What Is Oil Pulling and Does It Cure Gum Disease?



We’ve all been hearing a lot about oil pulling for dental and gum care. But what is it and does it really make

a difference with your oral health? Oil Pulling, which is also known as “kavaka’ or ‘gundusha’ is an ancient

Ayurvedic dental technique. Ayurveda goes back over 3,000 years and is based on holistic healing by

natural means.


Basically, you swish a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut, sesame or sunflower oil) in your mouth on an

empty stomach for 3-20 minutes. After you spit out the oil, brush your teeth. By doing this you are

supposedly drawing out toxins from your body and mouth to improve your overall health. Oil Pulling is

said to help treat bad breath, dry throat, preventing decay, gum disease, gum bleeding and more.



There are no scientific studies showing that oil pulling can cure gum

disease and many doctors believe you can get the same results using water

and not oil.




  1. Brush your teeth normally after waking up. Make sure you clean your tongue and rinse your mouth properly.

  2. Take a teaspoon of coconut, sesame or sunflower oil and raise your chin a little. This will cause the oil to spread around the inside of your mouth.

  3. Use your tongue to sip and suck the oil, so that it enters the gaps between the teeth and swishes over the gums and palate. This helps to trap the bacteria and other pathogens in the oil.

  4. Move your jaws as though you are chewing something.

  5. Continue with the process for about 10 minutes. You should start to notice the texture of the oil changing. It should be thinner and watery.

  6. Avoid inhaling or swallowing any oil as you swish.

  7. Spit out the oil but not into the drain, as the oil will clog it. It is better to spit into your garbage can.

  8. Use plain tap water to thoroughly rinse your mouth.

  9. For the best results, wait for 15 to 20 minutes before you eat or drink anything.




While there are said to be numerous benefits, there can also be some side affects you should

be aware of. Most commonly, excessive dry mouth because when you spit out the oil, you’re getting rid of

your saliva too.


Another scary side effect is Lipoid Pneumonia. This can occur if you don’t pull or swish the oil correctly.

The oil will pick up the bacteria and toxins from your mouth and if you inhale that oil, the bacteria and

toxins can get into your lungs which can cause pneumonia.


Accidentally swallowing the oil on an empty stomach can cause upset stomach, nausea and vomiting,

stomach cramps, a hangover-like sensation, loss of appetite, jaw stiffness, increased cavities, increased

thirst, loss of taste and more.


In order for your body to expel the oil, you get diarrhea. Not pleasant at all. You’re already spending up to

20 minutes in the bathroom oil pulling…who wants to be stuck in there even longer?

Coughing up mucus has been noted too. While both supporters and detractors of oil pulling say this isn’t a

problem, it can be annoying and unpleasant.

However, if you’re set on oil pulling, see the suggestions above to minimize possible reactions.


  • Children under the age of 5 should not oil pull.

  • If you are allergic to a certain type of oil or a brand, use another type.


We STRONGLY BELIEVE in proper home care, so


There are lots os people who have had amazing results from the practice. 




AGAIN there are no medical studies that prove that oil pulling is any more

effective than swishing water.



Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post, call us at (248) 357-3100 today.

We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or

treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding

medical conditions or Oil Pulling.