Yet another benefit of coconut oil! As well as reducing dementia and aiding weight loss Irish researchers have now found that coconut oil also helps with tooth decay. Tooth decay and gum disease affects 60-90% of children and the majority of adults and has wider health implications than just the teeth affecting the whole body including the heart and increased risk of chronic diseases.
Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Bioscience Research Unit in Ireland looked at the antibacterial properties of coconut oil in fighting tooth decay. They tested coconut oil and enzyme activated coconut oil ( in a process similar to digestion) against various strains of Streptococcus commonly found in the mouth.
Dr Brady’s team found that enzyme activated coconut oil strongly inhibits most strains of Steptococcus bacteria particularly Streptococcus mutans an acid producing bacteria that is a major source of tooth decay. They also found it was effective against candida a fungal infection that causes thrush and gut problems.
So while you are waiting for coconut oil to be added to commercial toothpastes you can try ‘oil pulling’ to reduce dental plaque. Take half a teaspoon of coconut oil and swill it around your mouth (like you would with a mouthwash) drawing it between your teeth to ease out bacteria and fungi. Try and do this for 15 minutes once or twice a day if you can and then spit it out ( don’t swallow as the oil will be full of toxins). Rinse your mouth out well with water afterwards. Note coconut oil solidifies at low temperatures but will melt in your mouth so there is no need to heat it first.