as I came home from work. I ditched my teen daughter asking me all sorts of dingy questions and just pointed to my mouth and shook my head lol. We talked afterwards :)

    • Ron Willow says:

      I’ve started oil pulling about a week ago after seeing a post on facebook. My first attempt had me spitting sesame oil everywhere. Then I tried less oil and am presently pulling organic cold pressed hemp oil. I haven’t been able to do a full 20 minutes yet, but I very pleased with the results.

      When I am done I rinse my mouth with apple cider vinegar a few times. After spitting the vinegar out, I swallow a small amount of the apple cider vinegar, because it is healthy for you and not too nasty tasting. Then I brush and start my day :)

      • The vinegar is horrible for your teeth. If you’re going to continue rinsing your mouth with vinegar at least water it down. You’re eroding your enamel with the vinegar.

      • Shelly Bo Belly says:

        Apple Cider Vinegar MUST be mixed with water before swallowing it. It can burn your insides and take the first layer of teeth enamel off. Also, it does NOT help a person to drink apple cider vinegar unless it is RAW with the MOTHER in it.

        Braggs offers a very good raw apple cider vinegar…just saying,. I know this cause this is my favorite drink. Last year when I had my dentist check up he asked me what I did to my teeth to get etchings on every singly tooth.

        He said he could do the whole mouth of fillings, but instead he gave me a strong toothpaste with fluoride to try using. Yes, it was the apple cider vinegar that I drank every day…I drank it with water, but like all day, I only had water mixed with the vinegar. That’s fine and all, but I guess I had to much vinegar in each cup I drank to ratio of water. Now I have bad teeth. As I write this I am doing a coconut pull… just started doing this.

    • I haven’t read all the comments so I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned this. Apologies if they have:

      Traditionally, cold pressed Sesame oil is used for oil pulling because it is Tri-doshic, which means it is good for all constitutions/body types. Oil pulling comes from traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Coconut oil is not usually recommended.

    • If you do all of this oil pulling for health reasons you obviously don’t use regular toothpaste right? So do you have any recommendations on natural proven solutions for brushing teeth?

      • I can highly recommend an oil brushing blend like Orawellness. My family uses it and the results vary from great to miraculous. I know that sounds over the top, but I’m pretty much a pessimist and don’t like to endorse things unless they are worth it. Our children’s dentists, whom are very bog standard dentists are very approving of it too. Good luck finding something. There are lots of options once you start looking.

      • Try baking soda and sea salt. This works great. You can also add cinnamon.

      • Baking soda and peroxide. The peroxide in the spray bottle works great because you only need a little peroxide, to get a paste like texture. It’s also usually recommended after oil pulling to clear out all the bacteria, toothpaste really does nothing!

    • I agree. To the best of my knowledge, mechanical removal of plaque (brushing your teeth) is sufficient to prevent cavities and only takes about 2 minutes.

      - Current dental student.

    • I have been oil pulling for two weeks now and LOVE the process… My teeth are whiter and my gums no longer bleed, my skin is clear and I feel GREAT… I have been spitting the oil on my grass rather than down the sink (where the oil will harden again in the pipes) and today I noticed all the grass has died!

      All those toxins I guess… I find the 20 mins passes really quickly and I just LOVE the process.

  2. Do you really mean 10-20 minutes? I assumed you meant seconds but it is stated twice in your article.

    • Yes, minutes.

      It’s best to do it at a time that you do not need to speak… I prefer to do it while I’m in the shower, which is around 10 minutes.

      • Great article! I have heard of oil pulling for a few months, and have it on my to-try list. You’ve inspired me to give it a go! Thank you :)

      • Is it recommended to do for 10 days or is this a lifetime routine to do everyday? I have done it 2x so far and noticed my teeth do look whiter. I’m basically more concerned about my gums since I have pockets. Thanks :)

      • Does oil pulling help with receding gums?

      • 10 minute shower? That’s ridiculous!… Why the hell would someone need a 10 minute shower? I hope you have a gray water system.

        • Marty, most women take a 10 minute shower. I have to let my conditioner soak in and shave my legs. If you’re a guy who just does a perfunctory wash, I guess a few minutes would be enough, but that is not enough time for many women.

          • Carol-ann says:

            I take a 30 minute shower each day. I condition my hair daily, only shampoo once a week, I massage conditioner into my scalp and hair, and leave till I’m done, then, comb through with a wide tooth comb, to detangle, as I have curly hair, which is very knotted.

            My shower is the most enjoyable part of my day and something I couldn’t live without. I also massage coconut oil on to my feet, to soften, prior to my shower, and once a week I massage coconut oil in to my hair, prior to shampooing, it prevents my hair from becoming tangled.

            Most men don’t stoop down and properly wash their feet, hence a lot of men suffer from bad foot odor. There are over 600 uses for coconut oil, and one I love is using it before shaving, my partner also uses it, instead of shaving gels or foam, and since he’s started using it, he hasn’t had any nicks or irritation after shaving. You can google coconut oil uses, or look it up on FB!

          • I think 10 minutes is a normal time for men as well. I’ll only speak for myself and say that I generally take a 7-10 minute shower each day. I don’t see how that’s an excessively long time. 10 minutes seem pretty normal to me.

            When I’m in a rush, I can do 5 minutes easily, but nearly 10 minutes (no more) seems sufficient.

        • Well, that’s kind of rude. Why so much concern for the length of others’ showers?

          • Some of us live in places of water shortage, that’s why the length of shower is questioned.

        • What’s wrong with a 10 minute shower? My shower is probably more like 20 minutes!

          • I probably take a 30-45 minute shower… and “GASP” sometimes 2 times a day. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and that is the ONLY time during the day I do not hurt. I also go to aqua therapy 4 times a week due to the amount of time I am in the water… and aqua therapy has chemicals in the pool that dry your skin.

            I love coconut oil. I take a cotton ball of it and do my heels with it 2 times a day and leave the socks on to soak it in at night. Gloves on my hands at night time. Hey, you do what feels good and is good for you… especially if it’s medically necessary, so that’s my 2 cents worth.

          • Because it is wasteful, especially if you leave the water running for the entire 20mins.

            Obviously I have no idea about your attitude towards the environment, but the more you use, the more energy is required to reheat the hot water tank – a lot of the time this energy is from fossil fuels. Not to mention the extra use of water which is obvious.

            I suspect most people don’t actually need the shower running for the entire time. You only really need it on when rinsing. Turning it off while you scrub, moisturise, shave, etc… will save a lot of water and power.

        • Marty, I have to agree with you. I’m originally from So Cal and grew up with an awareness of water usage. I’m female, very conscious of my appearance and take great care of myself, but I actually have a timer in my shower that my power company gave out. It keeps you aware of 5 minutes and they encouraged everyone in Eastern WA to keep their showers under 5 minutes.

          Before you know it, this will be absolutely essential (and we could certainly argue that it already is!). Water is not an infinite resource and should never be wasted; our aquifers are draining faster than they are being replenished.

      • What do you do when your mouth fills with so much of saliva? Do you spit something away before finishing?

        • I need this answer too. I am totally new to this. I did my first oil pulling this evening just to see what it will be like in the morning. It definitely takes some getting used to but I like the feeling after doing this already. I too had a lot of saliva, I ended up swallowing some then had to spit and quit so I wouldn’t do it again.

          • I too have a problem with this, I am relatively new to this as well. I read somewhere (though it escapes me as to where) that if you feel like you need to swallow, spit out and put new oil in and continue.

          • LindyBugs says:

            When you first start oil pulling, do it for just a few minutes, sometimes just one or two. Work up to the longer times as you get used to it. And I found that a tablespoon is way too much for me to handle, so I use maybe a teaspoon at most. Made it much easier for me.

        • You all should really check out Earth Clinic, lots of great information on oil pulling, from people who have been doing it for a long time. Yes spit some away, don’t swallow it. You’ll need to adjust the amount of oil you use to whatever feels most comfortable. You want to do it on an empty stomach. After you’re done be sure to drink 2 cups of water, I also brush with baking soda and peroxide.

  3. I’ve been oil pulling every morning for 20 minutes as soon as I wake up and before eating or drinking anything since August 2012. I’ve noticed significant difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I’d recommend spitting the oil in the trash as it might clog the drain when it hardens again. I also keep my jar of oil on top of my gas stove so that it is always melted. I’ve found it easier on the gag reflex when you don’t have to chew the oil first. ;) Happy pulling to everyone!

  4. Oil pulling is definitely beneficial for dental health. I also have seen a lot of ‘wild’ claims about the benefits too. While it may not be a wonder cure for all, it is worth considering that bacterial inflammation of the gums and bleeding gums allow bacteria into the bloodstream which could in theory, cause further inflammation throughout the body. So, oil pulling and greatly reducing gum inflammation, could have general health benefits.

