Oil pulling is a great addition to your oral care routine. Check out all of the benefits and how to do it in our previous blog post: The What, How and Whys of Oil Pulling. You can also check out this review of holistic dental approaches which found that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural solutions for preventing tooth decay and tooth loss.
Now that you got Oil Pulling down, you may ask, what kind of oil is best to use? A lot of what it comes down to is what you prefer, however there are some oils that may be more beneficial to use. You can alternate using different oils as well to get benefits from all of them.
The most commonly used oils of ancient times in Ayurveda were sesame and sunflower oil (unrefined). In our modern times, coconut oil has gained popularity and is commonly used. Here are the benefits of each:
In a study by the Indian Journal of Dental Research, sesame oil was found (when compared to conventional mouthwash) to have reduced plaque, reduced microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis, and modified gingival scores.
The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research discovered that oil pulling with sesame oil reduced oral malodor (aka bad breath) and the microbes causing it. Another study in the Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry found oil pulling to be just as effective as using chlorhexidine (common mouthwash ingredient) to treat bad breath.
There have not been as many studies with sunflower oil, but since it is one of the common ones used in Ayurveda, it is worth to look it!
There was a recent study that said, "oil pulling with sunflower oil was found to significantly reduce plaque index and gingival index after 45 days". It has also been known to help reduce bad breath and help teeth sensitivity.
Coconut oil is a very beneficial oil when it comes to beauty and weight loss, but it also is great for oil pulling. A study in 2015 found, "a statistically significant decrease in the plaque and gingival indices was noticed from day 7 and the scores continued to decrease during the period of study". The study concluded, "Oil pulling using coconut oil could be an effective adjuvant procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis". This study showed that coconut oil is effective in treating and preventing gingivitis and plaque formation.
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which kill harmful microbes in your mouth. Coconut oil is also low in omega 6 fatty acids (which can be inflammatory if you have too much) than sesame oil. Coconut oil has shown to destroy Candida, which is the yeast that causes oral thrush.