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Try Coconut Oil Pulling for Healthier Teeth and Gums

It has taken quite some time, but oil pulling has finally gained some popularity in the U.S. It — including coconut oil pulling — is one of the best ways to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums.

In fact, it’s been shown to be even more effective than flossing. Learn about how it came about, its benefits as well as how to do it.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling — known as gandusha in Ayurveda — is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that’s simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut oil, olive or sesame oil) in your mouth for 10–20 minutes.

Oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that’s needed to prevent cavities and disease.

History

Most of us cannot even imagine what life would be like without brushing and flossing our teeth every day. However, in the scheme of things, brushing teeth is relatively, new since the nylon bristle toothbrush didn’t become part of our normal American experience until the late 1930s, and many people don’t floss on a regular basis as is.

It’s important to remember that, in spite of the fact that most people in American today were all raised with toothbrushes in our mouths, our ancestors didn’t brush their teeth with toothpaste for thousands of years. And, as far as archeological evidence suggests, most people throughout history lived until a ripe old age with most of their teeth intact and in a strong, healthy state.

Why didn’t their teeth rot?

Well, first of all, they ate real food and didn’t consume processed sugars and grains filled with phytic acid, which destroy tooth enamel. Secondly, they took care of their teeth through natural means like chew sticks that they rubbed against the teeth, as has been found in Egyptian tombs dating to back to 3000 B.C. Third, depending on the culture and region of the world, many people also practiced oil pulling.

Benefits

To date, there are only around 33 oil pulling research studies reporting on the health benefits of oil pulling. Although it is unfortunate that science has taken so long to take this ancient art seriously, it is encouraging to see the literature database grow. I’m excited to read more as researchers catch on to how oil pulling can help transform someone’s life.

The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, for example, highlighted a study that reviewed holistic approaches to oral health and discovered that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural health solutions known to scientists that prevent tooth decay and loss. Praised for curing more than 30 systemic diseases, the authors of this study have some profound things to say about this ancient natural healing practice:

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