  5. Sounds interesting. About coconut oil being a solid at room temperature. You could set a metal spoon and a lighter aside and use the the lighter to and spoon to melt the oil before “pulling”. I find that name kind of funny. Why not just say it’s a mouthwash?

    • Called pulling because it draws toxins into itself. Mouthwash just surrounds and kills. You can swallow listerine and not get toxins, because they are dead. If you swallow the oil, you get the bad stuff still moving around.

    • Christian says:

      Spoon and lighter, lol. That’s so crackhead. :)

    • A mouthwash is swilled around your mouth. With this you need to ‘pull’ or ‘suck’ it between your teeth for maximum benefits…

    • Elaine Miccio-McClean says:

      Your comment made me giggle… yes, why oil pulling? It must be an old phrase from another country.

      • Or perhaps another century? ;) The term probably comes from the act of “pulling” the oil back and forth through your teeth. That would be my guess.

    • Ann Onymous says:

      I love the term “oil pulling”. That’s what caused me to investigate it when I saw it mentioned somewhere. Another “mouthwash” would not have caught my attention.

  6. I’ve been Oil pulling for a few years. It amazes me that most dentists have never even heard of it. You should look into all the benefits and uses of baking soda.

  7. Would it be ok to use olive oil?

    • This should work with any oil I think, but the most commonly used oils are coconut, sunflower and sesame oil.

      • Stephanie says:

        I’ve read on other sites that Olive Oil is not as effective because it can leave a yellow film on teeth due to the natural color of Olive Oil.

      • Alexandra says:

        Stephanie is correct. EVOO will leave a yellow film on the teeth. BUT you might consider taking a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with your breakfast. It’s chocked full of omegas, antioxidants, good fats and vitamin E. It’s also great for your skin, hair and heart. Google it! :-)

    • Organic Coconut oil has the most beneficial effects… If you have pain in your mouth, as I do, add a few drops of organic clove oil.

  8. Hi Kris,

    Why should oil-pulling be done on an empty stomach? For convenience sake, it would be easier for me to do after eating breakfast.


    • I don’t think it’s a big deal whether you do it on an empty stomach or not, just make sure to brush your teeth right afterwards.

      • Hi terri, you mentioned that we have to brush the teeth after oil pulling, so do we brush with toothpaste or just brush without the toothpaste?

        • From what I hear from other supporters and researchers of store bought toothpaste, aside from the ills of fluoride, is that the glycerin content of these commercial toothpastes will coat the tooth and decrease the amount of remineralization that can take place, being that the minerals will come from the saliva via a good diet or vitamins.

          • Voort Landis says:

            I wonder… is it okay to use (natural) toothpaste after doing this process? I use Theodent 300 which is supposed to be awesome for remineralization. Comment?

      • Hi, I’ve been oil pulling for a couple of months and the first article I read about it didn’t mention brushing your teeth after. So my normal routine is to brush, then oil pull, which I love because I feel like it pulls the nasty fluoride out of my mouth. Is there anything wrong with Brushing first? Thx, Kris.

        P.S. I’m going to start making toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda, & Essential oils.

        • Jeff Richardson says:

          All the information I have ever read says that you should oil pull first and clean your teeth afterwards. Oil pulling is more effective first thing in the morning before brushing as the bacteria and virus in your mouth have been undisturbed for 8 to 10 hours and are closest to the surface and more susceptible to be sucked into the swirling oil.

          The majority of the harmful bacteria in our mouth are lipid (fat) coated and oil pulling first means that you have a better chance of ‘pulling’ out these lipid coated protozoa and getting them caught in the oil. Brushing first simply pushes them around the mouth and into any crevices and makes them harder to get.

          I oil pull then rinse my mouth with a warm Himalayan salt solution which helps to remove all the coconut oil that would otherwise be stuck to your teeth and gums. I then brush with a baking soda toothpaste.

          • I recently started oil pulling; I read that you shouldn’t brush your teeth afterwards because the act of oil pulling can make your teeth susceptible to damage by brushing immediately afterwards. Has anyone else heard anything like this?

        • Would love your recipe for toothpaste, Kris!

      • It’s a very big deal to only oil pull on an empty stomach. There are digestive enzymes which are only produced in the mouth (like the ones that that digest carbohydrates). Since you oil pull for 20 minutes and then spit it out, if you oil pull after eating, you’re basically spitting out very important digestive juices that you need to digest your food. If you oil pull after eating, you are compromising your digestion which means you’re getting less nutrients into your body which will depress your immune system and general functioning. I am a health care practitioner and I do not recommend it.

        • What kind of health practitioner are you?

          There are actually two types of amylase (the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates): salivary amylase and pancreatic amylase. Both work together to do the same thing.

          Salivary amylase begins the breakdown process when mixed with food (like when you’re chewing) and the sugar intake stimulates the release of pancreatic amylase to deal with it down the line.

          But the salivary amylase that’s produced in your mouth after the fact does nothing for the food you’ve already swallowed.

          Rinse your mouth out as you please.

          Please don’t use ‘health care practitioner’ if your argument has no scientific validity. It’s an embarrassment to the field.

          I may be a health care practitioner (how would you know?) but I was taught about salivary and pancreatic amylase somewhere around grade 8.

        • As a medical student, I don’t see why spitting out all the enzymes would severely affect you.

          Firstly, the enzymes in the mouth that work during chewing (mastication) are only initiators, and they are not as vital as you make them sound. The same enzymes are found in the stomach. Also, consider people who don’t chew food much – they don’t always have digestive problems, and the enzymes from the mouth are destroyed in the stomach by stomach acid anyway.

          Also, consider people on PEG tubes (don’t search that if you are squeamish!). It’s basically where people are fed liquefied food through a tube in the tummy – they might need this because it is painful/impossible to swallow/chew etc. If they don’t need salivary enzymes, then why is it such a big deal here?

          And finally, even if you do spit out all the enzymes with the oil, the body will just produce more by itself. These enzymes in the mouth are ‘salivary enzymes’. This means that they are made by the salivary glands and secreted via saliva.

          Basically, saliva contains the enzymes.

          So as long you continue salivating after oil pulling, the enzymes will be restored in no time.

    • It’s simple and logical. You have to do that BEFORE you eat your breakfast, because while you eat, you swallow all those bad bacteria you need to eliminate from your mouth. :)

      • You really do not want to swallow any bacteria – especially after “pulling” as to not increase count in the bloodstream which we all know leads to medical issues, such as heart attack and stroke, among others. I would be more inclined to do it after eating. “Pull, brush, floss, expectorate.”

        I’m a dental hygienist and this is the first I’ve ever heard of this method. I will definitely recommend to my patients and I will certainly try it myself.

        • S Venkatesh says:

          Oil Pulling after breakfast can induce vomiting. That is why it is recommended to do this first thing in the morning soon after you are out of your bed. At that time, the oil mixes with saliva in the mouth which is lot more helpful.

          • Can you do oil pulling in the evening before bedtime instead of before breakfast? What are the pros and cons? Thanks.

        • Ray A Morse, DMD says:

          Not really sure what you mean by “you don’t want to swallow bacteria”. You swallow microbes in your mouth everyday. That’s what gastric acid is for. It’s the open capillary beds in the periodontal ligaments that are the doorway for bacteria getting into the bloodstream. The PDL is one of the most highly vascularized areas in the body, which is why untreated perio disease is such a problem for patients with healing disorders like diabetes. It won’t really matter what solution is in your mouth.

          The swishing action of the liquid is helping to dilute and remove microbes from the biofilm and gums. Anybody remember the mouthrinse Plax? This was their same claim. Unfortunately, their research data was flawed in the way they presented it, so it got pulled, but if you rinse with any liquid, you’ll flush away more microbes than brushing alone.

          • Josie Bell says:

            I’m in my 60′s. I went through a lot of dental problems all my life, I was born with Celiac DH and it caused me to have all my teeth pulled and dentures before 60.

            While I still had teeth, I used Sesame oil every time I had a bad tooth, or infection. It worked everytime. It stops the pain. Mouthwash did not do that… Any type.

            My dentist didn’t believe me, but I proved him wrong.

          • I remember Plax. I use a generic store brand version of PLAX and now after reading your post I see why it doesn’t really work. The oil pulling that I have been doing is doing more to remove the plaque buildup then the PLAX ever did.

          • Why would you even want to swallow it Ray? I’ve read it’s loaded with toxins, germs, pus, mucous and other microorganisms. I guess if you don’t mind, go for it! I personally spit the oil out into the trash.

        • Ok, Terri,
          I’m in the medical field and actually, I’m a Med Lab Tech and have had many years of microbiology. Blood is sterile when it is circulating in the body. There should never ever be any bacteria in your blood. The bacterial count for your bloodstream is always zero.

