Does Oil Pulling Remineralize Teeth? A Dentist Explains

No, oil pulling does not remineralize teeth. Remineralization involves the use of nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste to deposit natural minerals like calcium and phosphate into our tooth enamel. This process strengthens enamel, prevents demineralization, and reverses tooth decay.

Because oil does not contain any minerals that are essential to remineralize teeth, oil pulling cannot remineralize teeth. Now, that's not to say that oil pulling cannot be a beneficial practice for your overall oral health.

In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that swish oil around in your mouth can help remove harmful bacteria, prevent plaque induced gingivitis, and inhibit bacteria growth between teeth and along the gemlike. Beyond anecdotal evidence, we'll walk through some of the concrete research behind oil pulling later in this article.

However, while oil pulling may contribute to overall oral health, it's not considered a primary method for remineralizing teeth, unlike brushing with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste tablets.

In this article, I'll explain everything you need to know about remineralizing teeth and oil pulling.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic practice for improving oral hygiene and for spiritual benefits.

It involves swishing oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes to remove bacteria and dislodge buildup between your teeth. Back then, this process was used to treat bad breath and gum disease and, while less common now, continues to be practiced today for similar benefits.

While oil pulling was originally conducted with sesame and sunflower oil, virgin coconut oil is more common now. Any oil, including sunflower oil or olive oil, can be used for oil-pulling therapy, but coconut oil has been popularized due to its high lauric acid content and pleasant taste.

Just remember, to maximize the oral health benefits of oil pulling, we recommend brushing with toothpaste tablets, flossing with expandable floss, and using a tongue scraper daily.

How does oil pulling work?

A woman practicing oil pulling

Oil pulling works by dislodging harmful bacteria from between your teeth before it has a chance to organize into plaque.

Essentially, the oil helps emulsify the bacteria and debris in your mouth, allowing it to be spit out after ~20 minutes. Clinical and diagnostic research suggests that this practice supports a healthy oral microbiome.

That being said, it takes about 20 minutes for oil pulling to have a significant impact on your oral hygiene. Therefore, it is one of the more labor-intensive oral health practices and may not fit into your daily overall health routine.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

oil pulling

Proponents of oil pulling suggest that it has benefits that include:

  • Reducing oral bacteria associated with cavities and gingivitis

  • Removing plaque buildup along the gumline

  • Whitening teeth

  • Eliminating bad breath

  • Preventing periodontal disease progression

  • Lowering risk of tooth decay

These potential benefits largely come from oil pulling’s presumed ability to reduce bacterial load in your mouth. Plus, it's gentle enough to do with crowns and fillings.

However, there is no academic consensus on the benefits of oil pulling due to the lack of clinical research.


There is some evidence that oil pulling may reduce the number of bacterial colonies living in your mouth.

However, this is a newly evolving field of research and more evidence is required to fully understand the impact.

Bad Breath

A man checking his breath

By reducing the number of bacterial colonies in your mouth, oil pulling may have some impact to reduce the incidence of halitosis.

Plaque Buildup

Oil pulling is an effective treatment against plaque. In fact, one study found that "both coconut oil and sesame oil can be used for oil-pulling therapy with the aim of plaque regrowth inhibition".

Interestingly, this study also found that this same mechanism had a positive impact on tooth staining as well.

Gingivitis and Inflammation

Preliminary evidence shows that oil pulling may help fight gingivitis by reducing your plaque index. However, it is unclear how significant these results are and whether they can be replicated.

What does oil pulling not do?

Oil pulling, while beneficial for oral hygiene, does not address all aspects of our dental health. For instance, oil pulling doesn't remineralize teeth, a process for which dentists recommend nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste due to its ability to help repair and strengthen the enamel.

Additionally, oil pulling may not fully clean along the gum line, an area where plaque and bacteria can accumulate, leading to gum disease; for this, dental floss or other interdental cleaning tools are necessary to effectively remove debris and plaque between teeth.

Some individuals also incorporate herbal mouthwash into their routine to further freshen breath and provide a more comprehensive approach to oral health, addressing areas and issues that oil pulling alone alone cannot.

