.Swishing with the oil just might be the healthiest thing you do for your mouth. Oil pulling, as it’s commonly called, is the daily, self-care routine of sucking and pulling oil through your teeth for (ideally) twenty minutes. Yes, that’s a scary amount of time! But hopefully after you understand what the heck it’s doing in there, you might be a little more patient. Besides, it’s not really that bad because you can perform a multitude of tasks while you swish.
There’s two things in your mouth that you need to focus on.
Your teeth and your mucosa tissues, a.k.a gums, inner cheeks, tongue
The first thing to know is the mucosa tissues of your body are oil-permeable. That means they absorb oil easily. Just like your regular skin (epidermis) , the cells need moisturizing or they get dry, damaged, cracked, or worse.
Mucosa Tissue Aborbs Oil!
Mucosa tissue is the “go-between” of the outside of your body and the inside. All access to our innards must go through some sort of mucosa lined orifice. Whenever outside forces like food, allergens, or smoke try to enter our body, they must go past mucosa. Your food travels down a mucosa-lined esophagus, to a mucosa-lined stomach, through mucosa-lined intestines, and out your mucosa-lined sphincter. Wonder why people who eat a lot of olive oil have a lower incidence of colon cancer, hmmm? Maybe a well-oiled intestine can take the credit. Another example is when we inhale dust particles or allergens, they go up our mucosa-lined nose, through our mucosa-lined sinuses, into our mucosa-lined lungs. There’s a whole discussion to be had about eliminating seasonal allergies with oil (I did it), but that’s a blog post for another day.
So now let’s talk about your gums. They go through a lot of abuse and they really try to hang in there, but if the tissues are not getting oiled regularly, you will eventually notice. Unfortunately, your saliva hides this problem from you by making everything appear moist and nice, but your gums don’t really absorb water or saliva, it just makes them slippery. Imagine if your hands were dry, chapped, even cracked and put them under some nice, warm water for a bit, they would feel soft and smooth. That is the same way saliva is masking your dry gum problem and you won’t know it until you see symptoms of redness, puffiness, a tight feeling or soreness, recession, and bleeding. Remember, every single cell in our body requires oil to maintain optimum health.
Okay, you understand why mucosa needs oil, but now let’s explore the swishing part
You may need to be swishing right now to realize this, but pulling oil through your teeth creates an enormous suction force in your mouth. Go ahead and try it, you may never have thought about just how much actual suctioning is going on, but this creates a powerful vacuum. Imagine, if you will, trying to give yourself a hickey on your forearm. That same amount of sucking is going on in your mouth while you swish, bringing blood closer to the surface. But it’s not only blood coming to the surface, it’s blood’s toxins, and they are being drawn out of your blood stream into your mouth. That is why holistic health professionals and ancient rituals suggest twenty minutes, apparently, it takes that long for a full cycle of blood to circulate past your cheeks. And that is also why we spit when we are done.
Let’s Not Forget About the Teeth
Did you know your teeth are porous? Yep, microscopic pores all over them and these tiny holes fill up with bacterial debris. Since oil is capable of breaking down bacteria’s outer shell leading to its destruction, surely swishing with that strong suction force for twenty minutes should be enough to get them super clean. Swishing also does a great job of removing debris, bacteria, and plaque from in between your teeth. Adding activated charcoal to the mix would make the pulling effect even stronger, as the charcoal is a sort of absorptive magnet for impurities too.
There’s also some research out there showing your that teeth are capable of absorbing and releasing nutrients, so it is best to choose an oil that has a good vitamin and mineral ratio to be on the safe side. Some good choices are coconut, pumpkin seed, sesame, sunflower, and avocado.
Spit it All Out
I certainly don’t have to remind anyone to spit when they are finished, but the question remains. Do you rinse afterwards? I will admit, I am an oil junky. I love the stuff so much, I even put it in my sinuses to cure my polyps (gently with a q-tip). So I will always choose the route of keeping the oil on my tissues for as long as I can. I would suggest just spitting really well and if you must rinse, try to do so sparingly and don’t make the water’s temperature too warm. You want to leave some oil residue on your teeth and tissues.
I find it funny when some people say they don’t believe in oil pulling. To me that’s like saying I don’t believe in moisturizing my skin. The benefits of oiling all of our bodily tissues can not be understated. You may argue with the amount of time to sped doing it, but you can’t deny the wonderful effects oil has on our bodies!