          Swallowing bacteria from the mouth will not ever introduce it into the bloodstream or we all would be dead. Your circulatory system is a closed system and so is your digestive system. People only get septic because of some tear of the mucosa or diseased state that gives the bacteria a portal into the bloodstream.

          Your skin and mucosa are the first line of defense against bacteria. Bacteria cannot bore through the skin. What you may get, if you swallow bacteria in a larger amount than normal so that it overwhelms your immune system, is a bad case of diarrhea.

          • Gina,
            With due respect I need to correct you on misinformation you posted. The bacterial count in the bloodstream is rarely zero. Especially if someone is eating acidic foods. What you typed there is incorrect. You can see bacteria in the blood of someone while using a darkfield microscope. If anyone is overweight they have bacteria in their blood: candida at the least, so please be careful about what you post to not mislead readers.

            Look up Dr Robert Young on youtube or his book PH Miracle for explanation and evidence. I have seen bacteria moving around in my wife’s blood.

          • I agree with Pedro. An example of this is something I learned when I was diagnosed with gum disease: gum disease can lead to heart disease if untreated.

          • Not to mention studies have proven that poor oral health can contribute to heart disease.

    • Hi,

      I’ve read from studies that we have a lot of bad substances like toxins or bacteria or something else coming out into our mouth area at night during sleeping.

      Doing oil pulling before you eat or drink anything will clean up all those bad substances from your mouth.

      If you eat or drink anything before that, you can have those bad substances back into your body with your food and drinks. (That reduces the effect of oil-pulling!)

    • Starryduck says:

      I think the idea is that you are ridding your mouth of lots of bacteria before you eat, thereby avoiding ingesting the very bacteria you are pulling out of your mouth with the oil.

    • Naveed Polani says:

      I have read that OP must be done on an empty stomach to get the full benefits. Some people did it on full stomach and had headaches and other problems.

      BTW, OP cured my insomnia and back pain. It whitened my teeth. I get deep sleep because of OP and awake very fresh. Also my snoring is quite less now.

  9. I am in the middle of chemotherapy, which has been hard on my mouth, becuse of sores, and I am going to try this out to see if it will help. Sounds like a great idea. I don’t like regular mouth washes as it is hard to find one without alcohol, which would sting.

    I try to follow the blood group diet (I am O positive) and the only oil recommended is olive oil, so I will try that.

    By the way Kris – what do you think of the blood group diet?

  10. I’m gonna try this for sure, I’ve been using coconut oil for cooking and on my skin too. I love it.

    Does anyone else use coconut oil for their skin? If so have you had any issues with it?

    • I don’t use it for my skin but I know of some people who do and they swear by it.

      • Carolyn Kingsley says:

        Yes, I use coconut oil on my hair with excellent results.

        I resommend keeping a small amount of coconut oil in a container near your shower, so it can warm with the heat from your shower. Then you can add it to your hair, or swish in your mouth since it will be warm and ready to go.

        I use the coconut oil AFTER the shower so it does not go down the drain. It simplifies your morning:)

      • I am a massage therapist and use ORGANIC coconut oil on my clients. They love it and it is great for the skin. Way better than all those other massage oils, creams, and lotions that clog your pores and only cause more problems for you in the long run. :)

    • I love the use of coconut oil. I use it as an appetite suppressant, in my smoothies, on my skin as a moisturizer and as a sun block. No issues with using it on my skin, love how it doesn’t stain my clothes and how it makes my skin feel! I even cook with it. Just love the stuff!

      Haven’t oil pulled with coconut oil as yet but have only just heard and learned about oil pulling. Have been OP with sesame oil and all seems good so far. Sleeping better, back and neck pain diminishing, teeth whiter, gums not sore or bleeding. Will try OP with coconut oil tomorrow morning.

    • Yes, I use it on my skin and hair.

      A little bit goes a long way as a moisturizer, leaves my skin soft and moisturized for a LONG time before having to reapply! Plus has a pleasant scent, so no need for body sprays :)

    • I love coconut oil for for oil pulling with great results.

      In regards to using coconut oil on skin/issues – I have had great success in using it topically to treat keratosis pilaris (the little red, hard bump like rash that is common on the back of arms and legs).

      I had a nasty experience of using coconut oil on my face with lead to a break out of larger then usual blackheads – curious I did some research online and found I was not the only one with this issue:


      Happy coconut :)

      • Amity,

        The blackheads are a result of the same principle that is being discussed here – that of oil pulling — the oil pulling harmful toxins/bacteria from the skin to the surface, leading to the blackheads. I would guess that if you continued to use it on your face, the blackhead problem would eventually clear up, once the skin was detoxified.

        (Also, try not to use other makeup when you apply coconut oil to the skin — the other junk will just clog things up.)

        Hope this helps.

      • I too tried Coconut Oil on my face and had major breakout issues. I did some research and found out that since Coconut Oil is a heavy oil it can clog pores, especially if you have sensitive skin (which I do).

        Many people suggested mixing it with a carrier oil. I tried equal parts Coconut Oil and Castor Oil with awesome results! I have been virtually breakout free since using this daily for my face wash. I ditched all my harsh face washes and couldn’t be happier!

    • Love the Music says:

      I have sensitive skin, so I use cold-pressed, organic, coconut oil, as soon as I get out of the shower, on my feet, legs, arms, and back (lower). Also use it as a hand lotion. I wash my face with it as well. Rub into face for 1 mins, put hot washcloth on for 30 seconds. DONE.

      Hubby gushes how smooth my skin always is, and it’s an inexpensive way to keep your skin nourished and moisturized.

      You learn by trial and error how much to use.

      • Hi there, I was just wondering if you have to gargle after swishing for 20mins with the coconut oil?

    • Charlotte says:

      I have been using it on my face for a while, I add a tbsp liquid vit e & whip it with a hand mixer for about 8 min, face looks smoother & feels amazing!

      Will NEVER use anything else, ever!

    • I use only coconut oil, I use it all over my body and face, no problems. People comment on how great my skin looks :)

    • I do! I originally used coconut oil for my hair, then started on my skin, and from there my coconut oil usage grew like wild fire! Lol, but I just recently heard from a friend about pulling which I’m going to start doing from now on. =]

    • Hi Joe,

      I love coconut oil, too… and I, too, use it on my skin.

      I have a very sensitive skin due to the fact that I have Seborrheic Dermatitis and my skin got thinner due to a cream the dermatologist prescribed. I stopped using any medication for that because my skin was so thin that when I would be stressed out (and the seborrheic dermatitis would flare out), some parts of my face would bleed (in certain places where I had patches where the skin would come off very easily due to it being so thin).

      The only thing that called it all down was a coconut body lotion bought at Walmart lol… and when I discovered coconut oil, I started using it on my skin too.

      At first, my skin couldn’t stand the coconut oil on it’s own, so I mixed some in my coconut body lotion… and increased the dose gradually. Now I rarely use the coconut body lotion ;)

      My cheeks are always rosy, for some reason… and that rosiness disappears when I use coconut oil.

      Furthermore, I have an extreme case of seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp, so over the years the hair strands started becoming thinner and thinner and eventually, I started losing my hair. I found out that there might be a cure for the seborrheic dermatitis (which is not a small feat since this is deemed to be “incurable” – BTW, some people have said to have cured their seborrheic dermatitis by washing their hair with Borax [brand: 20 Mules]), the process – which should be done 3 times a week for 3 weeks (and/or until totally cured) – is pretty simple:

      Simply apply coconut oil on the scalp and hair and covering it with a plastic shower cap (making sure to remove the air) and then wrapping it all in a towel during one (1) hour, followed by thoroughly washing the head (hair and scalp).

      I also heard that peppermint essential oil helps the hair growth, so mixing some in the coconut oil prior to applying it to the scalp might prove to work (I haven’t tried the peppermint essential oil yet, I intend to try it though!).

      So far, my skin it WAY better than before… I no longer have bloody patches, the rosiness is almost all gone and seems lime the seborrheic dermatitis has diminished and my hair is thicker and thicker… My daughter also said that it seems as if my hair has started to grow back – which is difficult for me to see since I’m not bald (just have less hair than I used to).

      I can only say here that coconut oil is a blessing in my life! The more I learn about it, the happier I get! lol Hey! Also learned that it’s good for the thyroid gland… pretty great that such an ingredient can do so much for our health! :)

      Today I started oil pulling with it (tried yesterday but didn’t know I had to pull the oil for how long, so I officially started today) and hooray! I was able to do it for 20 min straight! And spat it out in a paper towel and threw it out in the garbage after reading the posts here that said that, if it goes in the sink’s pipes and hardens, it clogs the pipes… So I have to thank you guys for posting that information! Thank you! :)

      Well, that’s about it so far, guess the answer to your question is simply “no issues” with the coconut oil on the skin ;)

      • Cindy Harvill says:

        Thanks for all this information on how to stop hair loss! Mine has fallen out for five months without any hope in sight! I believe that oil pulling with coconut oil will stop the hair from falling out, plus gently rubbing coconut oil to scalp.

