Gingivitis and Plaque
Two studies have shown that oil pulling is an effective tool in fighting gingivitis and plaque. One, which looked solely at oil pulling, found that the practice could reduce severity of gingivitis from a baseline score by over 50%.
A later randomized, controlled, triple-blind study found that oil pulling was as effective as mouthwash in cutting incidence of both gingivitis and plaque.
Cavities and Decay
Finally, because oil pulling can reduce the overall amount of bacteria in the mouth, the practice can help reduce the incidence of dental caries (cavities) and tooth decay.
Using sesame oil, particularly, researchers discovered that study participants were able to cut their susceptibility to cavities and decay in half, and recommended that oil pulling be used in addition to tooth brushing as part of an overall oral health maintenance routine.
How To Get Started
While most of these studies are preliminary (and researchers do admit that increased attention paid to oral health using any method often results in improvements), it certainly seems like oil pulling can be an extremely useful part of an oral health regimen. If you want to get started with oil pulling, the process is fairly simple.
Essentially, all you need to do is swish two tablespoons of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, making sure not to swallow it. Spit out the oil, and thoroughly rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth. Ayurvedic tradition suggests doing this every morning on an empty stomach.
Have you tried oil pulling? What was your experience like? Did you see any improvements to your oral health?