When I hear the word pulling, I think of rope and boat sails or strings to pull up the blinds. But the fact is, this word defines a great many activities. The literal definition of pulling is to “exert a force on someone or something”, and in the case of coconut oil pulling, this force is being put upon your teeth and gums by the compounds in the coconut oil.
How to start pulling is pretty simple. Just take a tablespoon of coconut oil, put it in your mouth and start to swish it in your mouth around your teeth and gums. You do this for about twenty minutes and then spit it out. In the beginning, your jaw might start to hurt so starting with five minutes a day is fine and then work your way up.
The benefits of coconut oil pulling are pretty huge, which we will get into further in a moment. Pulling with coconut oil is reported to bring these eleven benefits for your oral hygiene.
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Which Oils Should I Use For Oil Pulling?
The most typical oils used for oil pulling is Coconut oil and Sesame Oil. These two oils are great for inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
While the jury is still out on whether or not this benefit is a scientific fact, several people have tried the practice for a week to see if the rumors are true, and they did find that their teeth did look significantly whiter. The belief is due to the coconut oil’s ability to reduce plaque buildup, which is made of bacterial clusters.
The plaque attracts fatty compounds and stains are formed. When this powerful oil is swished around in your mouth, twenty minutes a day, the plaque is broken down and removed, which lessens the number of bacteria, and in turn, diminishes the fatty compounds that collect on your teeth. All of this has an effect on how white your teeth look. Combine pulling with your regular cleaning routine and your pearlies should look super white.
If you think of the way we are convinced that conventional whiteners are the only way to go, the thing is- the main ingredient is most likely bleach. While the chemical can do the job, I won’t lie that I’d prefer to go the natural route with my attempt to whiten my teeth like coconut oil pulling or using baking soda. It may not work as quickly as bleach, but I know that I won’t be absorbing any of it into my body.
Bye Bye Bad Breath
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are no match for the lauric acid in the coconut oil. This saturated fat is found in quite a few vegetable fats, but it is mostly found in coconut and palm kernel oils. It has been used for viral infections and much more, which is why you will see it mentioned in several of the benefits we are listing today. As for bad breath, this is caused by bacterial growth in your mouth.
So when it comes to eliminating halitosis, the lauric acid found in the coconut oil you just swished around in your mouth may just be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, a good deal of the commercial mouthwashes on the market contain alcohol and fluoride, which may lead to health problems after long-term use. If you miss the minty flavor of your mouthwash, try adding a drop of peppermint essential oil for a fresh flavor.
Diminish Or Stop Cavities
A cavity is a defect on a tooth, the result of poor oral hygiene or other reasons for decay. This could be eating too much sugar or when carbs get caught between your teeth and left behind from poor brushing and flossing. When decay begins, it can create a hole in your tooth, which is a cavity.
For the most part, decay is caused by plaque, and even people who spend the time required to keep their mouth clean, still find that plaque can build up. Pulling is known to break down plaque and clean the teeth. A study conducted in the spring of 2015 showed that using and swishing oil, particularly coconut oil, significantly reduced the amount of plaque in their subjects mouth.
This could have a lot to do with the lauric acid we keep mentioning. This powerful agent not only breaks down plaque, it works as an anti-inflammatory agent and possesses antimicrobial properties, which also aid in the fight against cavities.
Not To Mention The Gums
Gingivitis is a serious condition that can be an indication of something even more serious going on in your body internally. If your gums are red, tender, swollen, bleeding, pulling away from your teeth, then you might have this disease. Other symptoms could include sensitive teeth, ill-fitting dentures, and halitosis.
This type of ailment is not something that you should be diagnosing yourself, and if you suspect that you might have gingivitis, then you need to see a dentist. They can help you start your road to saving your gums and your teeth. In the meantime, pulling might help you from letting your condition get worse.
Again, lauric acid comes to the rescue by breaking down the plaque buildup on your teeth, which is one of the leading causes of gingivitis. When you don’t take care of your teeth by flossing, brushing, getting your regular cleanings, and pulling with coconut oil, food gets stuck in between your teeth and gums, which is a large factor in gum disease as well.
Strengthens Gums and Teeth
We get that pulling with coconut oil can leave your teeth a little whiter, freshen that bad breath, fights cavities, and battles gingivitis- all of which are great qualities. So, wouldn’t that be the ultimate reason why our teeth and gums are stronger? Sure, to some point, just like flossing weak gums will make them bleed, you have to do it regularly because the activity makes them stronger.
Still, it turns out that pulling also takes care of harmful bacteria in your mouth, particularly Streptococcus mutans, which focuses on creating plaque. Once again, the buildup of plaque can do some serious damage to your oral health. As we mentioned, if you pull regularly, along with your regular dental cleansing routine, then you will keep the plaque at a minimum.
When this happens, over time, your gums and teeth will become stronger.