        What exactly is borax? I’m allergic to lots of metals and many shampoos have metals in them of some kind… have learned a lot! Thanks again for Your Testimony. It helped me! I appreciate you!

        • Something called “no-poo” might also help with your hair loss. If you google it, there will be lots of information for you to look at. Basically it’s washing your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It allows the oils in your scalp and hair to clean and moisturize itself and stops problems like dry scalp and hair loss from allergies and SLS etc. Sounds horrible, but if you commit to it and can stick out the “transition period” it really does help.

    • I have used it on my skin. I put a small amount into my hands rub them together and press them onto my face. A little heavy for day use (at least on the face, anyway) but I have used it all over the body and it works great. I put it on my hair, too right before flat ironing. My skin (and hair) look good. It’s nice to use an effective moisturizer that doesn’t have a bunch of artificial colors, perfumes, preservatives and other junk to get it to look and smell “fruity” or “flowery.”

    • I love coconut oil for my skin – it is awesome!!! My husband even noticed a difference :-)

    • Nature's Empress says:

      Coconut oil is commonly known as “The tree of Life” by Asian and Pacific Islanders as well as in the caribbean. Its use goes wayyyy beyond “pulling.”

      It kills bacteria and toxins throughout the body and is great for nourishing the skin overall (however I would refrain from using if you are going to be directly exposed to the sun if you’re not trying to tan). It stands to reason if it pulls bacteria in the mouth that it will have similar effects when being absorbed or consumed for its dietary benefits.

    • I have been using coconut oil as my moisturizer for a very long time. My skin has never been healthier. It absorbs into the skin very quickly and I have never had any breakouts from the oil. In fact, my skin has never been clearer. I have a history of skin milia and since using the coconut oil the milia has disappeared. I have never been more proud of pushing 50! The best is yet to come.

    • I have had no issues with coconut oil. I use it on my skin and try to eat a spoonful every day. I put it in my coffee, on my toast or cook with it. I oil pull every morning. I have been doing it for 10 days. What I have noticed, whiter teeth, fresh breath, pinker gums and tongue, better sleep, more energy and best of all my carpal tunnel is getting better!!

      • I’m 62 and havie been using cold pressed coconut oil on my face for a few years. My skin loves it, winter and summer. What’s new for me is trying it as a deoderant this past year. It works even in hot weather because it has antibacterial properties. Not an antiperspirant, though. I use it to avoid chemicals.

        • Hi Carol,

          Saw your post and wanted to tell you about an excellent product 100% organic and great for both deodorant and antiperspirant. Primal Pit Paste (PPP) online. It also is available in a stick form. It is an AMAZING product!

        • I use coconut oil mixed with corn flour and a couple of drops of essential oil, e.g. sweet orange and cinnamon, as a deodorant/anti-perspirant. It hasn’t let me down so far! Am also going to try oil pulling tomorrow.

      • Do you think oil pulling will clear up sores or ulcers on the tongue?

        • I had “rot” in my teeth for over a year. It was bad… Needed a root canal but couldn’t afford it. Started oil pulling. Got a couple of abscesses over a month’s period, continued pulling, no sign of it now. Even amazed the dentist’s office.

    • I use cocoa nut oil on my skin (sometimes I mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with grapeseed oil just to thin it). It does help with white spots I was getting on my hands (never went to the doc, just self diagnosed as a possible fungi). It also makes a wonderful sunblock. I don’t go out much so when I do, I burn in less than 20 minutes in the summer. I stayed in the sun for 45 minutes and did not even get a tan!

    • I just started oil pushing this morning. 30 minutes with coconut oil. I rinsed my mouth and followed by brushing my teeth with castile peppermint soap. My mouth and breath feel and smell SO fresh. With my first effort my teeth were whiter.

      I must say I’ve never had terribly stained teeth, but that is why I was so surprised at how white they looked immediately. I thought I would have to do this at least 10 times before I saw whitening results. It could be the high quality coconut oil I used, and the fact I did it for 30 minutes.

    • I use coconut oil on my skin all the time. I started using just the oil itself and then recently I read how “whipping” it in a blender will make the oil like a cream. I tried that and it worked great.

      I decided to add aloe vera gel to the mixture trying to keep it from hardening at room temp. It has been excellent at keeping it not so solid, but in the summer, I think I will have to keep it in the refrigerator to keep it from becoming liquid. I think it will be nice, though, to have a cool “lotion” to spread on my body after a shower in the summer time :-)

      I can’t remember the ratio I used for the coconut oil/aloe vera gel, but I think I used 1 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup aloe vera gel. Throw everything in a blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend. Place in a glass jar.

      • I forgot to mention, the article I read stated that if the coconut oil hardens after you’ve “whipped” it, simply place the coconut oil back in the blender and whip again. I haven’t had to do that, but I don’t leave it in the refrigerator either. If I do put it in the fridge, I think I’ll try rewhipping everything and see if it stays soft.

  11. I have been oil pulling with sesame oil for 3 years. I agree that the claims made about toxin cleansing and others are wild exagerations to sell products. However, oil pulling has made a huge difference in my oral health.

    During my 6 month dental check-ups and cleanings, I was always warned to do better brushing and flossing because I had ‘deep periodontal pockets’, heavy plaque build-up, sensitive teeth, and red gumlines indicative of poor oral health. The ‘pockets’ are supposed to be 3mm or less, and any over 3mm were recorded in my charts. Just prior to my oil pulling experiment, I had 15 pockets deeper than 3mm, most were in the 5-7mm range with a few at 9mm. A few painful deep cleanings are what led me to oil pulling.

    I swished sesame oil every evening for 20 minutes for 6 months. My routine was swish for 20 minutes, spit, rinse, brush with no toothpaste and floss afterward. In the morning, I would brush with toothpaste as always.

    At my next dentist appointment, the hygenist asked if I’d been to another dentist recently for a cleaning! She said there was little to no plaque build-up and my teeth and gums looked better than ever. The periodontal pockets had all dissapeared except for the two deepest ones, which had gone from 9mm to 4mm. The dentist was amazed, he had never heard of oil pulling.

    At the one year point, all pockets were normal, no tooth sensitivity, checkups and cleanings were very enjoyable. Dentist and hygenist both now oil pulling and recommending it to patients.

    At one point, I switched to sunflower oil for 4 months or so leading up to a dental cleaning. Without prompting her, the hygenist asked if I had stopped oil pulling because she was seeing red gumlines and more plaque that usual. That was my last experiment with sunflower oil.

    Since then, I have been doing a daily 20 minute swish, I look forward to it. I do it when I first get home from work in the evening and have 30 minutes before anyone else comes home. You need to find a time where you have a solid 20 minutes where you will not need to talk or answer the phone. I don’t know if 5 or 10 minutes would also work, but 20 minutes has worked for me and I’m reluctant to change.

    Good luck!

  12. I’ve been doing this for a couple weeks, I prefer coconut oil… whiter teeth, sleep better, calm feeling :) and clean feeling mouth! I just started noticing a metallic taste in my mouth, has anyone else noticed this?

    • Jonathan says:



      “Acetone (systematically named propanone) is the organic compound with the formula (CH3)2CO. It is a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, and is the simplest ketone.”

      Perhaps these two things will explain it?

    • We are full of heavy metals. We take in metals through our water, foods, cosmetics, antiperspirant, and the air (especially living in a city) and from the weather modification spraying which contains barium (metal) & aluminum.

      There are ways to cleanse it out of the system, tissues and blood. Most cancer patients have heavy metals in their blood and there are many other problems caused from this.

      I would think that if you taste metal, then metal is being pulled from your system.

    • I agree with Soni. If you are tasting metallic taste, it is probably a factor in your body system that is being removed. It should pass eventually, from what I’ve read, if you just keep at it.

    • Sandy, I have been tasting a STRONG metal taste since the first day I started with oil pulling–not just right after doing it, but all day/night after doing it. I am rather concerned, as I did not have any metallic taste before starting the oil pulling (with organic virgin coconut oil). Also, the taste appears to be coming from a dental implant, and I am worried that I may be ruining the implant.

      Anybody with any info on this, please respond. I don’t know whether to keep doing it or not. I have noticed it’s beneficial to my other teeth (but don’t know about this strong metallic taste & what it’s doing to my implant).

      • This is information I am interested in as well Blue. What effect there is with crowns, bondings, or even traces of amalgam fillings left under the crowns. If I find any credible info, I’ll post back here. Hope you will as well. :-)

  13. Kris, In theory, as you say the process of oil pulling removes bacteria in the mouth. I’m assuming this includes the good kind too?

