Introduction: Oil pulling, has been extensively used as traditional Indian folk remedy since many years to prevent dental diseases and for strengthening teeth and gums.
Aim: To compare and evaluate antiplaque efficacy of coconut oil pulling with a placebo among dental students, in Hyderabad city of India.
Materials and methods: A randomized controlled study was carried out among 40 dental students. Out of 40, 20 subjects were randomly assigned to study group and other 20 to control group. Subjects in the study group were given the coconut oil and control group a placebo, and advised to rinse for 10 minutes, once daily in the morning for a period of seven days. Plaque levels were assessed on day zero, third and seventh day using Turesky-Gilmore-Glickman Modification of the Quigley-Hein Plaque Index (1970) for both the groups.
Results: The mean plaque scores showed a significant difference at baseline, third day and seventh day among both study (p<0.001) and control groups (p<0.001). Group wise comparison revealed, though the mean plaque scores were low among study group on third day and seventh day on comparison with the control group, significant difference was noticed only on the seventh day. Furthermore, the mean percentage reduction of plaque scores were also significant only on the seventh day with a high mean plaque reduction among study groups (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Oil pulling is effective in controlling plaque levels.
Keywords: Dental diseases; Plaque; Tooth decay.