Coconut oil is among the most miraculous natural remedies with plenty of therapeutic effects and healing actions. It is an oily substance extracted from coconut palm fruits and used extensively in alternative medicine and cosmetics. Health benefits of coconut oil include a variety of effects, starting from type 2 diabetes prevention or reducing risks for inflammations, and ending up with improved skin health and reduced hair loss risks. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of this natural product have been studied very thoroughly, but the idea of using coconut oil benefits for preventing tooth decay and cavities is a relatively new one. The findings of a scientific group the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are suggesting that coconut oil can be effective for dental health improvement.
The researchers tested the effects of this natural product on one of the most common dental bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, which develops in the remaining of sweet foods, forms deposits on our tooth enamel and causes serious dental problems. During the experiments, it became apparent that using coconut oil mixed with digestive enzymes which are in plenty in our mouth can be a very powerful tool against this bacteria. Therefore, it is possible to significantly reduce the risks of such common dental problems as tooth decay and cavities, this way substantially decreasing the probability to suffer from more serious dental conditions, including tooth loss, gum disease, and many others. The researchers are hoping that their interesting discovery will open a way to new dental treatments, namely new tooth pastes and mouthwashes with active ingredients extracted from coconut oil.
‘Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations,’ said Dr Damien Brady, one of the authors of the study and an expert of the Athlone Institute of Technology. He underlines the importance of finding these new coconut oil benefits since dental bacteria has a strong tendency for developing and becoming more and more resistant to the existing dental treatments and technologies against dental problems. He also pointed to the fact that tooth decay and cavities are usually a little overlooked since they affect a great number of people (it is estimated that at the moment, up to 90 per cent of the world’s population is affected by dental problem like cavities), and this kind of dental problems are not considered too serious.
The study leader says that the experiments of his expert group on studying coconut oil benefits were inspired by earlier studies regarding the effects of partially digested milk on formation and development of Streptococcus mutans bacteria. The findings of Dr. Brady’s team include the conclusions about powerful anti-microbial activities of human digestion products. ‘This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health,’ Dr. Brady said. Using coconut oil to fight against tooth decay and cavities can give a helping hand to many of those who are suffering from minor dental problems. In addition, as other tests have shown, coconut extracts can assist in fighting Candida albicans, another very common dental bacteria. Learn more about coconut oil and other herbal remedies for our dental and overall health.