    Therefore would this process make the teeth more sensitive to the likes of fluoride (if brushing teeth straight after) or other chemicals/sugar if forgetting to brush after?

    • Jonathan says:

      I can’t seem to find the why but there are many mentions of Coconut oil not affecting beneficial bacteria. If anyone finds a good study or article on the why this is true I’d love to know.

    • Aaron, bacteria does not desensitize your teeth. In fact, oils have been known to make the enamel surface a slippery surface for the bacteria to adhere.

      I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, and only learned of “oil pulling” today. I’m very interested to learn more. One of the more current findings in dentistry is the use of xylitol. Xylitol is known as well to make the enamel a slippery surface for the bacteria to adhere to the enamel. Oil is not killing the bacteria, it’s essentially making it difficult for the biofilm to adhere to the enamel, thus reducing the biofilm accumulation along the gingiva, reducing the incidence of gingivitis, and also reducing the incidence of caries (cavities).

      I’m interested in discussing this further with my colleagues.

    • Lisa Miller says:

      When I started pulling, initially the sensitive areas of my teeth felt a bit more sensitive. Since then (pulling 3 times a week for 2 months) all the sensitive teeth have simply become not-sensitive.

  14. I tried oil pulling several years ago. I found doing it gross. :( Could not handle a teaspoon of oil and swishing for 10 mins. But I am always open to trying new things, so will give it a shot again.

    • Love the Music says:

      I literally gagged the first time I tried it Sandi. But made up my mind to get past that. I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks and no longer have the gag issue.

      Also, my allergies have skipped town. Wahoooo

  15. I was just at the dentist a month ago with the worst check-up I’ve ever had. My teeth look great despite worsening sensitivity but my gums are receding at a dangerous rate and I have deep 4 mm pockets all over my mouth. The hygienist did not believe me when I told her I was extensively flossing every. single. day. They recommended a proxabrush and to continue with my sonicaire and ensure that I change the head at least every 4 months.

    I have not followed any bit of their advise (except a new toothbrush head). My gum health and sensitivity has been getting worse every year despite following their recommendations to the T. I had seen a lot of blogs talk about oil pulling and decided to give it a try. It’s gross at first… keep doing it and you will start to enjoy the taste. I use coconut oil and after only a few weeks my gums are literally growing back. I’ve also sworn off flossing and invested in a waterpik, which gives your gums a lovely massage. Mmm.

    Anyway, I am incredibly happy that what I thought was permanent gum damage is completely reversing. Another unexpected surprise is that my tongue that has always been covered in white plaque despite serious brushing and cleaning is now a normal color. I still have sensitivity in the worst areas, but that also seems to be improving. I can’t wait to go back in 5 more months and educate my dentist and hygienist about the benefits of oil pulling.

    One important thing, though – please spit in the trash can and not down your drains!

    • Mark Peco says:

      I too have a similar receding gum problems, at the age of 31. I have a complete set of teeth, except for 2 wisdom teeth extraction (painfully). Never fail to floss before sleeping, and brush my teeth twice a day.

      I visited my dentist at least twice a year. Still have 5 more months till my next visit. Might as well try this Oil Pulling. My dentist advices me to chew my food using my right set of molars, so as to not worsen the receding gums on my left side.

      I’m already using coconut oil with my cooking, so I might as well do oil pulling from now on. Good Luck on my next visit. XD

  16. Erin Elswick says:

    Oil pulling helps with my herpes outbreaks.

  17. If coconut oil kills the bacteria, is there a reason why you can’t just swallow it instead of spitting it out? It seems like a waste of coconut oil.

    • Hi James
      I read in many sources that the coconut oil will hold many toxins and bacteria after OP, so it’s much better in the long run to spit it out. The benefits do not outweigh the negatives in this instance.

    • Many bacterial toxins result from the death of the bacteria. Do you really want to swallow a mouthful of oral bacteria apocalypse for spoonful of oil?

    • It does not kill the bacteria, it pulls it from your mouth into your saliva. That is why you spit it out.

  18. Brandon McBride says:

    Good question, James. I couldn’t find anything through a quick Google search, but I’ll look into it more and report back if I find anything.

  19. I’ve been doing this since late last October, so 5+ months. I’ve had a couple years of stress-related dental health problems, but my last visit was perfect. No more cavities and no more gum recession, and by the way, I question anyone whose dentist is telling them that their gums are growing back. Recession can be stopped, but not reversed. Anyway, if oil pulling is a placebo, I’ll take it. It’s a lot cheaper than fillings.

    • Laura, I am sorry to have to correct you but it simply is not true that recession can’t be reversed. I myself have has it reversed (which you can see visually, I had very bad receding on my bottom front teeth which now are back to normal) and the same happened to my mother also.

      My cousin is a dental hygienist and is working on her Dental license and she also has visually seen cases of it reversing itself.

      According to studies I have read (I will have to see if I can find them again) there is no hard evidence on how and/or why it would reverse itself but it is proven that it can happen.

  20. Day 1. I have had a major dental mistake done on my teeth years ago when I was a kid in which teeth were pulled out that should not have been pulled out. In my mid 20′s I started orthodontic treatment to fix my smile and towards the end of the treatment I lost my job, apartment, car, etc. and ended up breaking my braces off myself.

    From then until now my teeth started shifting worse than before and because of embarrassment could not bring myself to go see a dentist. I knew I couldn’t keep running away from it and end up with rotten black funky smelling teeth… so I finally faced a dentist yesterday and had my first cleaning in about 12 years.

    The hygienist was doing something that I’ve never had don’t before. Turns out she was measuring for gum loss. They told me that it was not that bad considering I haven’t been to a dentist in about 12 years.

    Turns out I have beginners Periodontal Disease they are hopeful that my gums will bounce back after the cleaning. I saw a video on YouTube of a dude in the park Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil.

    Today is Day 1 of Oil Pulling. I have been very good so far flossing and brushing after every meal and just did my first Oil Pulling about a half hour ago. I bought an Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil.

    I looked at the spoonful and asked myself if I was really going to do this… I did it and its not that bad by the end of about 25 minutes it was like I was swishing water. I will update my results and I will be honest.

    • I just came back from the dentist really depressed. She said that I was in the beginning stages of periodontal disease, the teeth all had to be pulled and that I needed dentures. I brush twice a day and I’m only 43!! I “pulled” this morning for 10 minutes using coconut oil. My teeth already feel and look better. I am going to keep up with it daily for a month and then get a re-check before deciding to have all my upper teeth pulled out. I’ll post back to let you know what happens.

      • Laura Bone says:

        Do not ever let a dentist pull all your teeth without getting a second opinion! I know from my own experiences and those of friends there are a lot of unscrupulous dentists out there who will tell you your teeth need to come out, when they’re fine or salvageable. My poor friend lost all of her teeth at the age of 19 for no reason!

        When I got my second opinion, the tooth in question that had to be pulled, was absolutely healthy and it’s passed every dental checkup for two more decades…

        You’re in the beginning stages of periodontal disease, and all your teeth have to be pulled? I don’t buy it. Get a second opinion.

      • Caleb G says:

        Also, don’t use toothpaste, use 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. My friend went back to the dentist after 2 weeks of brushing with tea tree oil and they said his gums went up to a 5/5 the best possible! Nothing cleans your mouth like tea tree oil.

        But remember, toothpaste has a chemical that blocks access to your teeth so your saliva can’t re mineralize the teeth. Tea tree oil is an antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic!! You mouth will feel and taste so clean, also put a drop or 2 of peppermint oil if you want but tea tree is less expensive.

      • Bernardo says:

        You should also look into scaling (deep tooth cleaning) and antibiotic treatment. See Dr. Walter J. Loesche for better treatment for perio disease than pulling out teeth.

      • When you say “high quality” what are you referring to?

      • If you are in the beginning stages of periodontal disease, please go to another dentist for a second opinion before pulling any teeth. Good luck.

    • How have you gone Sammy?

    • PLEASE also look into the tooth decay healing diet! Dr. Price has a book on it, also the book “Cure Tooth Decay.” It really makes a huge difference! I started on it a week ago because I was having a significant amount of tooth pain, and I am now already pain-free! It is possible to remineralize your teeth and even form new enamel with the PROPER DIET.

  21. I’ve started oil pulling for a few days and noticed my mouth seem cleaner, plaque on my teeth are disappearing, and my teeth seem to be getting a little bit whiter but unsure. I used sunflower oil.

    I’ve tried coconut oil at first, but I kept trying to swallow it because it tastes better. With sunflower, it’s easier not to swallow and it was cheaper. The taste wasn’t as bad as I thought. I don’t think it would make a huge different which type you use.

