Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial

J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2011 Apr-Jun;29(2):90-4. doi: 10.4103/0970-4388.84678.


Background: Oil pulling therapy has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws and to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums and dryness of throat, and cracked lips.

Aims: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of oil pulling with sesame oil on halitosis and the microorganisms that could be responsible for it and to compare its efficacy with chlorhexidine mouthwash.

Materials and methods: Group I (oil pulling) and group II (chlorhexidine) included 10 adolescents each. The following parameters were assessed: marginal gingival index, plaque index, organoleptic breath assessment (ORG 1), self-assessment of breath (ORG 2), and BANA test from tongue coating samples on days 0 and 14 of the experimental period.

Results: The comparisons of the pre and post therapy values of plaque and modified gingival index score showed a statistically significant difference (P = 0.005 and 0.007, respectively) in group I and II. There was a definite reduction in the ORG 1, ORG 2, scores and BANA test score in both groups I and II.

Conclusions: Oil pulling therapy has been equally effective like chlorhexidine on halitosis and organisms, associated with halitosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Bacteroides / drug effects
  • Benzoylarginine-2-Naphthylamide
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Halitosis / drug therapy*
  • Halitosis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects
  • Sesame Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Tongue / microbiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Treponema denticola / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Mouthwashes
  • Benzoylarginine-2-Naphthylamide
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chlorhexidine