Oil Pulling Before and After Effective Treatment or Wives Tale?

Oil pulling has made a comeback!  For those that are unfamiliar with this practice, it is derived from the ancient practices of the Ayurvedic Dental Techniques that were practiced over three thousand years ago.  Also referred to as “Kavala” or “Gundusha”, its benefits are said to;

  • Make your teeth whiter
  • Aids in the prevention of gingivitis and cavities
  • Aids in the odor that is associated with bad breath, the medical term: halitosis
  • Increases the strength of gums and teeth
  • Decreases Pain that is associated with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders)
  • Improves sleeping problems
  • Improves sinus problems
  • Aids in the alleviation
  • Headaches
  • Hangovers
  • Some skin conditions

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, today we are going to consider the effects of oil pulling before and after treatment to see if this ancient practice can stand up to today’s standards of modern dentistry.

How Do You Practice Oil Pulling?

The performance of oil pulling is quite simple, you place one teaspoon of;

  • Sunflower oil – or
  • Coconut oil – or
  • Sesame oil – or
  • Another oil of your choice such as olive oil

In your mouth and on an empty stomach and rinse with it, however, before you spit it out it must keep in your mouth for twenty minutes, moving it around constantly, in the same manner, that you would use mouth wash ensuring that the oil is being pushed and pulled through the teeth.  Once the required twenty minutes have passed you spit it out.  You then rinse out your mouth and brush and floss as usual.  This process should be completed three times and day and once again, on an empty stomach.

oil pulling before and after

You may sometimes experience a collection of mucous that forms at the back of your throat, if this occurs, just spit out the oil (and the mucous), place another teaspoon in your mouth and continue the process until you have hit your twenty-minute mark.  You must make sure that you do not swallow the oil, remember, the purpose is to draw out and remove the toxins, it is the oil that does this, so it is the oil that now contains all the harmful bacteria, mucous, or infectious materials, swallowing only re-introduces those pathogens (illness causing agents) back into your body through your digestive system.  This obviously, defeats the purpose of oil pulling.

A Dentist’s Perspective

Mark Burhenne, DDS has applied this ancient technique in his practice and has found the following;

There is No Substitute for Good Flossing and Brushing of Your Teeth

The purpose behind brushing and flossing our teeth is to remove plaque and other harmful bacteria that can cause problems with our oral health.  To ensure that we are removing them appropriately, rinsing alone with anything will not be able to do a decent job on its own.

The results of oil pulling before and after treatment showed that although it loosened plaque and bacteria it did not remove nearly enough for the doctor to feel comfortable enough to state that this technique, in his professional judgment, produces the desired results necessary to solely rely on it.  Those substances can be loosened but not necessarily removed through oil pulling alone, they will require the brushing action that causes friction, it’s this action that removes them properly while you are brushing your teeth.

The Results of Oil Pulling Before and After Showed It Could Be a Useful Replacement for Mouthwash

When we stop to consider the fact that most of the mouthwash products available on the market today, not only kill the unhealthy bacteria in our mouths (good) but the healthy bacteria that our body needs (bad) to support our strength and health, Dr. Burhenne, has determined that this technique is a useful, effective alternative to the harsh results of the manufactured brands of mouthwash.

Note:  Coconut Oil is the best choice when it comes to choosing a mouthwash replacement since it;

  • Contains the important antioxidant Vitamin E
  • Lauric Acid: A substance that can fight against pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and yeasts.  Our body is not able to digestive lauric acid so it is important that you avoid swallowing the oil.  We will explain more about this danger later in this post.

Use Extreme Care When Choosing Your Oil

Studies have shown that one in five Ayurvedic products, unfortunately, are contaminated with elevated levels of;

  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Lead

Which we know can be extremely dangerous to our health when ingested at all or at elevated levels.

You must choose a quality product that you know and trust when it is possible, organic is the safest route to take when you are shopping for pulling oil.


One troubling results of oil pulling before and after results involves young children.  Because children may not have mastered the art of rinsing out their mouths, there the added danger of them swallowing the oil.  This can sometimes result in the oil going down the wrong tube, which can cause serious health issues for your young one.  It is just safer and makes more sense not to let your children perform this technique.

Don’t Believe All the Hype

The oil pulling before and after results do not at all support the statements that they are effective treatments to cure skin problems, there is no proof that it can reduce the number of headaches a person experiences, it does not provide help or relief for those who suffer from diabetes, arthritis, or eczema.

