Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy first mentioned in the early Ayurveda text “Compendium of Charaka,” the Charaka Samhita, which was believed to have been written approximately 1500 years ago.
One oil pulls by swishing a tablespoon of oil (sesame, coconut and sunflower are commonly recommended) in one’s mouth for approximately 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach and then spitting it out.
The Charaka Samhita describes oil pulling as being capable of improving more than just oral health, but also 30 other systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma.
In the first account, modern scientific inquiry increasingly confirms oil pulling’s benefit to oral health is real and not imagined:
Proven to be as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine for chronic bad breath (halitosis), but without the side effects.
Proven to be beneficial in patients with gingivitis.
Proven to reduce the cavity-linked Streptococcus mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva of children.
Proven to exert antibacterial actions through emulsification and saponification.
As far as systemic benefits, because oil pulling radically adjusts the composition of bacteria in the mouth, and because the health of the mouth affects the health of the entire body, it is logical that it would be of value for a variety of health conditions.
When pathogenic bacteria grow to harmful proportions in the mouth, and especially when there is systemic inflammation in the gums, bacterial cells and/or their highly immunogenic cell substructures, e.g. lipopolysaccharide, can enter the blood wreaking widespread havoc.
One common cause of this ongoing bacteria-mediated inflammation is the presence of a root canal. There are many reasons to avoid root canals, and common sense would dictate keeping a dead piece of your body attached to living tissue is a bad idea, but millions undergo this procedure under the advice of their dentist or endodontic specialist without fully being informed of the deleterious health consequences.
The reality is that there are miles of maze-like microtubules within the dead tooth, a perfect breeding ground for anaerobic oral microorganisms that secrete potent endotoxins, and impossible to completely fill with dental compounds.