Oil pulling, also known as gundusha, is a 3,000-year-old Ayurvedic remedy originating in India. The daily practice involves swishing 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the mouth for 20 minutes.
Oil pulling helps prevent gingivitis and plaque, and rids the mouth of microorganisms that cause bad breath. The practice has been known to alleviate symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, hormonal imbalances, asthma, headaches and more.
What oil should I use? Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of sesame, sunflower or coconut oil. Coconut oil is preferred due to its anti-microbial and decay prevention agent, lauric acid.
If you’ve never oil pulled before, begin by swishing for 5 minutes each morning (on an empty stomach), increasing the duration of your oil pull sessions until you’ve reached 20 minutes. The longer you swish, the more bacteria you’ll remove. If your jaw tires quickly, you may be swishing too vigorously, slow down, gently suck the oil through your teeth. When you’ve completed your pulling, don’t swallow the oil; spit it out into the trash can. Rinse your mouth with warm water before continuing with your usual oral hygiene routine (brush and floss).
Here’s a tip from Dr. Jessica Emery, DMD: for irritated gums, rub a little vitamin E oil (antioxidant rich) on the surface of your gums to help generate healthy tissue.
Happy oil pulling!
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