Cleaner Mouth, Better Health

September 2, 2017

by Maria Fontaine

The Lord has been leading me to put a greater emphasis on an important area of my life—my physical health. Our bodies are, after all, the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Just as we have to work to maintain our spiritual health and growth, so we need to maintain our physical bodies that make it possible for our spirit to do its work here on earth.

Our bodies are important to the Lord, and it makes Him—and us—happy when we do what we can to keep them in good condition. In this article and some future ones, I’ll be sharing things that the Lord has shown me personally in my quest for improved health. The specific details of my situation and what worked in my case will not apply to everyone. However, the point that we need to treat our bodies responsibly by doing what we can to take good care of them is important for all of us.

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In this article I want to tell you about a simple practice that has played a significant part in improving the health of many who have made it a habit. In fact, it’s a method that has been used for thousands of years to help promote good health. Each of the things the Lord provides in order to improve our health or to prevent problems is a gift of His mercy and grace to a world of people who need well-functioning bodies so desperately.

I’m talking about something that can improve the health of your teeth, your gums, and the inside of your mouth. Many studies have shown that it can also help in healing numerous health issues in other areas of your body, which I’ll explain later in this article.

Off and on for a number of years, I had been having issues with the inside of my mouth—things like cavities, mouth ulcers, and sore or bleeding gums. I did what I could to have good dental hygiene, but the problems periodically returned.

A TFI member had suggested several times that I might want to start doing something called oil pulling, which she was convinced could help some of my mouth problems. Both she and her husband were completely sold on it; they had been doing it faithfully and felt it was making a difference for them. Still, I resisted the idea.

Then one day a previously undetected cavity started to feel very sensitive. However, since I couldn’t get a dental appointment for several weeks, I had to look for an interim solution for the discomfort. I didn’t want to take painkillers if I could avoid it. Neither did I want to have the tooth become so sore and inflamed that the dentist wouldn’t even be able to work on it when I did finally see him. I was sort of stuck. So we asked the Lord if there was some solution to this.

He told me I should try using the oil pulling daily, even though I didn’t like the idea, as this problem wasn’t going to just go away.

I don’t know why I resisted it so much. I suppose for the same reason that some others do: putting a big spoonful of oil in my mouth and keeping it there for 15–20 minutes without swallowing was not very appealing—and oh, almost even worse, without talking! Ha!

Many who promote this method say to do it first thing in the morning, which is when I’m waking up and talking and praying with Peter, so it was not very convenient or even practical for me. However, if I wanted to get rid of this tooth pain, and more importantly, if I was going to follow the Lord’s leading, I needed to at least try it.

So, we did some in-depth research about oil pulling, and found that all my reservations were unfounded.

  1. I found that, while doing the oil pulling first thing in the morning is ideal, you can do oil pulling at any time in the day, or even more than once a day if you want to.
  2. While using a full tablespoon of coconut, sesame, or olive oil is what works for most people, if your mouth is quite small, like mine is, you don’t have to use that much. Just find what amount of oil allows you to swish it around without your mouth feeling overfilled.
  3. Though 20 minutes is the ideal, you will still get some benefit even if you do it for 10 minutes at first. You can learn to get used to anything, and when you consider what you could be having to undergo with medicines or other treatments and their many side effects, putting a bit of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes every day is definitely the lesser of the problems that you could have.
  4. Why not try it? If you think about it, people often douse their salads with oil and vinegar and put that in their mouths. It’s really not much different to just put the oil there. You might even get to like it, just like my friend and her husband do! I’m in the process of learning to like it as well.

As you swish the oil around in your mouth and pull it through your teeth, a chemical reaction takes place with the saliva in your mouth. This releases harmful bacteria that are adhering to your teeth, trapping them in the oil. The swishing also flushes them out of cavities or pockets in the gums. Then you spit the oil out and you’ve gotten rid of the bad things much more easily than almost any other way.

