The Health Benefits of Oil-Pulling

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Posted 5/24/2013 by BergdorfBlonde in NSBR Board
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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:02:19 AM
Have any Peas done this? I just tried it (finally) this morning and my teeth look like I just had a deep cleaning done. My nose ran a lot afterward, so it probably does help with allergies. Waiting to see if I have any other good side effects.


Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that uses pure oils to pull harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organism out of your teeth, gums and throat. This natural remedy not only improves oral health, but it’s also used to prevent and reduce a number of different health concerns.

When swished around the mouth and in between the teeth, the antibacterial properties of the oils absorb toxins from the saliva, reduce the number of germs in the mouth, and help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.

Benefits of oil pulling for oral health


Studies show that this simple cleansing process can whiten teeth, strengthen gums, and help heal and prevent oral health issues such as:

Cavities and gingivitis
Plaque
Bad breath
Bleeding gums
Sensitive teeth
Dryness of lips, mouth, and throat
Other benefits of oil pulling

Oil pulling is also used to treat and prevent health conditions beyond the mouth. Some of the benefits may include:

Reducing inflammation
Seasonal allergies relief
Headache relief
Reducing chest congestion
Detoxifying the body of harmful metals
Certain skin conditions like eczema
Supports healthy kidney function
May relieve ulcers and diseases of the stomach
How to do oil pulling:

Put 1-2 teaspoons oil into your mouth. The recommended oils for this practice are sesame oil, organic coconut oil, or sunflower oil.
Swish the oil for 20 minutes. This will allow the oil to break through the plaque and start reabsorbing the bacteria. First the oil will turn into a thin, white liquid. Then the oil will get thicker and more opaque as it continues to mix with saliva and absorb the toxins. If you find it difficult to swish for 20 minutes at first, that’s ok! Try for 10-15 minutes and then eventually build up to 20 minutes.
Spit out oil. After 20 minutes have passed, you’re ready to spit the oil out. It’s very important that you do not swallow the oil—it’s full of toxins! It’s best to spit oil out in a plastic bag or paper towel. Spitting the oil in your sink can clog your pipes.
Thoroughly rinse your mouth. After spitting the oil out, rinse your mouth out with salt water or apple cider vinegar to make sure all of oil is removed.
Brush well. This last step will kill any remaining bacteria and ensure your mouth and teeth are clean.
It’s recommended to make oil pulling part of your daily routine for optimal results. Although any time of day will suffice, experts agree that it is best done in the morning before eating or drinking anything.









BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:03:19 AM
P.S.: Yet ANOTHER use for my organic coconut oil! I'm amazed!









busypea
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:04:04 AM
It would make me gag. I have a couple friends who do it and love the results, but I couldn't tolerate it.

ETA: My friends who do it get good oral health results from it. The rest of the stuff seems far-fetched. There is significant research that poor oral health affects the health of the body elsewhere, but the claims of benefits of oil pulling seem pretty extreme.

BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:08:09 AM
busypea: I never thought I could do it either. I do love the coconut taste, so that wasn't a problem, but i'm a mouth-breather, so I thought I'd only last a minute or two. I lasted 15 minutes. It didn't taste bad at all. It's just hard not to swallow for 15-20 minutes.









Shevy
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:10:15 AM
No way I could swish anything for even 10 minutes with my TMJ issues.



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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:12:50 AM
It sounds like hocus-pocus, homeopathic bullshit. I mean, this just sounds ridiculous:

Reducing inflammation
Seasonal allergies relief
Headache relief
Reducing chest congestion
Detoxifying the body of harmful metals
Certain skin conditions like eczema
Supports healthy kidney function
May relieve ulcers and diseases of the stomach



Exactly how does it work to "support healthy kidney function"? How does swish some oil around in your mouth help "detoxify the body"?

Quackery, pure and simple. And I am not one bit surprised to see YOU post this kind of balogna. I can't roll my eye hard enough.


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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:19:17 AM

Exactly how does it work to "support healthy kidney function"? How does swish some oil around in your mouth help "detoxify the body"?
The oil has the ability to adhere, via the mucous membranes in the mouth, to all the toxins and bad bacteria in your mouth and when you spit it out with the oil, they do not get swallowed into your digestive system.