  22. What if you don’t brush your teeth after? What if you brush your teeth before?

  23. Have you found any information regarding oil pulling and the safety if you have metal fillings?

    I’ve tried this before and loved it, but I have several metal fillings (too much sugar back in the day) and I haven’t been able to find too much info on it!

    • Maybe ask a dentist or something, I honestly have no idea.

    • Just having those fillings in your mouth you are probably receiving bits of Mercury if they are Mercury fillings a bit at a time.

      I think the most important thing for you to do are getting plenty of Selenium because it binds with Mercury so it can’t harm you.

      That’s actually the main thing Mercury does is block Selenium enzymes. You need those Selenium enzymes so if you have enough Selenium it binds to all the Mercury, but you still have plenty left over.

      You might also want to check if you have enough Iodine. I’ve read it can take up to four pounds of fish a day to get Iodine sufficiency because of our environment today with all the Bromide, Fluoride.

      This is a great page.


      This is also a good guide on Iodine. Selenium is very important for supplementing Iodine so if you don’t have enough Iodine than getting a good amount of Selenium ties right in.

      Also if you can get those fillings removed by a qualified person it would be best.



      A dentist who didn’t know how to properly remove Amalgam fillings ended up damaging Dr. Mercola’s Kidneys. His kidney issues are still around today 20 + years after having the fillings removed.

      The article has links to places that can help you find a biologic dentist that knows how to safely remove fillings.

      • I am always highly suspicious of “Drs” who also are trying to sell stuff. Just my opinion, but I put Mercola in the same league with Dr. Oz and “Dr.” Bob Barefoot. Google him and see.

    • Mary, you are right, I couldn’t find either. I want to do Oil Pulling but I have some metal fillings too and don’t dare to try. OP is pulling out toxins and metal fillings have a lot of toxins in it. It may cause you to have more problems!

      • I’ve read that oil pulling actually helps reduce the amount of mercury that gets into our bodies because it flushes some of it out.

        Most of my metal fillings were removed when I was a teenager, but I know I’ve still got at least one, and I’m trying out the oil pulling thing. It could be coincidental because of timing, but I had a really nasty canker sore on the inside of my cheek that stopped hurting and began to heal after oil pulling just once (healed enough that I drank orange juice later that day without feeling it at all).

        I think the canker sore was a die-off reaction from dietary changes and going off some medication – my body’s been readjusting for a few weeks now, which is why I think it’s just die-off. Regardless, though my most recent dentist appointment (first in 8 years, I’m ashamed to admit) went off remarkably well (almost no plaque, and no cavities – trust me when I say no cavities in 8 years is miraculous), I am willing to try any chemical-free way to improve my health.

        • I’m interested in this as well. I’ve had most of my amalgam removed, but not by the kind of dentist who specializes in that. So I’m sure there are residues still there. So I do have crowns and some bondings. I would like to get any one’s experience on how they were affected? Please?

    • Mary did you ever find info on this? I see NOTHING on this thread about it, but have seen other threads that say not to. And I’m curious about people like me. I moved out at 18 and realized I had never been taken to the dentist, ever. So I took myself. I had 25 cavities and it took me three years way back then (on my $100 a week salary) to have them all filled.

      Fast forward 20-25 years, and I had my first ‘fail’… so I had to get a root canal. I started having all of my amalgam fillings removed, because I experienced ‘tattoo-ing’ for the first time (the amalgam filling darkens the tooth over time).

      So now I have NO observable amalgam (all except traces has been removed), but two-thirds of my teeth are crowns or a few white fillings. Did you ever find anything referring to this situation? Thanks for any help!

  24. I have a nasty ulcer in my mouth for 3 weeks now, I have been pulling oil for 2 weeks but the ulcer is still very sore. Can you help? I am using organic sesame oil. Thanks.

    • You should see a doctor about that.

    • Jonathan says:

      Iodine mixed with water might help. A few drops with a few ounces of water to dilute it 4-8 as a swish.

      I think they make a good case for most people in the United States especially being deficient due to various things in Iodine.

      Iodine might be something you need anyway.

      Stop the Thyroid Madness, Iodine by David Brownstein, and The Iodine Crisis by Lynn Farrow are all very good reads.





      There are also single bottles if you want to just buy one to try. If you actually decide to supplement Iodine rather than just trying swishing it out you’ll want to check out the information in the Iodine group supplementation guide and/or iodine-references. Its much of the same information just shown differently.

      Finding an Iodine Literate practitioner with the help of the Stop the Thyroid Madness page would be even better.

      These are great buys if you decide to supplement Iodine. The Iodine group on yahoo which is free to join on request is a great group. They also have an OT group for topics besides Iodine.

      • The oil should not be retained in the mouth for 20 minutes – 10 minutes at best because the bacteria will be reabsorbed back into the gum tissue. After spitting the liquefied oil into the garbage -not down your drain – rinse the mouth with sea salt water to clear all the bacteria from the gum tissues. Sea salt is a natural antibacterial.

        • Many thanks for all your replies.

        • Jeff Richardson says:

          Oil pulling is an ancient art and if you look at the history of oil pulling it has always been recommended that oil pulling take place for between 15 and 20 minutes. I have practiced it myself for years and there is a considerable difference between 10 and 20 minutes. The feeling of cleanliness and freshness is not the same if you only do it for 10 minutes.

          It is not true that the bacteria will be absorbed back into the system. The majority of protozoa the oil pulling is absorbing are lipid (fat) based. Which is why it works. Rather than brushing your teeth with water which just pushes the protozoa around and is relatively ineffective, the oil in oil pulling attracts and the invaders and holds them in suspension.

          And after 20 minutes spit them out.

          Try it for the two different timeframes and you will feel the difference.

      • Caleb G says:

        Taking just one mineral can be dangerous, it’s much smarter to take ALL 60 essential minerals in their plant derived form and your body will rid itself of any excess minerals.

        You see, with minerals it’s all about all 60 of them working together instead of just taking one, you want all the co-factors. Every cell in our body has a mineral coefficient and you want a good coefficient for ALL minerals like selenium, copper, zinc, iron, iodine, chromium, vanadium, etc…

    • Commercial toothpastes are renowned for causing mouth sores and ulcers. I stopped getting sores in my mouth when I swapped to Neways toothpaste. The main culprit is the SLS (sodium Lauryl Sulfate). It’s known to irritate the skin and let bacteria in. In fact I swapped all my personal care and became an Independent Distributor because my skin cleared up and my hair grew back, when I swapped to the Neways products. I had bad skin allergies previously.

  25. I have read that oil pulling is good for helping to lose weight, is this true?

  26. Has anyone had any improvement with any stage of periodontal disease, by pulling? I returned home from seeing the dentist yesterday and just wanted to cry. I know that dentures have improved over the years but still, I want to avoid them for as long as possible.

    • I have suffered with periodontal disease since I was 16 years old. I am 64. I’ve never had a dentist who didn’t say you need to have them all pulled. I would just not go back. I’ve been with a dentist now over 25 years. He knows how I feel so he has worked with me. I get my cleanings and use 2 different kinds of toothbrushes and a water pick. I floss any time it’s convenient (like driving?).

      I’ve had a tooth that needed a root canal for over a year but the pain was “bearable”. Well, my daughter told me about the “op” method about a month ago and after 3 days the pain in the root canal tooth was gone. Another area that the dentist had been watching gave me some pain but only for a couple of days.

      I went in for my cleaning and both the hygienist and dentist were AMAZED. They could not believe what they were seeing! The pockets that they spend so much time with had diminished to the point where they didn’t even bother to measure. Keep on pulling.

  27. I’ve been oil pulling for about two weeks. I love it! I started with almond oil, and had visible (gross) results when expectorating afterwards. I switched today to coconut oil, which tastes much better, but when I spit it out it was still clear/white, versus the almond oil, which came out yellowish. Both oils are cold pressed, organic, etc. Does this mean the coconut oil is not pulling out as much of the nasty stuff in my mouth?

    • S Venaktesh says:

      Sasha, Clear/white liquid after OP with coconut oil is just fine. Keep it going!

      • Thank you! The almond oil was good, but the coconut oil seems to have almost instantly alleviated my hay fever. And it tastes good.

  28. Danielle says:

    Are you supposed to brush your teeth with toothpaste after doing the oil pulling? Or with just a toothbrush by itself?

    • S Venkatesh says:

      Danielle, It actually depends on what time you are doing the OP. If it is first thing in the morning, you can brush with toothpaste after OP. But, be it any time of the day, it is always better to rinse the mouth with warm saline water immediately after OP. Trust this helps!

    • I had a sensitive tooth, but I’ve noticed that since I have been oil pulling, that the sensitivity has been greatly reduced. I haven’t really noticed it much anymore.

