Background: Oral malodor affects a large section of population. Traditional Indian folk remedy, oil pulling not only reduces it but can also bring down the cost of treatment.
Aims: To compare the efficacy of oil pulling and chlorhexidine in reducing oral malodor and microbes.
Materials and methods: Three week randomized controlled trial was conducted among 60 students of three hostels of Maharani College of science and arts and commerce and Smt V.H.D.College of Home Science. The hostels were randomized into two intervention groups namely chlorhexidine group, sesame oil and one control (placebo) group. Twenty girls were selected from each hostel based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Informed consent was obtained. The parameters recorded at the baseline (day 0) and post intervention on day 22 were plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), objective (ORG1) and subjective (ORG2) organoleptic scores and anaerobic bacterial colony (ABC) count. Intra and inter group comparisons were made using Kruskal Wallis test, Wilcoxan sign rank test, ANOVA and student t-test.
Results: There was significant reduction (p<0.05) in the mean scores of all the parameters within sesame oil and chlorhexidine group. Among the groups significant difference was observed in objective and subjective organoleptic scores. Post hoc test showed significant difference (p<0.000) in mean organoleptic scores of sesame oil and placebo and chlorhexidine and placebo group. No significant difference (p<0.05) was observed between sesame oil and chlorhexidine group.
Conclusion: Oil pulling with sesame oil is equally efficacious as chlorhexidine in reducing oral malodor and microbes causing it. It should be promoted as a preventive home care therapy.
Keywords: Chlorhexidine; Malodor; Oil pulling; Randomized trial; Sesame oil.