Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oil Pulling to the Rescue

The title sounds like I have a major crisis and oil pulling is the only answer?

It could be yes, it could be no. 

When I first heard about oil pulling I was definitely curios so I did aplenty readings via the internet. 

Just upon a chance, late last year I had major dental issues and the frequent dentist visit was a tortured even just by thoughts alone. But, I had too or else stay in state of agony. Blame it to the hormone, my dental health started to deteriorate with pregnancy number two

I also read somewhere that even dentist recommended oil pulling. So told myself, why not give it a go? It's not hard to do and not costly to start with. Just an oil it needs. And so, I started this oil pulling routine early this year and still continuing.

What is oil pulling?

Oil Pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr F. Karach, MD. It is actually an ancient Ayuverdic ritual and he claimed that this healthy habit could cure a variety of illnesses, ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders. 

Among my findings from various readings, it is claimed that oil pulling managed to :

Prevent bad breath, whiter teeth, healthier gums, clearer sinuses, decreased headaches, increased energy, clearer skin, alleviated allergies, regulated menstrual cycles, improved lymphatic system, clearer mind, improved PMS symptoms and better sleep.

There are some scientific studies that support the benefits of oil pulling, including those showing its benefit on different types or oral bacteria, on dental caries, on plaque/gingivitis and on oral micro-organisms. Listed below some studies conducted.

S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari.Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 

TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria (PDF)African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. (PDF Link)

HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and GingivitisJournal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007 ;1(1):Pages 12-18

S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm ModelsAsia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. (PDF)

How to do oil pulling?

1) Choose a suitable oil.
I started off with sesame seed oil after having read it's by far the origin how it is done. 

From my reading, sesame oil is particularly high in the antioxidants, sesamol, sesamin, and sesamolin. It also holds a high concentration of Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These antioxidants have been found to stop the absorption of negative forms of cholesterol in the liver. Multiple studies have shown the antibacterial capacities of sesame oil. These studies support the use of oil pulling in the prevention of dental cavities and gingivitis.

Then, I read sesame seed oil does not really able to whiten teeth and after about a month having finished 1 bottle of sesame oil, I continued with virgin coconut oil. Another reason I switched because I could not tolerate its taste.

If you want to know more the goodness of VCO, just read up HERE

This type of oil is very popular because of its sweet, tolerable taste. Make sure the oil is liquid. Roughly about one tablespoon of oil is recommended, enough to fill your mouth..

2) Next, swish the oil. 
It has to be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Slosh it around your mouth, through your teeth, aiming to reach all areas. You’ll find that this is quite a jaw/neck workout, and it takes some getting used to. Swish for up to 20 minutes, but again, building up time is almost necessary. While swishy-swashy away, I would busy with household chores especially in the kitchen or possibly tending to my youngest boy. I found that I could only last for 10 minutes for the first few times I tried it especially when I done it with sesame seed oil. I gagged on my early attempts. It does get better eventually, and now I'm pretty used to it like another routine next to brushing my teeth.

3) Finally spit. 
It’s important that you spit the oil into the toilet or trash, as it can clog drains in the shower or sink. I found it most comfortable to rinse my mouth out then continue with 1-2 minutes gargling with diluted himalayan rock salt and then brush my teeth shortly after. I make a point to prepare separate toothbrush specifically for after oil pulling usage.

Note : It is my personal preference to gargle with diluted salt water after oil-pulling. I do this occasionally. You can opt this out if you wish to.

What's my verdict?

I found if it is the night before or experiencing slight throat discomfort early morning, chances that would be infected with sore throat, before it leads to cough and flu, once done oil pulling, the discomfort would just gone. I also experienced light-headed feeling, like a lift on top of my forehead and around my neck feels lighter, it just feel great especially you spit whole lots of mucous and especially happy to get rid those unwanted stuff from your mouth. Then having a breakfast much more meaningful It sounds funny but this is what I gathered.

I checked-up my cavaties that I have and I could see it slowly decreasing its appearance of thickness, like 'evaporated' and some teeth even vanished its sign of cavaties. 

I could still recalled when I done it for the very first time, i fell so clean! I mean, my mouth fell so cleaned! 

Whiten teeth? I'm yet to see any significant improvement on this part but I do not put high hopes for this. Since I'm aware that I am heavy coffee drinker and coffee has been known as possible causes of staining one's teeth, ah well, let it be. Anyhow, the teeth feels so clean and fresh breath whole day.

My specific target on reducing toothache has achieved and those additional benefits I guess it is part of the package.

I would definitely continue doing so as means of prevention in dental health department and well, it is already become a habit. I'm pretty used with this routine and missing a day or two feels something is lacking.

More helpful readings :


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