Finally, oil pulling may not fully remove bacteria hiding in the crevices of your tongue; therefore, it is not a good substitute for tongue scraping.

Therefore, while oil pulling is a useful practice for oral health, it is important to complement it with nano hydroxyapatite toothpasteexpandable floss, daily use of tongue scrapers, and alkaline mouthwash to address specific dental concerns comprehensively.

What is tooth decay?

A woman holding tooth decay model

Tooth decay, a progressive stage of enamel demineralization, is a common dental condition characterized by the gradual degradation of the tooth structure.

Tooth decay occurs when acids produced by the bad bacteria in our mouth, primarily Streptococcus mutans, interact with sugary foods and drinks from our diet. This interaction leads to the formation of acids that attack the tooth's hard outer layer, which we call enamel.

When the acid produced attacks our enamel, this initiates a process that we call demineralization. Over time, demineralization leads to the initial stage of cavity formation which can result in the development of small openings in our enamel. The openings get progressively larger and eventually penetrate deeper into the tooth, causing symptoms like sensitivity and discomfort.

Eventually, these untreated cavities can no longer be remineralized and must be treated by a dentist through treatments like dental fillings. To reverse or prevent tooth decay, we use tools like nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste to stimulate a process called remineralization (aka the opposite of demineralization).

What causes tooth decay?

Demineralization and tooth decay are primarily caused by the interaction of acids with tooth enamel. These can be dietary acids or simply acids produced by the bad bacteria in our mouth.

Let's walk through some of the main causes of tooth decay and dental caries.

Bad Bacteria & Plaque

Dental plaque is a thin, sticky film that naturally forms on our teeth. It consists of bacteria colonies that feed on sugars and carbohydrates from the foods we consume.

As they metabolize these sugars, they produce acids as byproducts. These acids can gradually erode the minerals, primarily calcium and phosphate, from our teeth which leads to demineralization.

Regular brushing and flossing help remove dental plaque, reducing the presence of acid-producing bacteria and their harmful effects on enamel.

Dietary Acids

Consuming acidic foods and beverages can directly introduce acids into our mouths, disrupting our oral pH.

For example, citrus fruits, carbonated sodas, and fruit juices are naturally acidic. When these acidic substances come into contact with tooth enamel, they can weaken the enamel's mineral structure, making it more susceptible to demineralization.

Limiting the intake of acidic foods and practicing good oral hygiene can help mitigate the impact of these dietary acids on teeth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Inadequate oral hygiene practices, such as infrequent or insufficient brushing and flossing, can lead to dental plaque accumulating on tooth surfaces.

When plaque is not regularly removed, it provides a breeding ground for acid-producing bacteria. These bacteria thrive in the plaque and continuously generate acids as they metabolize sugars.

The prolonged exposure of teeth to these acids can result in demineralization, making regular and thorough oral care essential for preventing enamel damage.

Dry Mouth

Saliva is known for its ability to neutralize acids and support the remineralization of enamel. It's an essential component of your oral microbiome.

However, conditions that reduce salivary flow, such as certain medications, medical conditions, or dehydration, can leave the mouth dry. In a dry mouth environment, acids are not effectively neutralized, and the protective effects of saliva are compromised.

This can lead to an increased risk of enamel demineralization and tooth decay, making it essential for individuals with dry mouth to manage this condition effectively.

To combat dry mouth, certain toothpastes and chewing gums contain xylitol, a compound that has been proven to promote saliva production and normalize oral pH.

Acid Reflux

Conditions like acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) or frequent vomiting expose teeth to stomach acids, which are highly acidic and corrosive.

When these strong acids come into contact with tooth enamel, they can rapidly erode the minerals from the enamel surface, leading to demineralization.

Individuals with these conditions are at an elevated risk of enamel damage, and managing acid reflux or vomiting episodes is crucial to protect dental health.

What is remineralization?

A man brushing his teeth

Remineralization is a natural tooth repair process that occurs daily inside the mouth.

It involves the repair of lost enamel through the deposition of calcium and phosphate minerals from saliva into the enamel, helping to keep teeth strong and prevent tooth decay.

