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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 200-204

The effect of oil pulling with pure coconut oil on Streptococcus mutans: A randomized controlled trial


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Career Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Royal Dental College and Hospital, Iron Hills, Palakkad, Kerala, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
5 Department of Microbiology, Krishandevaraya College of Dental Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
6 Department of Public Health Dentistry, VSPM Dental College and Research Center, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Varsha Komath Pavithran
“KOMATH”, 4th Cross, Ayappa Nagar, S.M. Road, Jalahalli West, Bengaluru - 560 015, Karnataka,
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_29_17

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Introduction: Oil pulling as described in ancient Ayurveda involves the use of edible vegetable oils as oral antibacterial agents. It is a practice of swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. Pure coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and is commonly available in all Indian households. Aim: This study aims to assess the effect of oil pulling therapy with pure coconut oil on Streptococcus mutans count and to compare its efficacy against sesame oil and saline. Materials and Methods: A randomized controlled concurrent parallel- triple blinded clinical trial was conducted. Thirty participants in age range of 20–23 years were randomly allocated into Group A (coconut oil), Group B (sesame oil), and Group C (saline), with 10 in each group. The participants were instructed to swish and pull 10 ml of oil on empty stomach, early morning for 10–15 min. Unstimulated saliva collected before and after oil pulling procedure was analyzed for colony forming units (CFU) per ml saliva of S. mutans. The data were analyzed using paired t-test, ANOVA, and post hoc analysis using Tukey's honest significant difference. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A statistically significant reduction in S. mutans CFU count after oil pulling with pure coconut oil (P = 0.001) was found. There was no statistically significant difference between sesame oil and coconut oil (P = 0.97) and between sesame oil and saline (P = 0.061). When efficacy of coconut oil against saline was evaluated, a statistical significant difference (P = 0.039) was found. Conclusion: Oil pulling is an effective method for oral hygiene maintenance as it significantly reduces S. mutans count in the saliva.


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