When you consider how much harmful bacteria originates in the mouth and is then passed down into the digestive system, absorbed in the intestines and from their everywhere else, it is no surprise that good oral hygiene in general translates to good overall health.

Mayo Clinic: Oral health: A window to your overall health



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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:22:34 AM
I put this in the same category as homeopathy and ear candling. Not sciency enough for me.


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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:24:44 AM
Aww, Wench, just when you were starting to sound nicer......

I'm not verifying any of the side effects. I can only attest to what *I* experience with it. So far my mouth appears very clean and my nose was instantly running a lot, so maybe it is helping with my allergies. That alone is worth it.

MizIndependent: Thank you for that link. All of my dental friends/family have always reminded us that so much is associated with good dental health. Heart problems could occur if you have poor dental health, and so many other issues could arise.

I'm not a believer in fads, quick diets, quick health tips, etc., but there's nothing to lose with this one.









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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:31:31 AM
Sounds interesting but 20 minutes a day just for this part of hygiene? I doubt I could do it long-term.



BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:33:20 AM
Luvn: I agree. I'm going to attempt it a few times a week. I can't envision doing it daily.









peaname
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:39:17 AM
For some reason anything claiming to rid me of toxins sounds quackish to me.

But if it works for you, enjoy it in good health.


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MizIndependent
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Posted: 5/24/2013 11:43:08 AM

Heart problems could occur if you have poor dental health, and so many other issues could arise.
Indeed...(see bold below)

How Poor Oral Health Promotes Systemic Diseases
By Nelson Wood, DMD, DSc, MS


(From the article)

Perils of Periodontitis
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory oral disease that affects approximately 75% of US adults.1

It is known to have harmful effects on overall health, due to the accumulation of oral gram-negative bacteria and resultant inflammatory mediators that enter the bloodstream.2,3 Periodontitis has been shown to predispose people to diabetes, insulin resistance, respiratory diseases,4 rheumatoid arthritis,5 obesity,6 osteoporosis,7,8 complications of pregnancy,9,10 and cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease.2,3,11,12 Some of these conditions may in turn increase the incidence and severity of periodontal disease by modifying the body's immune response to periodontal bacteria and their byproducts.11-13 Thus, an increasing body of evidence suggests a bi-directional relationship between periodontitis and systemic diseases.11


Sesame Oil pulling has been proven to "show a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis." (source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.) And if you reduce the places for harmful bacteria to thrive, you also reduce its effects on your whole system and in fact, promote better health overall.

helpmehygienist.com: Oil Pulling, Periodontal Disease and Cavities

Studies on oil pulling have been conducted to find out if oil pulling has any effect on plaque, gingivitis or periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, gingivitis being a mild form, has many causes. A major factor in the development of periodontal disease is bacteria. This bacteria is found in plaque, also called biofilm which is the sticky slimy white stuff that you can scratch off your teeth before you brush in the morning.

A study focusing on both the plaque accumulation and gingivitis was conducted to see if oil pulling would have an effect on these two things. Results of this study found that plaque accumulation was reduced 18-30% which was more than tooth brushing alone. Gingivitis was also reduced 52-60% while reduction by tooth brushing alone was only 8-23%.1 This is very promising. Use of oil pulling can be a beneficial addition to an oral hygiene routine to reduce plaque and gingivitis. This study did not focus on more severe forms of periodontal disease so there is no clinical evidence one way or another if oil pulling is beneficial in these more severe cases.
It's pretty amazing, actually, and oddly enough, something I have recently started doing myself. However, I've been using sesame oil. Not as nice to taste as coconut, but really not bad either, and, I haven't managed a full 20 minutes yet.



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mirabelleswalker
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Posted: 5/24/2013 12:04:40 PM
I don't think anyone is denying that dental health has an effect on health in general.

I think people are saying that this particular cleansing method sounds questionable.

It sounds like quackery to me, too.



MizIndependent
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Posted: 5/24/2013 12:08:54 PM
It may sound like quackery, but a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study doesn't lie.

Seems to have some very good effects on oral hygiene.

ETA: Another triple-blind study - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Oil pulling has been used extensively for many years, without scientific evidence or proof, as a traditional Indian folk remedy to prevent teeth decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat and cracked lips, and for strengthening the teeth, gums, and jaws.

AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of oil pulling with sesame oil on the count of Streptococcus mutans in plaque and saliva of children, using the Dentocult SM Strip mutans test, and to compare its efficacy with that of chlorhexidine mouthwash.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty age-matched adolescent boys were selected based on information obtained through a questionnaire. They were divided randomly into two groups: the control or chlorhexidine group (group I) and the study or oil pulling group (group II); there were ten subjects in each group. Plaque and saliva samples were collected from all the 20 subjects on the strips from the Dentocult SM kit and, after incubation, the presence of S. mutans was evaluated using the manufacturers' chart. The study group practiced oil pulling with sesame oil and the control group used chlorhexidine mouthwash for 10 min every day in the morning before brushing. Samples were collected from both groups after 24 h, 48 h, 1 week, and 2 weeks and the efficacy of oil pulling was compared with that of chlorhexidine mouthwash.

RESULTS: There was a reduction in the S. mutans count in the plaque and saliva samples of both the study and the control groups. The reduction in the S. mutans count in the plaque of the study group was statistically significant after 1 and 2 weeks (P=0.01 and P=0.008, respectively); the control group showed significant reduction at all the four time points (P=0.01, P=0.04, P=0.005, and P=0.005, respectively, at 24 h, 48 h, 1 week, and 2 weeks). In the saliva samples, significant reduction in S. mutans count was seen in the control group at 48 h, 1 week, and 2 weeks (P=0.02, P=0.02, P=0.008, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.
Plus, it's cheaper than chlorhexidine and you don't need a prescription for it.



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gavinsmom
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Posted: 5/24/2013 12:55:17 PM
The strep mutants are cavity causing bacteria. They are inflammation causing bugs


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missbitts
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Posted: 5/24/2013 2:12:40 PM

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice


And then toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss were invented.

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Posted: 5/24/2013 2:24:59 PM
My husband does oil pulling, using Coconut Oil. He likes the results. I haven't tried it.

I found homeopathic "teething tablets' and "ear ache" tablets to be very effective when my son was a baby and toddler. After witnessing the results, turning my miserable with pain baby into a happy baby minutes after giving him tablets made me a believer. He was too young for a "placebo" effect to be taking place.

It made me wish I had known about them when my daughter was a baby.

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Posted: 5/24/2013 5:14:21 PM
I hadn't heard of it til now but was willing to try for fun until I got to vinegar rinse. Isn't that acidic? Won't it eventually harm teeth?

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Posted: 5/24/2013 5:22:22 PM
Anon: I followed it with a salt-water rinse and then brushed my teeth.









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Posted: 5/24/2013 5:40:35 PM

And then toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss were invented.


I still think oil pulling is kind of hokum but...I also think that many 'ancient practices' were very effective even if it wasn't fully understood why they were effective.

North American native peoples knew to combine their staple grain corn with lime to break down the protein and make the niacin available to the body. They didn't know beans about B vitamins but they knew if they didn't turn corn into masa, people got sick. Whole wheat flour used to provide the same vitamins until "superior modern" white flour was invented. Suddenly pellagra everywhere.

I leave my mind open to the possibility that there is something sub-gingival going on that benefits from the rinsing or cleaning action of swishing that may or may not have anything to do with using oil rather than some other liquid. Do I think it "removes toxins" and "improves liver function" or other snake-oily promises? No.




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Posted: 5/24/2013 5:41:15 PM
Please tell me that I'm not the only one who lost a good chunk of time googling oil pulling as a result of this thread!


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Posted: 5/24/2013 5:44:36 PM
I've been oil pulling for years.
I'm almost 49 and I've never had a single cavity
I think it helps


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Posted: 5/24/2013 6:21:03 PM
Twinkle: Cool!! I'm 52 and never had a cavity but I have plaque that grows overnight, so I have to be careful with my gums. If this could improve my gums (in addition to the regular brushing, flossing, Lysterine, dentist, etc.), I wanted to try it.

BTW, just on the coconut oil threads, there are so many claims as to what it could do, internally and externally for you.









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Posted: 5/24/2013 6:27:13 PM
Just as an FYI to the end part, NEVER brush your teeth after you've just swished with vinegar - you'll brush the enamel right off your teeth over time.

No acid foods/substances followed by brushing.

Not peer-reviewed, but even Colgate says no:


Research suggests that the exposure to acidic food and drinks during meals softens the enamel of your teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks increases the chance of enamel erosion.


