Oil Pulling Side Effects Everyone Should Know
Oil pulling is a practice of taking oil in your mouth and swirling it in the mouth for certain period of time. This provides you with some health benefits. By swirling or holding the oil in your mouth you can get rid of the bacteria in your mouth. The toxins in the body that are soluble in oil also are removed by this practice. As a result, you will be able to enjoy a better oral and overall health. Along with its benefits, oil pulling is also said to have some side effects.
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The History of Oil Pulling:
The history of ayurveda sates back to more than 3000 years. Oil pulling is one of the practices in ayurveda that is done for optimal health. Sesame oil or sunflower oil is usually used for treating oral conditions like dryness of the throat, malodor, gum bleeding. It helps in making your gums, jaws and teeth stronger.
Side Effects of Oil Pulling:
Coughing up mucus:
It has been reported that people cough up mucus after they practice oil pulling. Supporters and proponents of oil pulling say that you need not worry about it as is a way your body is cleansing itself. However, you have to do swirling for 10 to 15 minutes and this causes the mucus in your throat to become thick. Then your body has to expel it by coughing it up. This can be quite unpleasant at times.
Excessive dryness of the mouth:
Oil pulling is done to prevent dryness of the throat. But it can be counterproductive as well. It can cause excessive dryness of the mouth. Many people have experienced dryness of the mouth after using this. The reason for this is that swirling causes the oil to mix with saliva, thereby removing it from your mouth. As a result, your mouth will feel extremely dry after you finish oil pulling.
People using coconut oil may have a hangover-like sensation. This is mainly because of the presence of medium-chained triglycerides in the oil. A high-carb diet along with coconut oil for swishing can lead to this sensation as the body reacts negatively to the oil.
As oil pulling makes your mouth dry and your throat to get filled with mucus, you cough constantly to get rid of the mucus. As a result you consume more water. The increased thirst is not because of your body getting dehydrated. Rather it is a reaction to the dryness you have experienced in your mouth and throat after oil pulling. Drinking too much of water to combat dryness in the mouth can make you suffer from water intoxication. This can be fatal.
There are many people who use oil pulling as a substitute for brushing of the teeth and dental flossing. But oil pulling does not get rid of the plaque and gingivitis according to the American Dental Association. It only helps in removing food debris and particulate matter from your mouth. This is because essential oil like methyl salicylate, thymol, menthol and eucalyptol are not present in oil. These are the oils that have anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis properties. So, people who use only oil pulling to cleanse their mouth and do not brush their teeth experience more cavities.
You have to swish the oil in your mouth continuously for 10 to 15 minutes. Only then you will get the result you require. As a result many people experience stiffness in their jaws. As you swish the oil non-stop for 10 to 15 minutes, the ligaments and muscles of your jaw become stiff. Moreover, you also have to keep your jaw clenched so that the oil does not spill out. The clenching can also cause pain on your jaws and make them stiff.
Many people do not know how to practice oil pulling in the correct way. As a result, they inhale the oil. The oil is full of bacteria and toxins. This can contaminate your lungs and cause lipoid pneumonia.
Loss of appetite:
Loss of appetite is one of the side effects of oil pulling. Some say that they lose appetite because they do not want to make their mouth dirty after cleansing it by swirling the oil for about 15 minutes. Others say that the process of oil pulling seems to dull their appetite. As a result, they cannot eat breakfast after the oil pulling. This leads to a sluggish metabolism for the entire day. Usually loss of appetite takes place when people ingest a little of the oil during the process of swirling it in the mouth.
Nausea and vomiting:
Oil pulling is usually done on an empty stomach. This can cause nausea in some people. The reason for this is also said to be the result of swallowing some amount of the oil that is contaminated with bacteria and toxins. This causes your stomach to heave, leading to nausea.
Some people may be allergic to the oil they use for oil pulling. Sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil etc are the most commonly used oil for this purpose. If you are allergic any of these oils, you may suffer from stomach cramps and even nausea and vomiting after you finish swirling the oil in your mouth.
Sudden onset of flu-like symptoms:
Some people experience flu-like symptoms after oil pulling. The reason for this is that some small amount of the oil with bacteria gets ingested into the body. This causes the immune system of your body fight against the bacteria. This is what is responsible for causing flu-like symptoms.
According to the studies made by the American Dental Association, oil pulling can cause diarrhea or stomach upset. The reason for this is that the bacteria in the oil enter into your stomach as you take the oil in your mouth and swirl it. This leads to diarrhea as your body has to flush out the contaminated oil in your stomach in some way.