The practice of oil pulling or oil swishing is a time-honored Indian folk remedy that involves swishing edible oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. Oil pulling offers a naturalistic approach to oral health care for a growing body of individuals who desire alternative and complementary medicine. The purpose of this paper was to summarize published research on the effectiveness of oil pulling on oral health. Literature was retrieved from 1992-2011 through databases including Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE), and Google Scholar. To date, studies have assessed the effectiveness of oil pulling on plaque, gingivitis, xerostomia, dental caries and malodor. Within the scope of this review, research suggests that oil pulling may hold certain advantages over other commercially available products in reducing various oral conditions, yet there is insufficient scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.