Helps With Sleep Problems
There are some claims that pulling will also pull toxins from your body, although those have yet to be proven. Still, it is this focus of thought where it is believed that this practice, which seems to be focused primarily on oral health, can help a person with sleeping disorders get that much-needed rest they have been looking for. It does so in several ways.
People with sinus issues should find some relief because if it is sinusitis that is keeping you awake, then detoxifying the mouth should help pull some bacteria from your sinuses as well. Also, if you are losing sleep due to anxiety, pulling should help balance those hormones that regulate stress. It is recommended to try pulling twice daily if battling insomnia is your primary goal.
Eases Sinus Issues
Clearing out sinuses is a benefit we touched on briefly in the last section. What is sinusitis exactly? This is when your sinuses are infected and the condition can cause many more problems other than losing sleep.
When we are suffering from sinus issues, our work suffers, as well as our schooling, our housework, and our fun. Of course, there are many reasons why we might develop a sinus infection and that’s including having a cold, the flu, and allergies. Still, easing the inflammation and getting rid of the pathogens causing it should be your first course of action.
It should go without saying that if you feel that you are suffering a sinus infection and don’t know why it is so, it would be best if you went to see a healthcare professional to find the culprit and see what they recommend as a course of action. Still, something pulling is kind of reminds me of curing a sore throat with a gargle of salt water, a mouth rinse that has been known to work by the way. It’s easy and doesn’t take long, and if it helps you clear up those sinuses, then all the better.
Helps With Headaches
Even though some people report getting headaches when they first start pulling with coconut oil, some people use this method as a prevention against migraines. There are no scientific studies to prove that this actually works, but it seems that the connection isn’t too far fetched. They attribute it to pullings ability to clear your body of toxins.
Migraines can be caused by so many factors. Women dealing with hormonal changes might start to get migraines, but both genders can get them from certain foods or their additives, certain types of alcohol like wine, stress can set off a migraine, and certain stimuli like bright lights and the sun. Change in your sleeping pattern, overexerting yourself physically, medications, and changes to the environment can also bring about this headache of all headaches.
Still, not all headaches are migraines, and a regular one can come on from a series of causes as well like cold, flu, and allergies, which we’ve already discussed. And all of these may be relieved by the regular practice of swishing coconut oil in your mouth.
If you don’t know what a hangover is, you are either young or lucky to have avoided one for this long. In short, a hangover is an illness you suffer the day after you consumed too much alcohol. Some of the basic symptoms of a hangover is a headache, weakness, fatigue, dehydration that leaves you with an unquenchable thirst, poor sleep, shaky hands, and moodiness.
Drinking too much alcohol can be dangerous so if you are experiencing more severe symptoms like confusion, vomiting, slow breathing, seizures, blue-tinged or pale skin, low body temperature, unconsciousness, and/or passing out, then you need to contact a healthcare professional immediately.
Coconut oil pulling helps pull out those toxins, which you so willingly put into your body via the alcoholic beverages the night before. So, if you aren’t seriously ill but are feeling a little bit icky and cursing yourself for having that third glass of cabernet, try some pulling and see if it helps. If it does, great! If not, then at least you won’t feel any worse.
Eases Jaw Pain
It would seem to me that swishing coconut oil in your mouth, in the beginning, would cause a little bit of jaw pain, and it does, a little bit at least. Once you get used to it, then your jaw should grow stronger, and it will be a breeze. That said, this is not the kind of jaw pain we are referring to.
TMJ, which stands for the temporomandibular joint syndrome, is a condition when a person’s temporomandibular joint is in pain. They hear or feel popping or clicking, pain in one’s ear, headaches, sore or stiff muscles in the jaw, temple pain, or locking of the jaw. Of course, if this sounds like something you are dealing with, contact a healthcare professional, especially if your jaw is locked up.
This condition can be treated with home remedies and pulling with coconut oil daily seems to be one of them. It may have something to do with the way lauric acid fights bacteria in the mouth, or it might have something to do with the toxin removal some report with this practice. It could even have something to do with the constant exercise your jaw will get from this practice.
No matter how it does it, there are people that report trying pulling for TMJ and being very happy with the results.
Improves Skin Conditions
Our final benefit on the list today focuses on the outside of your face, opposed to the inside of your mouth and head. It may seem strange that users claim healthier skin after pulling for some time, but when you think about it, it makes sense. If lauric acid and the practice of swishing coconut oil in your mouth pulls toxins from your body, then the toxins that cause pimples and skin inflammation might get pulled out with it too.
There are so many uses for coconut oil, that’s including baking, cooking, moisturizing, and as a carrier oil for our favorite essential oils. Yet, who knew that taking some time in the morning to swish some of it in your mouth could have so many possible benefits? Well now that you know, are you going to try pulling? If you pull during your morning oral health routine, let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.