This process is essential for maintaining the integrity of the teeth and is a continuous, natural repair mechanism to restore minerals to the tooth enamel.

Remineralization can be promoted through various methods, including the use of remineralizing toothpaste, maintaining a balanced diet, and practicing good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing.

Does oil pulling reverse cavities?

No, oil pulling does not reverse cavities. While tooth decay can be stopped or reversed through remineralization, true cavities cannot be remineralized and must be treated by a professional.

While some individuals suggest that cavities can be remineralized, the truth is that the "cavities" they are referring to are likely just initial stages of tooth decay and not true cavities. Ultimately, the decision to fix a cavity with a filling changes from dentist to dentist.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take at home to remineralize tooth decay and prevent it from forming, including:

How to do Oil Pulling

oil pulling

Whether oil pulling in the morning or not, it can be a tricky practice for beginners. For how to oil pull effectively, try following some of these tried-and-true tricks to improve your experience with it:

Oil Pulling on an Empty Stomach

According to Ayurvedic tradition, it's best to perform oil pulling first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This allows the oil to interact with the oral bacteria effectively without interference from food particles.

Start Slow and Gradually Increase Duration

If you're new to oil pulling, start with just 5 minutes and gradually work your way up to 15-20 minutes. This allows your mouth to get accustomed to the sensation and helps prevent discomfort or jaw fatigue.

Spit out the Oil

After swishing the oil around in your mouth, spit it out into a trash can or tissue. Avoid spitting it into the sink to prevent clogging due to the oil solidifying at lower temperatures.

Consistency Is Key

For optimal results, aim to perform oil pulling daily. Consistency is important to experience the full benefits, such as improved oral hygiene and fresher breath.

Combine With Regular Oral Care Routine

Oil pulling should complement, not replace, your regular oral hygiene routine. Make sure that you're still brushing your teeth with toothpaste tablets twice a day, tongue scraping, and regularly using alkaline mouthwash to maintain your oral health.

What Oil to Use For Oil Pulling?

Oil for oil pulling

Coconut oil pulling is the most commonly practiced form of oil pulling due to coconut oil's natural pleasant taste and potential antimicrobial properties. Further, other oils commonly used for oil pulling include sesame oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. That said, it's most essential to use a high-quality, organic, unrefined oil for oil pulling to ensure purity and effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does oil pulling remineralize?
No, oil pulling does not remineralize teeth. Remineralization involves using nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste, which deposits natural minerals like calcium and phosphate into tooth enamel, strengthening it and preventing demineralization. Since oil does not contain essential minerals for remineralization, oil pulling cannot achieve this effect. However, oil pulling may still offer benefits for overall oral health.

What oils remineralize teeth?
Oils do not contain the minerals necessary for remineralizing teeth. Remineralization typically involves the use of toothpaste containing ingredients like nano hydroxyapatite, which deposits natural minerals such as calcium and phosphate into tooth enamel to strengthen it and prevent demineralization. Therefore, oils themselves do not have the capability to remineralize teeth.

Can you reverse cavities with oil pulling?
No, oil pulling does not reverse cavities. Although tooth decay can be halted or even reversed through remineralization with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste, true cavities cannot be remineralized and require professional treatment. While some may claim that cavities can be remineralized, these are likely only early stages of decay, not true cavities. Ultimately, the decision to address a cavity with a filling varies among dentists.

Why do dentists not recommended oil pulling?
Dentists generally do not recommend oil pulling because there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness for improving oral health. While some proponents claim benefits such as reducing harmful bacteria and improving gum health, these claims are not well-supported by research. Additionally, oil pulling is not a substitute for regular oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing, which are essential for maintaining good oral health. It's important to consult with your dentist for personalized advice on oral care practices.

How can I remineralize my teeth?
You can remineralize your teeth by using toothpaste containing ingredients like nano hydroxyapatite, which deposits natural minerals such as calcium and phosphate into tooth enamel to strengthen it and prevent demineralization.  Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, and reducing consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can also help promote remineralization. If you have concerns about tooth demineralization or decay, consult with your dentist for personalized recommendations and treatment options.