Here's a peer-reviewed discussion:


The types of foods and beverages consumed, and the frequency and time of consumption are lifestyle factors that are considered most important regarding the clinical development of dental erosion. Low pH medications and oral hygiene products have also been suggested as potential causes of erosion. The combination of frequent consumption of acidic substances and overzealous oral hygiene practices may be another high risk lifestyle factor.


From here: European Journal of Oral Sciences, Volume 104, Issue 2, pages 162–177, APRIL 1996

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Posted: 5/24/2013 6:27:45 PM
I've been oil pulling for a couple of years. I love the way it makes my mouth feel when I'm done and my teeth are whiter. As far as the other claims...who knows but it certainly doesn't hurt!




lenora74
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Posted: 5/24/2013 6:32:27 PM
I am intrigued..and will be off to spend a bunch of time googling about this.

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Posted: 5/24/2013 6:38:21 PM
I can find 4 peer reviewed papers on oil pulling. All are from Indian or African journals, and I didn't read them closely to see if the science was sound. Also, I know nothing about dentistry or experiments using humans - I'm not that kind of scientist, so I'm really not qualified to analyze.

Link Link

Or go to scholar.google.com and search oil-pulling.

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Posted: 5/24/2013 8:01:13 PM

I still think oil pulling is kind of hokum but...I also think that many 'ancient practices' were very effective even if it wasn't fully understood why they were effective.


Oh, I don't discount ancient medical practices out of hand at all. But in this case, did you see the amount of time it takes and the concoction that has to be concocted and that all of that still doesn't necessarily eliminate the need for other dental care? Oil pulling may very well work, but from what I can see, it achieves the same results as brushes, paste, and floss just in way more time. I don't believe in all the other benefits in this case.

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Posted: 5/24/2013 8:07:19 PM
Remember Plax rinse from the 80's....red colored water. Vigorous swishing had the SAME effect as using this 'rinse'. I'm assuming swishing with 'oil' is the same thing. If it has an affect on Strep Mutans, great!


Nicole

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Posted: 5/25/2013 6:25:05 AM
Maybe in gullible but I googled this after reading this post. I've had a sore tongue for weeks that nothing has helped (not canker sore or lie bump or anything just tender on the sides) anyhow I tried it last night and this morning and I swear I feel a difference. My tongue is not as sore as before. Plus my teeth feel so clean! Its weird but something I'll probably continue doing- thanks OP!! I learn new things all the time on here!
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Posted: 5/25/2013 7:39:23 AM
pegboyd: Cool!! I'm glad that it helped! Yeah, it seems to calm down your gums, tongue, etc. My nose also ran all day yesterday (more than when I take a decongestant) and my sinuses felt better. If it's not dangerous and it works, then, great!









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Posted: 5/25/2013 7:49:43 AM
OMG, I did this with coconut oil this morning, and my teeth have not been this white in a long time. My dentist doesn't even get them this white with a cleaning.

When I say they are whiter, I just mean whiter than they were. Not movie star white. I'm thrilled with the results. I was only able to swish for about 8 minutes, so I'll have to build up to 20. It wasn't bad at all.

I rinsed with salt water, and then brushed my teeth with baking soda.

I am really amazed that after only doing it once, that I can really see a difference.

Thanks for sharing!


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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 5/25/2013 8:53:24 AM
Barefoot: Good idea about the baking soda! I'll try that next time. Yeah, mine came out very clean + white. Loved the results. I'll definitely do it a few times a week.









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Posted: 5/25/2013 10:07:51 AM
you realize that NOTHING is going to 'whiten' your teeth by using it for 8 mins, right? Unless you are using straight peroxide....



Nicole

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Posted: 5/25/2013 10:20:35 AM
Nicole: I did it for 15 min and my teeth were significantly whiter.









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Posted: 5/25/2013 10:38:39 AM
If I can do this without gagging, I am going to try this in a few minutes. I'll let you know the results.


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gavinsmom
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Posted: 5/25/2013 10:40:47 AM
There isn't anything in the oil that is going to oxidize your enamel. 8 mins or 15 mins..