There are many excellent reviews on the benefits of oil pulling, and I can add the results I’ve gained to theirs now, having seen how well it works myself. Within only two days, the sensitivity in that tooth was completely gone! I was surprised that even when I would bite down or chew on that tooth, there was no more sensitivity, no more pain.

What’s more, my quick results don’t seem to be unusual. There are a substantial number of people who attest to quite rapid healings of a whole range of symptoms in their mouths.

Finally, I had tried it and seen the benefits! I changed from a resistant “I won’t do that unless I absolutely have to” attitude to becoming an enthusiastic supporter of this very simple and relatively inexpensive procedure. I’m planning to make it a habit for the rest of my life.

Now, what works for one person is not always going to work for another. However, this is something that seems to work for quite a few people.

Even if your teeth don’t have problems that you’re aware of, you can still derive benefits like fresher breath, a cleaner mouth, and fewer dental trips, not to mention the knowledge that you may be preventing potential problems that may crop up in the future.—And also the knowledge that your mouth, which you use to witness with, will be in better condition to carry out its job whenever you need it.

Even those who have gone a lifetime with little or no dental issues can begin to have dental problems as they get older, just because their systems don’t function as well as they used to.

Here are some of the benefits that people mention:

  • Can reduce, and in many cases stop, tooth decay.
  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Helps heal bleeding gums
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Soothes throat dryness
  • Heals cracked lips
  • Strengthens gums and jaw1

Additional possible systemic health benefits of oil pulling

  • Improves lung function
  • Improves heart health
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Helps treat asthma
  • Improves energy levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Heals numerous skin conditions (reports have shown improvement in acne, psoriasis, and eczema)
  • In some cases oil pulling has reduced or eliminated sleep problems, sinus issues, and some types of headaches, including hangovers.

You may wonder how a simple little habit like this could actually improve your health throughout your body. There are certain areas in your body like the lungs, the sinuses, and under your tongue where the blood comes so close to the surface that it can absorb things directly into the bloodstream.

The inside of your mouth can harbor many bacteria, which can then get into the bloodstream, where they can travel to various parts of the body and cause damage to the body’s organs. These microorganisms can colonize in small gaps between your teeth and gums, called pockets, as well as in cavities. They can then become an ongoing source of infection entering your bloodstream, so that even though your immune system is fighting the disease, more of these destructive bacteria keep arriving to prevent healing.

When you eliminate many of these organisms from your mouth through oil pulling, you prevent them reaching the bloodstream, and this can prevent a further influx of disease through this route. Your body’s natural immune system can then overcome the harmful germs already present in your body, and healing can occur.

One TFI member said about her oil-pulling experience:

I’ve been doing this daily immediately after I wake up for almost three years.

I take a tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil, put it in my mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes while I’m preparing my morning tea, washing my face, etc.

For years I had an ugly dry patch on the back of my head (psoriasis), but after about a year of oil pulling, it was completely gone! Also I noticed that almost immediately it whitened my teeth.

On subsequent dentist visits they told me my teeth are in great shape, no more plaque.

Finally, on a personal note, I’d been told all my life to have my teeth cleaned every three months due to some particular dental issues I have. Several weeks after starting the oil pulling, I went to the dentist for a cleaning. When I asked when I would need the next cleaning, he said that my teeth were looking very good and that whatever I was doing, I should keep doing it. He then scheduled the next cleaning to be in six months instead of the usual three months.

God gives us healing in many ways, some immediate and others more slowly, some supernatural, and others natural, and all kinds of things in between. Let’s give all the praise and glory to our God who has made us. He has provided ways to keep us healthy and to heal us when we’re not.

Here is a link to one simple step-by-step explanation on how to do oil pulling:

1. Just add one tablespoon of oil to your mouth and swish until the oil is milky white, about 15–20 minutes. (Be careful not to swallow it!)

2. When you’re done, spit the oil into a trash can. PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT spit it down your sink, as the oil can solidify and cause your sink to clog!

3. Then rinse your mouth with warm water (or salt water) and brush your teeth as you normally would.