    • Caleb G says:

      I hope you don’t brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste! Go google what fluoride does to your body before you continue that habit. Fluoride toothpaste, this is how the dentists make the big $$$

      • You are wrong, Fluoride is not how dentists make big $$$. Fluoride prevents decay. If you brush, floss and get your teeth professionally cleaned you should not have big dental bills.

  29. Nicole P says:

    It says brush teeth after but I use a sensitive tooth paste… Does that matter?

  30. My DDS said that I have deep gum pockets and that she’ll have to do about $600 worth of dental work to treat this. OP has helped soothe my gums. I will continue doing this and will see what my DDS says at my next visit. The comments on this blog have been encouraging.

  31. Janet R. Chamberlain says:

    I’ve been doing this for about a month now and love it! I do it right before I jump in the shower, then spit it out when I get out. Perfect amount of time and multitasking!

  32. I have plaque growths in front teeth. Need descaling at dentist every 6 months and it seems to grow back quicker. Didn’t really believe this. 3 x 5 mins with coconut oil yesterday. 10 mins this morning. I was driving after oil pulling this morning and just thought I’d pick the growths with my fingernail. To my astonishment big clumps just came away. Unbelievable! Might get a scraper thing and do the small bits left!

  33. I heard about this from a friend this morning. I am going to try it! Seems weird!

  34. I have had a nasty toothache for about a week. I did a lot of research and found out about coconut oil. It is early, but this is the best my tooth with the infection has felt in 3 weeks. Tried antibiotics with so-so results, but this really looks promising. I will update the results.

  35. I have been oil pulling for a few weeks and have noticed a very nice improvement in my oral health. My stomach is empty of food, but I’ve had a couple of cups of Joe by the time I get to OP-ing. Has my whole OP-routine now been worthless from coffee drinking?

  36. Michael Wilkinson says:

    I would question your statement you dont want to swallow as its full of nasty things. Your digestive juices will eliminate those, they would have been swallowed anyway.

    It’s also a good idea to use the coconut oil that is still coconut flavoured as opposed to the non flavoured oil used in cooking. I’ve been using that for some time and it is without a doubt the best, most neutral flavoured oil I’ve ever used, even for frying!

    • According to the OP, she said that the only benefit is oral health, but I am here to say that it has other benefits as well.

      My friend told me about Oil Pulling in early May, and I decided to try it. I have been alternating between Sunflower Oil & Coconut Oil, and let me tell you, I used to have aches and pains in my joints, and the only time I get some relief is if I exercise, and that relief is only temporary, since I exercise every other day. Anyway, since I started Oil Pulling, the pain in my joints is a lot less.

      In addition, I used to have a sinus condition. I no longer have a sinus condition since Oil Pulling. Moreover, those headaches that I used to get, on occasion, I don’t get them anymore.

      Moreover, I used to break out in pimples if I eat certain foods. My pimples are diminishing, and like many of you say, it helps tremendously with oral health.

      The friend that told me about Oil Pulling, here is how it helped him: He has had some relief from lower back pains, arthritis in his hands, and that he has no boils since doing it. He said that he used to have painful boils on his skin. He doesn’t have any teeth, so he said that he wouldn’t know any of that part. *:)) laughing Well, I have teeth, and I noticed the difference.

      • I just recently started OP as well with similar outstanding positive results. With the mention of digestion, some folks have very low stomach acid/enzyme issues so I might not assume those unwanted elements would be taken care of all of the time.

        My kids actually think it is fun to communicate with the intonations & sign language when I am OP. And the older one said she likes this OP because she doesn’t have to hear my smart remarks. I appreciate the pointer towards my own area of needed self improvement!

      • Emma Noel says:

        You should check out the book Arthritis: The Allergy Connection. My mother had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (proven by a medical doctor) and was bedridden; almost bound for a wheel chair even though she was on high dosages of immuno-supressants and cortisone. After she tried the elimination diet in the book, her pain went from a steady 7-8 to absolutely zero.

        When she started reintroducing foods, she discovered certain foods that gave her joint pain. It was a surprise that in her case (it differs with every one) they are all vegetables: green peppers, black pepper, broccoli, cauliflower and peanuts. Each causing a different joint in the body to hurt (broccoli specifically affected the bottoms of her feet. Weird, right?) Once she vowed to avoid these foods, she never had pain again.

        It is worth a try for your joint pain. It’s a bit of a pain to start, but I think the benefits are worthwhile.

        Wishing you the best.

  37. Giselle says:

    I have just started oil pullin this morning with coconut oil. I only managed to last about 6mins but from what it sounds like I should be able to build this up! I started having a tablespoon (had to build up to this amount) in hot water with half a lemon squeezed in every morning about 3 weeks ago… I cannot believe how good my skin is looking!

    It’s no longer dry and looks so smooth. I also started the “sweet poison quit plan” and haven’t had sugar in just over a week and have not had a single craving which is unusual for me as I can’t go without sugar for an hour. I believe the drink has contributed to that! Just love it!

    • Giselle, I have noticed an improvement in my skin and hair since doing this and my sugar cravings have dropped, also and I’ve only been doing it a short while, as well. Do you “pull” with the lemon juice and hot water or do you add it to your diet with the lemon juice and hot water?

      • Giselle says:

        Hi Angie, no I just pull with the oil! The lemon and hot water is my first drink in the morning after brushing!

        • Just to clarify, you drink the coconut oil with the lemon water and THEN you OP?

          • She pulls with the oil: swishes with coconut oil for 10-20 minutes; spits it out. Rinses mouth. Brushes teeth. The oil pulling happens as the first thing of the day before drinking and eating anything.

            After completing the above, the first drink of the day is hot water with lemon juice. (Some people also add cayenne pepper to the drink. Water should be warm but not boiling from what I have read.) Then eat food.

  38. Some things to think about:

    The mouth is the beginning of the digestive system; and we know that 70 percent of the body’s immune system is located in the digestive tract. We also know that 95 percent of degenerative diseases can be traced back to the digestive system, particularly the colon. If there is dysbiosis (imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria and yeasts) in the digestive system, it would certainly be in the mouth and gums as well.

    Conversely, if there is dysbiosis in the mouth and gums, it is likely that there are also issues in the other organs and tissues of the digestive system. Pulling germs, yeasts, and other toxins out of the mouth itself (in my opinion) could definitely contribute to the detoxification of the digestive tract.

  39. Vanessa says:

    Hi I was wondering is it safe to do oil pulling if you have fillings, will the oil pulling harm them in anyway?

  40. I have been trying this for a week now, and like how it makes my mouth feel- no night time fuzzy teeth since i started! I would suggest that you might want to add in your post that it is best to use organic virgin coconut oil- it actually smells and tastes of coconut. The stuff from walmart is gross- that’s what I started with, not knowing any better, but with my first sniff of organic virgin from trader joes, I am converted!

  41. Brandon says:

    You should spit the oil into a cup and dispose of it correctly, oil should not go down the drain, particularly if it solidifies at room temperature.

  42. Say good bye to plaque/tartar; no more frequent dentist visits bleeding gum or bad mouth odor. This is an ancient treatment from Ayurveda (means “Knowledge of Life”); It is not a “quick fix” like Allopathy.

    I hate the dentist procedure of tearing down all my gum and making a week long “mouth outage”!!! Ended up with hard plaque build up which made me eligible to have the worst teeth on this planet.

    Then i heard about oil pulling and started doing it. First few months I didn’t see any effect whatsoever. Now after about 6months, my mouth gave me call “hey scrape it off man” and I used a small iron bit to pull it off; no effort no bleeding at all… all those thick hard build up is now gone. I will continue to do this till my last day.

    Patience is the key.

  43. Melissa Pom says:

    The only thing that confuses me is the not swallowing. I pull with coconut oil, which is supposed to be very good for us (medium chain triglycerides, or whatever) when consumed. Stomach acid, namely hydrochloric acid, is strong enough to kill most if not all bacteria and inactivate viruses.

    • Jasmine Smith says:

      The reason you dont want to swallow is because you are using the coconut oil to pull out toxins from your body. Which means after the 20 minutes the oil contain toxins from your body. By swallowing the oil you are then putting the toxins back into your body which defeats the purpose of doing the oil pulling and is why it is best to spit out the oil.

  44. Pebbles says:

    Wake up. Take the dose, start swishing, pass a bowel or a no 1 if need be. Shower on, lather soap and Shampoo, rinse off, dry off. Return to basin and spit out. Rinse. Brush teeth and change for work or whatever. Done.

    Axe Booze-containing mouthwashes. Defeats purpose. Cheap, cheap alternative to chlorohexydal etc, which is primarily used post periodontal surgical procedures. The best solutions to ailments and conditions are out there in the form of herbs and naturally occurring substances. Getting my coconut oil tomorrow.

