Should You Oil Pull After Having a Tooth Extracted?

If you're a regular oil puller and are due to have a tooth out, you may be wondering if you can carry on pulling oil every day after your extraction. While oil pulling helps keep your teeth and gums in good health and may help your mouth fight oral bacteria, pulling after an extraction has some problems that you need to be aware of.

How Oil Pulling Affects an Extraction Site

When you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot forms in the hole where your tooth once was. This blood clot plays a pivotal role in post-surgical healing. The clot protects your extraction site by sealing the hole. To start with, the clot may be easily dislodged, and your dentist will warn you to be careful, especially for the first 24 hours or so after surgery.

For example, you're likely to be advised not to do anything that might force the clot out such as spitting out. Sucking hard can also dislodge the clot, and your dentist will also typically tell you not to use straws or to smoke. If you do lose the blood clot and it isn't replaced by another, you may develop a dry socket. This painful condition may happen if you lose the sealing blood clot and your bone and nerves become exposed.

The problem that you have with oil pulling is the swishing action. Typically, when you pull oil, you push and suck the oil around and through your teeth for anywhere up to 20 minutes. These movements may increase the risk of pulling the clot off. To be on the safe side, you may want to skip your regular kind of oil pulling routine for at least the first few days after having your tooth extracted until your wound is more stable and instead find other ways to get the benefits of oil without actively pulling.

How to Oil Pull After an Extraction

Oil pulling can be really beneficial to your general oral health, especially if you use an oil that has bacteria-busting properties. For example, coconut oil contains lauric acid which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help fight harmful oral bacteria. These properties may well help your mouth heal successfully after an extraction.

While you probably shouldn't oil pull like you normally do after having a tooth out, you may be able to harness some of the benefits of oil without affecting the blood clot and wound site. For example, once your gum settles down after a couple of days, you could try gently rubbing a little coconut oil on to your gum, taking care not to touch or dislodge the blood clot. You may also find that holding oil in your mouth without pulling may help. If you move your head very gently and slowly from side to side, you'll wash the wound site with the oil without using a risky sucking motion.

Choosing when to resume full oil pulling after having a tooth extracted can be tricky. People heal at different rates and develop blood clots of various sizes and tenacity, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all deadline that you can use. If you aren't sure when it safe for you to start oil pulling in earnest again, ask your dentist for advice.