Do not make the mistake in thinking that you will be able cure these issues, and please, do not under any circumstance stop taking any prescribed medication that your physician has placed you on for treatment of any of these conditions without their guidance, they have spent years receiving the proper training so their advice should always be followed first.

Oil Pulling is Safe for Pregnant Women

There is no evidence that suggests a pregnant woman should not use this technique during her pregnancy.  Simply take care not to swallow the oil.

Teeth Whitening is a Myth

When tracking the results of oil pulling before and after Dr. Burhenne found that performing this technique daily does indeed help remove stains from teeth, there was no evidence of whiter teeth in those who practiced it.  The result, he states, would be the same if you were to replace the oil with water.

Oil Pulling is Not a TMJ or TMD Treatment

Although it is true that you may experience some pain relief in the symptoms, oil pulling is not a treatment method for those who have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) or Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).  Think of it in these terms, if you break your leg and need medication for the pain, taking it will relieve the pain, but your leg will still be broken, you are dealing with the pain, but in no way, does taking the medication cause your leg to heal.

Oil pulling should not be considered treatment for any medical condition.

Types of Oil Pulling

The most popular types of oil that are used in oil pulling include;

  • Sesame Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ghee (Butter Oil)
  • Olive Oil

Although you can’t go wrong with any of the above choices, some oils to have benefits that its counterparts do not.  There has not been a lot of research performed on this topic, but what has been completed shows promising results.

Research: Oil Pulling Before and After Results

The results of the oil pulling before and after benefits is supported by a research project performed by the scientists at Athlone Institute of Technology, this project focused on the effects of vegetable, olive, and coconut oils in relation to oral hygiene.  The results proved that coconut was the most effective oil in the prevention of streptococcus (strep) that is responsible for most of oral health issues that people face today.

More About the Ayurvedic Culture

The Ayurvedic method for oral hygiene, was practiced over three thousand years ago, below we have listed the modern technique for your hygiene regime;

Kavala (Rinsing and Massaging your Gums and Mouth)

  • Gargle with sesame seed oil (the of oil their choice) for one minute, using organic oil is always recommend
  • Using your index finger, pour some oil on your fingertip and gently massage your gums

Jihva Nirlekhana (Scraping Your Tongue)

When you scrape your tongue, you are waking up your taste buds, which in turn release tastes into your bloodstream.  It is believed that as well as activating your taste buds, the scraping of the tongue also helps manage and maintain healthier internal organs.  Additionally, tongue scraping can also be beneficial when it comes to the removal of toxins, and any dead bacteria or pathogens that are on your tongue, it can also improve the taste of your food, can help with bad breath odor, and is also believed to clear the mind.

The Proper Method of Tongue Scraping

First, you will need to purchase a tongue scraper.  When you are ready to proceed you will want to begin from the back to front in a series of seven to fourteen strokes.  This should be performed every morning.  Take care to ensure that you are not using too much pressure when you are scraping, you do not want to tear your skin.

Consider Using Herbal Toothpaste

According to Ayurvedic tradition, you should use a toothpaste that tastes bitter and contacts the body’s tissues (astringent).  The toothpaste should contain;

  • Pilu
  • Cinnamon
  • Triphala
  • Fennel
  • Clove
  • Neem
  • Babool

You will be able to this type of toothpaste online or at an Indian grocery store.

Chewing on Some Licorice Root is Helpful

The Ayurvedic culture believes that chewing on licorice root will cleanse your mouth and help stop tooth decay.  It also increases salivation, and aids in the digestion process.

Safe but Does Not Live Up to the Hype

So, the oil pulling before and after results to not indicate or support that this ancient practice turned modern oral hygiene technique does not cure diseases, does not whiten teeth any more effectively that gargling and rinsing with water, does not strengthen gums or teeth, does not improve issues such as insomnia, sinus, conditions.

It is useful in the aspect that it does help remove bacteria and pathogens that can cause gingivitis and cavities, however, can’t replace the effectiveness of brushing your teeth and flossing.  It can also help in in the pain that is associated with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) – but does not cure them in any way, shape, or form.  There is no evidence that it will help with skin conditions.

Oil Pulling is best used for the removal of toxins that are in your body, through rinsing with your oil of choice for twenty-minutes, three times a day, on an empty stomach.  It is most effective when it is used for this purpose.