Although many natural health practitioners claim that oil pulling with coconut oil may be beneficial for oral health, there is no scientific evidence to recommend this practice as a supplementary therapy for conditions like tooth decay or gingivitis, according to the American Dental Association. There have been some research done on oil pulling and its effects. However, these are very limited studies and more are necessary to validate the efficacy of this practice for the prevention of tooth decay.
Oil pulling with coconut oil involves swishing the oil in one's mouth for up to 20 minutes, relates WebMD. Many natural health practitioners, who recommend this practice, believe that coconut oil may be beneficial for oral health because it contains lauric acid, which is an anti-microbial agent that may prevent tooth decay.
The practice of oil pulling dates back thousands of years to Ayurvedic medicine in India. Although people may wish to try alternative natural methods for oral health, the American Dental Association also stresses that they should not replace traditional oral hygienic practices like brushing twice a day and flossing with other practices.