  45. Rosemary says:

    I have been OP for about 13 months now. Within 3 months of starting the OP, the number of migrane attacks I was having clashed from 3 attacks weekly to once in 3 months. I used to have backache and this has been permanently cured as well. OP is God’s gift to humanity! I can’t stop.

  46. I just started oil pulling because I had a loose tooth, and at 38 that is not a good thing. So I started with sesame oil, but it was gross and made me gag. I moved to the coconut oil, and although I melt mine first, it rules. It has made my teeth slicker and less likely to collect plaque, my breath is great, and my lips are so soft!

    I don’t know about the whitening or anything yet, because I have only been doing it a week. However my gums have stopped bleeding when I brush, and my tooth is no longer loose. Say what you will, but to me that is worth it. I am hoping it helps with my overall dental health in the long run.

    • Pebbles says:

      Lynn could you please confirm to me what ‘coconut oil’ you and everybody on this forum is actually referring to. I’ve tried three highly-reputable supermarket chains and all the floor manager says is “Coconut oil?? I’m sorry sir, we don’t stock it nor do I know of such, we have coconut cream/milk in a can if you want”. Please help me out here, I gotta gotta get some.

      • Supermarkets generally don’t stock it. You need to look in health food/wholefood stores or it is also available from Amazon and other online stores. The type of coconut oil you want is virgin coconut oil. Here is an example from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biona-Organic-Coconut-Virgin-400g/dp/B001IRLSZU/

        Coconut oil can be quite pricey and it is worth shopping around to get the best price, just make sure you go for virgin coconut oil.

        • Costco carries a good quality, cold pressed organic brand that is not outrageously priced. It is by Carrington Farms and I bought a 54 oz container months ago for about $15. It’s been sitting under my kitchen sink unopened… until today. I had never heard of OP, but I did 20 mins today and OMG my teeth feel like I just had the best dental cleaning of my life.

          I take good care of my teeth, cleaning 2X a year, brush, floss, water pic as I should and I had gums receding and some oral surgery due to that last year. Gonna try anything I can to keep my own choppers.

          My dad died with ONE tooth in his head and because he also had heart problems, before he could go to the dentist to get his one tooth cleaned, he had to hit the local ER and get an IV of antibiotics… that is how nasty the stuff they clean off your teeth is.

          As I recall, that bacteria from the teeth can go right to the heart. I am NOT a medical professional, just remembering what my dad went through.

      • Giselle says:

        Some supermarkets have a single brand in the health food section. I buy mine from a health food store. There is a greater variety of brands and sizes. There is a difference in brands too, I bought a cheaper one and then tried one that was very highly recommended, now the cheaper one makes me gag and I can’t stomach the smell of it!

      • Go to any Indian Store, you will find it.

      • Walgreens has coconut oil in the supplement section that is liquid in form. It’s labeled “premium”. I don’t know if that is why it doesn’t solidify but it works well. After three days of use, a very painful site that needs a root canal completely disappeared.

      • Costco sells organic cold pressed unrefined coconut oil for about $15 for 54oz. Large container. It’s great.

  47. Pebbles says:

    Thanks tons Diane and Giselle, will be seeking.

    • Maria Camb says:

      I’ve not tried OP yet but will. A few people have mentioned homemade toothpaste. I’ve tried a couple of recipes but not found one I love. Any suggestions? Mine includes coconut oil, xylitol, peppermint and clove oil, Castille soap and calcium carbonate. I tried using gse in one batch but it made it terracotta colour. Thanks.

      In the UK, Tesco stock organic cold pressed coconut oil, £6. Stocked with other cooking oils.

      • I’ve been mixing baking soda with peppermint essential oil for the last couple of years. I’d rather keep it really simple, and this works well for me.

        My dentist says my teeth and gums are in good shape. My teeth have always been yellowish, so I’m looking forward to OP, hoping it will help with the color as well as overall oral health.

        I’ve enjoyed reading this exchange of experience. Thanks everyone.

  48. Pebbles says:

    And you too Prassoon.

    • I have just found out about this method and have tried it with coconut oil for the last 2 days. I have been trying to cure candida for nearly 10 years, literally trying every single thing I come across. Things have gotten so bad that my dental health has now started to deteriorate… I am only 28! If anyone has any other information on oil pulling and candida, I would love to hear.

      • Ebony– Re candida, I had a very serious candida outbreak- vaginal, GI tract, even my ears were coated with the fungus! Went to ER, got the usual broad spectrum antibiotics, which only dented it but at least I could return to work.

        But what got it cleared up entirely was a $10 bottle from Nutribiotics called GSE (grapefruit seed extract). If you want triple strength, use Citricial’s GSE instead. Safe for use internally and externally. In less than 2 weeks, I was back to normal.

        Here are some sites where you can read up on the antimicrobial properties of GSE:

        The Kitchen Physician

        Uses and dosage recommendations at

        More uses and dosages at

        Find a good naturopath to guide you, as there ARE effective treatments out there.

      • You need to check out DrHyman.com. He is a functional medicine doctor and has tons of information on how to cure many diseases.

      • Shannon Young says:

        I would also recommend reading the book, The Body Ecology Diet, which is designed to address candida/yeast overgrowth. Amazingly healthy, health promoting diet.

      • Do you have almagam silver mercury fillings? If so, your body will have more candida than it should have. Get the fillings removed the right way by a biological Dentist. Then get detoxed by doing the oil pulling… good luck.

        • Cindy,

          What if I had my amalgam feelings removed (not by the specialist, my regular dentist) and now have 2/3 crowns, with some bonded fillings? Am I at risk for oil pulling? How do you know this information if you don’t mind me asking? My husband wants to ‘oil pull’ but he does have amalgam still. He is stubborn and wants to do it anyway.

          I’m getting him to hold off by looking for more information. Hope you have some to share? Bizarrely I DO have a candida overgrowth that did start a few years after I had my 25 cavities filled…in my late teens, early 20′s. I first started noticing symptoms of what I eventually learned was a Candida overgrowth in my late 20′s/early 30′s.

          How do you know that amalgam contributes to candida overgrowth? Thanks for any information. I truly DO appreciate it!

  49. @ Ebony,

    Candida can flare up based on the foods you eat. Try to cut down on the carbohydrates (carbs) and sweets if you have a lot of those in your diet. Yeasts love those foods, and that can trigger an outbreak continuously.

    Certain medications can also cause an outbreak, such as antibiotics.

    Wear cotton underwears, b/c Candida thrives in moist environment.


    • Katharine says:

      I’m allergic to coconut, and sesame, sunflower (most seeds). Can I use olive oil for this? Or is there some other solid oil I could try? I’d love to improve my gum health, but it would certainly be easier to more or less chew on an oil than swish it around for 20 minutes.

      • Pebbles says:

        Perhaps give refined peanut oil a bash. NEVER unrefined. Best to consult a pro regarding a substitute.

      • Olive oil is what the official GAPS diet literature says to use for oil pulling. Elsewhere in this thread people have said it can leave a yellowish color on the teeth, but if you’re brushing afterward anyway, it might be worth a try.

  50. Penelope Henderson says:

    “There are a lot of wild claims out there about oil pulling and how it “pulls” toxins out of your bloodstream. I really don’t think that makes a lot of sense.”

    I do think it makes sense. Think about it. Why would dentists require people with health conditions such as heart disease to take antibiotics before something as simple as teeth cleaning if there was not a blood connection?

    Truth is HUMAN Bites are even worse than cat bites. We humans have more bad bacteria in our mouths than cats! I have been bitten by a cat and my hand swelled up so bad I was rushed to ER!

    Also, bacteria in the mouth is linked to heart attacks and strokes, and it is now known that there is a link to increased heart attacks and strokes immediately following teeth cleaning.

    • I once placed a small intact clove of garlic in my vagina as a folk remedy cure for thrush, after only about ten minutes, I had a garlic taste in my mouth. We aren’t a bunch of discrete parts but a whole working system.

      So perhaps it’s not entirely implausible that the effects of oil-pulling go beyond the mouth.

      In any case, healthier mouth and teeth is a good benefit. It makes your mouth feel clean afterwards which is nice too.

    • Mark Peco says:

      @Penelope Henderson

      “Also, bacteria in the mouth is linked to heart attacks and strokes, and it is now known that there is a link to increased heart attacks and strokes immediately following teeth cleaning.”

      I don’t know about the teeth cleaning part, but I get to have Tonsillitis at least twice a year, and tonsillitis happens to be connected to some heart disease issues.

      Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2317075/

      Anyways, I’ve just started OP for about a week. I’ll let you guys know, if it happens to prevent my Chronic Tonsillitis.

      I prefer OP after flossing, before bedtime. Immediate result that is visible (smellable in this case) after a week of OP, is no morning breath when I wake up. XD

    • AGREE, I just posted about this above. My dad had one tooth left in his later years and had to get the IV antibiotics to get that tooth cleaned twice a year!!

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