Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic treatment which is an Eastern medical practice of Indian origin. This alternative medical practice of swishing oil (sesame or sunflower) in the mouth for a 2-3 minute period has been in practice many years before but seemed to recently been highlighted in our culture.
It is easy to get swept up in remedies that are shown to us on television shows but it is always a good idea to research this independently since sometimes the health or medical information you get from these places might be toted more for ratings rather than your well being. Doing a Google search will not be helpful since there is a lot of unsubstantiated information all over the internet.
There are many complementary and alternative medical treatments that could benefit you greatly so they shouldn't be dismissed. You should look for topics in medical or dental journals which have peer reviewed articles based on scientific studies.
I know that not everyone can read those without their eyes crossing. That is why it might be a good idea to ask your medical and dental professionals. They can sift through all of it for you and boil it down to an answer to your question
That being said, this article, a review on holistic approaches to dental health seemed to summarize it best. Oil pulling works as an add on to proper brushing and flossing (brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each and flossing once a day) not as a replacement. Sorry folks, we still have to floss.
The studies didn't mention gum disease only inflamed gums. So if your gums are pretty healthy and you would like to add a holistic approach to your oral health care go ahead and try oil pulling.
Dr. Ila Mankad is a general dentist in Brentwood California. She wants to teach patients the not so secret ways of achieving a healthy mouth.