Is oil pulling nonsense?
While some people claim benefits such as improved oral hygiene and reduced bacteria from oil pulling, scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited. Some studies suggest that oil pulling may have mild benefits for oral health, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness. Therefore, it's better to use alkaline mouthwash, which can help maintain the pH balance in the mouth and support overall oral health.

Is oil pulling quackery?
The term 'quackery' typically denotes unproven or fraudulent medical practices. While some advocate for oil pulling as a natural remedy for oral health, scientific evidence supporting its efficacy is limited. The American Dental Association cautions that due to this lack of evidence, they do not recommend oil pulling as a replacement for standard oral health care practices such as flossing and teeth brushing. It's essential to approach such practices with critical thinking and consider consulting with a dental professional for personalized advice.

Is there any disadvantage of oil pulling?
While some individuals claim benefits from oil pulling, there are potential disadvantages to consider. These may include the time-consuming nature of the practice, the risk of accidentally swallowing the oil, and potential adverse effects such as stomach upset. Additionally, there is limited scientific evidence to support the efficacy of oil pulling for improving oral health. Therefore, it's essential to weigh the potential risks and benefits and consult with a dental professional for personalized advice on oral hygiene practices.

Is oil pulling a gimmick?
The effectiveness of oil pulling is debated among dental professionals and researchers. While some individuals report benefits such as improved oral hygiene and reduced bacteria, scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited. Therefore, whether oil pulling can be considered a gimmick depends on individual perspectives and experiences. It's important to approach such practices with critical thinking and consider consulting with a dental professional for personalized advice on oral hygiene.

Does coconut oil remineralize teeth?

No, coconut oil does not remineralize teeth. Remineralization involves the use of nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste to deposit natural minerals like calcium and phosphate into our tooth enamel. This process strengthens enamel, prevents demineralization, and reverses tooth decay. Because oil does not contain any minerals that are essential to remineralize teeth, coconut oil cannot remineralize teeth.

NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

Regular price$40
Shipping calculated at checkout.

NOBS is everything toothpaste should be - all the good stuff, and none of the junk.

Fluoride Free
Never any fluoride, and no harsh abrasives.

We used the magical remineralizing power of 5% nano-hydroxyapatite to protect your teeth long-term. It's the safest alternative to fluoride!

Unlike messy tube toothpaste, NOBS are easy to store and use anywhere.

Thanks to our unique blend of natural ingredients, NOBS will make your breath as fresh as you look. Instead of gross sweeteners that cover up a natural slightly bitter aftertaste, our organic mint will leave you so kissable. Trust us, your date will thank you.

Cleans Effectively Without Damaging Enamel

With an enviable RDA of 21.38, NOBS Toothpaste Tablets are intentionally designed to help you gently buff out surface stains and break up plaque biofilm without causing damage to your enamel. Thanks, baking soda!

Flex on TSA

NOBS toothpaste tablets don’t apply to the 3.4oz limit. Fly with confidence that you won’t be condemned to a dirty mouth while you travel.

No Mess

Never worry about your toothpaste tube exploding over your other toiletries. NOBS toothpaste tablets come in an air-tight glass jar, free of plastic and without the mess. Unscrew, chew, and renew your mouth.

No Plastic

We want you to disrupt your brushing routine, not your endocrine system. Unlike other brands, our product is free of all plastics and BPAs.

Perfect Size

NOBS toothpaste tablets are individual and perfectly dosed. No more squeezing, no more tube sliding against the edge of your sink and definitely no wasted toothpaste.

Safe for Children

Protecting little ones is our top priority. NOBS provides the safest oral care for pregnant women and their families. Just monitor and ensure that your child can chew and swallow safely before introducing them to NOBS.

This product is not suitable for pets. Humans only, please!

While xylitol is great for supporting the human oral microbiome, it can be toxic to pets. Please keep NOBS away from your furry friends, and contact your veterinarian immediately if consumed by your pet.

Fluoride Free Toothpaste Tablets