Here’s What Happened When I Tried Oil Pulling For One Week

Photo by Devon Pankiw

If you’ve never heard of oil pulling, you’re probably thinking “I don’t know what that is, but it sounds pretty weird…” and yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. Oil pulling is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that claims to improve your overall health by removing toxins from your mouth and incidentally, your entire body.

Swishing either 1 tablespoon of coconut, sesame, or vegetable oil in your mouth has some pretty crazy health benefits. Oil pulling is said to help things like tooth decay, bad breath, acne, body inflammation, headaches and migraines, teeth whitening and a ton of other health issues.

So if oil pulling is so good for your overall health, why aren’t more people doing it? Apparently, this holistic technique has mixed reviews. So I decided to try it for myself for 1 week and put the oil to the test.

I ordered organic sesame oil from, but apparently coconut oil works even better, because it has the added benefit of antimicrobial agents that other oils don’t have. Here’s what I found out during my one-week journey with oil pulling.

Day 1: I looked at the bottle and poured my first tablespoon. Honestly, once I put it in my mouth, it was pretty hard to not spit out during the first five minutes. It was pretty gross in taste and consistency, but I was able to swish it around for the entire 20 minutes; I just had to keep myself busy. I spit the oil out into the trash can, rinsed my mouth out with water and then mouthwash to rid the taste.

Day 2: I held my nose closed while I took this tablespoon, which probably helped mask the taste a bit. Definitely was not as difficult as day one. I had no problem swishing it around for the entire 20 minutes, but I did have a headache afterwards, which I read can happen when you first start oil pulling.

Day 3: Today went completely smooth. I had no issues with the oil and my teeth felt really clean afterwards. I did notice later in the day that my teeth were less sensitive to cold than they were in the weeks prior to starting.

Day 4: I have gotten so used to the oil already, that I lost track of time and actually swished it around for almost 30 minutes. It didn’t make a difference, though. My teeth felt extremely clean today and I didn’t have a headache either.

Day 5: I think I could actually feel the oil doing its job. I felt like my teeth were a little sore after, but I could tell they were cleaner.

Day 6: I woke up with a terrible headache this morning, so I immediately started pulling, and sure enough, my headache was gone by the time the 20 minutes was up. It was great!

Day 7: I think my teeth have started getting whiter already. I swished for 25 minutes today, and my teeth felt great again. At this point, the taste doesn’t bother me anymore, and I haven’t gotten any headaches as a result of pulling.

After just seven days, I personally feel like oil pulling is doing something for my health. From making my teeth less sensitive to cold, to easing the pain of my headache, 20 minutes of oil pulling per day made my teeth and me feel great. I’ve decided to keep on oil pulling for the time being; I predict that I’ll love it even more as time goes on!


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