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Posted: 5/25/2013 10:44:48 AM
Nicole: I should have done a "before" and "after" picture, but I didn't think it would do as much as it did. It DID really make my teeth whiter and cleaner (as though I had a deep cleaning). I'll have to discuss this with my sister who is a dental hygienist.









x2mom
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Posted: 5/25/2013 11:01:02 AM
I'm willing to try this since I am having dental issues (recommended by hygenist to
get a deep cleaning at an out of pocket cost of almost $700).

Thank you BergdorfBlonde

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Posted: 5/25/2013 11:03:49 AM
X2: You're welcome. Same here, except that WITH my dental insurance, the dentist wanted $800 for a deep cleaning (this wasn't even a periodontist!!). I figured i'd try this first. I still want a good cleaning though, just to be sure!









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Posted: 5/25/2013 11:06:47 AM

I've been oil pulling for years.
I'm almost 49 and I've never had a single cavity
I think it helps
I have never oil pulled at all. I'm 45 and have never had a single cavity. Not saying that it's not what's working for you, just pointing out that correlation does not equal causation.


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Posted: 5/26/2013 12:44:49 PM
I did the oil swishing again today for 10 minutes, and my teeth are cleaner yet, and whiter.

I looked more closely with a 20x magnifier, and the yellow plaque that usually builds up on the inside of my bottom teeth looks to be completely gone. My dentist usually has to scrape that area pretty well. I can feel the definition between my teeth, (the edges), better than usual too.

I can usually feel that definition only after a cleaning. I think I'm going to keep doing this.

Thanks for sharing Bergdorf!


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BergdorfBlonde
Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
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Posted: 5/26/2013 7:51:42 PM
You're certainly welcome, Barefoot!! I did it again for another 15 min and got similar results. More plaque at the gumline is gone, and that makes me happy!! I could feel more space between my teeth also, as though I had a deep cleaning. Of course I'll still regularly go to my dentist but if this could prevent some of the DEEP cleanings, I'd love it!









krispin41
AncestralPea

PeaNut 93,695
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Posted: 5/26/2013 10:04:29 PM
Add me to the list of Peas trying this. I just got through with a deep cleaning on Thursday. I admit I was negligent and didn't floss, and hadn't been to the dentist in YEARS. I had 6 cavities, (and thankful that was all) . I'm trying to get into better habits, so in addition to the flossing, waterpik, and my new Sonicare toothbrush, I added oil pulling to my routine. I see the dentist again in September.

After getting over the eww factor of the solid coconut oil (going to melt it next time) I really did feel a difference in my mouth this morning. Also have sinus issues, and it seemed to help with that too.



Pink Mochas
Not here to discuss politics or religion!

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Posted: 5/26/2013 10:06:36 PM
I put the coconut oil in a shot glass and set it in a cup of hot water. When it melts, it is easier to swish.




BergdorfBlonde
Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
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Posted: 5/27/2013 8:30:54 AM

I have never oil pulled at all. I'm 45 and have had a single cavity. Not saying that it's not what's working for you, just pointing out that correlation does not equal causation.
Jo: Same as me! I'm 52 and never had a cavity. That's not why I tried it. I am always in need of a good cleaning (I develop plaque easily) + I wanted to see if there were any other benefits.


After getting over the eww factor of the solid coconut oil (going to melt it next time) I really did feel a difference in my mouth this morning. Also have sinus issues, and it seemed to help with that too.
I had the same side effect. My nose ran a lot and it cleared my sinuses!


I put the coconut oil in a shot glass and set it in a cup of hot water. When it melts, it is easier to swish.
Mine is never really that solid (I live in FL, so it's always 1/2 melted!). I'd rather have it more solid so you spend a few min swishing it and trying to melt it.









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Posted: 5/28/2013 11:48:41 PM
Swishing coconut oil right now. Will let you know what I think when I'm done.


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cropduster
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 250,388
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Posted: 5/29/2013 5:56:40 AM
Just bought coconut oil last night. Still not sure if I can do this. Wish me luck.


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peamac
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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October 2007
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Posted: 5/29/2013 7:33:18 AM
I tried it the other day. Had to use only a teaspoon. At first when I read this post, I thought, "who has 20 minutes every day to swish stuff around in their mouth?" 30 minutes later I was still peaing, and realized I had 20 minutes to swish while I did other stuff. I ended up swishing while I was in the shower and getting ready for a baby shower.


PeaMac

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