Saanika Bali, PDM Dental College, India
Complementary and Alternative Methods like Oil Pulling are widely mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita (Kavala or Gandusha) and claim to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma. Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw. Oil pulling , refers to the act of swishing 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the mouth for 10- 20 minutes.Raw Unrefined Oils like sunflower oil, sesame oil, coconut oils are to be used.The concept of oil pulling was familiarized by Dr. F. Karach in the 1990s in Russia. This method can be widely used in the modern world in conditions like mouth ulcer, fever, indigestion, tendency to vomit, increased gag reflex, where brushing is contraindiacted. A study was conducted by Asokan S et al (2009) to evaluate the effect of oil pulling with sesame oil on plaque-induced gingivitis, and to compare its efficacy with chlorhexidine mouthwash. As a result oil pulling was found to be effective as comparable to widely used chlorhexidine mouthwashes, without the side effects of staining. It has been found to reduce plaque index, halitosis and also to whiten teeth to an extent, with a long lasting fresh breath.The high content Of Vitamin E, Vitamin C also helps maintain gingival and mucosal health. It also reduces tooth ache, as does clove oil.This method works on the basis that the oil makes the teeth structure slippery to make adhering by Streptococcus Mutans and other microflora difficult. This eliminates the prime factor of Causation Of Caries and reduces caries and tooth loss. Its effectivity is still debatable and vouches many other factors.It is still a preventive ,not a curative remedy and is to be regularly followed by brushing and flossing.