Can Coconut Oil Combat Tooth Decay?

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

Known for their sweet white meat, coconuts are more than just tasty treats. In fact, research shows they may even combat tooth decay. Who knew?

Tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth enamel, which is the hard white substance that protects your teeth. It’s a major health problem in the industrialized world, affecting 90% of Americans over the age of 20.1

Poor oral health is not to be taken lightly. It’s been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke.2 So it’s important that you take good care of your teeth, if you want to remain healthy.

Below, we’ll take a look at the potential that coconut oil may hold for keeping tooth decay at bay. This is pretty interesting, if we do say so ourselves.

Coconuts Kill Plaque Causing Bacteria

One of the problems facing scientists today is antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics, which used to be very effective, are losing their power against common strains of bacteria. Consequently, many researchers are testing natural ingredients as potential sources.

In one such attempt to look for alternate sources, Irish scientists tested coconut oil. They tested various species of Streptococcus bacteria against altered (modified with enzymes) and natural coconut oil.

They found that enzyme-treated coconut oil inhibited the growth of most Streptococcus bacteria.3 One in particular was Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that causes tooth decay and cavities. Most of us carry these pesky bacteria in our mouth.

Coconuts are Effective “Germ” Fighters

These findings are not all that surprising, in light of previous research. In one particular study, scientists discovered that green coconut water has anti-microbial peptides, which can kill a variety of bacteria.4

Also, coconut extracts have been shown to kill one strain of the herpes virus.5

And not to mention, coconut oil also has anti-fungal effects. One of its victims is Candida albicans, a yeast that causes oral thrush and yeast infections.3

Now we think this is pretty impressive, considering that man-made antibiotics are very limited and not effective against viruses or fungi. Don’t you think?

Coconut Oil Toothpaste — Coming to a Store Near You?

So, what are the implications of the Irish study? Pretty straightforward: Coconut oil could someday be incorporated into dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash.

Not bad, considering some of the ingredients found in many of today’s oral health products are highly questionable at best. For example, the high alcohol content of mouthwashes has been implicated in cancer development.6

Also, it might not be a bad idea to incorporate coconut oil into sugary treats. After all, they are a major cause of tooth decay and cavities. Their high sugar content fuels the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which can literally carve a hole in your tooth (hence the term cavity).

So, adding coconut oil to the mix could potentially make things a little more bearable for your teeth. This hasn’t been tested of course, but it does make for good food for thought. ;)

What do you think of these findings? Do you use any natural ingredients to help keep your teeth healthy? Please let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/dental_caries.html. Accessed January 12th 2013.
  2. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/doh.htm. Accessed January 12th 2013.
  3. Available at: http://www.ait.ie/aboutaitandathlone/newsevents/pressreleases/2012pressreleases/title-16107-en.html. Accessed January 12th 2013.
  4. Peptides. 2009 Apr;30(4):633-7.
  5. Res Microbiol. 2002 Dec;153(10):647-52.
  6. Int J Cancer. 2009 Aug 1;125(3):730-5.

Share | |

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where can I get Coconut oil toothpaste and/ or mouthwash?

Anonymous said...

What about oil pulling with coconut oil? Great for teeth and prevention of bacteria.

Edward Puriski said...

If you keep submitting well written articles just like this then I will always keep returning back to your blog. Really good material.

Anonymous said...

I make my own toothpaste with liquid coconut oil, peppermint oil, baking soda & xylitol...all available at the health food store.

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Unfortunately, we haven't seen any coconut oil toothpaste or mouthwash products. However, there are many homemade recipes online. Hope this helps!

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - There is some research showing oil pulling (with sesame oil) supports oral health. Here's a link to one study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265

We haven't seen any research regarding oil pulling and coconut oil.

LifeExtension said...

Edward Puriski - Why thank you. We're flattered. :)

Anonymous said...

I have had very good luck with a colloidal silver based product called "Liquid Dentist". I thin it with colloidal silver I make (SilverGen) to reduce the cost. Several times each week, after brushing in the evening, I then brush with my Liquid Dentist mixture. I've been doing this for about 2 years and my hygienist now finds almost zero plaque on my teeth; a big improvement for me.

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Interesting! Thanks for sharing. :)

Tate said...

Is there toothpaste in the market today that offers coconut oil in it?

LifeExtension said...

Tate - We haven't seen any yet, but you might want to check out the Internet. A lot of people have posted their home-made recipes online.

Anonymous said...

Many Thanks for the interesting information. I had been making my own toothpaste with the same ingredients listed in an earlier post: coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint oil and xylitol to sweeten. When I told my dentist he was Horrified !!!! He said that the baking soda would be far too abrasive to the enamel. I also was put off due to reading that xylitol ( and ALL of the 'polyol' sugar free sweeteners) are linked with irritable bowel syndrome.

I am not keen to use toothpastes with preservatives and other nasties, so I think I will make another batch of toothpaste but this time I will put the baking soda into my coffee grinder to make it a finer, smaller sized particle, and I will sweeten the batch with stevia. There are commercially prepared toothpastes with baking soda ( eg "Arm & Hammer" brand), so perhaps my dentist over stated the abrasiveness of baking soda, anyway, other toothpastes deliberately use calcium carbonate as a mild abrasive - so perhaps the fine particles of ground baking soda would not be any worse than that.

Anonymous said...

You report the results: "They found that enzyme-treated coconut oil inhibited the growth of most Streptococcus bacteria."

But, nowhere do you describe the enzymes or how to get enzyme treated coconut oil. Apparently, natural coconut oil has no such effect. The article is misleading to suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Coconut oil is indeed a cure for tooth decay because of its properties. Most of our dental problems can heal by natural means and role of coconut oil in fighting tooth decay is very important. There are other natural ways of fighting tooth decay and one of those simple ways is to eat healthy nutritious food. The food we eat determines our dental health. If food which is deficient in vital nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D, among other minerals is consumed on regular bases then it will lead to tooth decay, among other dental problems. Therefore care must be taken with the food we eat. For those who believe in natural healing, I will recommend this book “Cure tooth decay” by Ramiel Nagel in which the author has explained the causes of tooth decay and has prescribed an effective diet plan which will not only help in prevention of tooth decay but also healing and reversing the cavities or tooth decay. You can visit his website for more information http://www.curetoothdecay.com/

Anonymous said...

Just like the post above I am surprised that nobody says a word about the difference between coconut oil and enzymatically modified coconut oil. Obviously they are different and the reference article mentions that the enzymatically modified coconut oil is effective, but not a word about non-modified coconut oil.

Unless somebody clarifies this, the information is rather useless.

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - The Irish study used enzymatically treated coconut oil, similar to what is produced by the human body when it's digested. To our knowledge, the researchers did not disclose any further details. Here's a link to more info on the study in case you want to check it out: http://ow.ly/henGw

We're not aware of an outside source where you can purchase enzymatically treated coconut oil. Perhaps this is something that will be available in the future. Only time will tell. ;)

Cherie Mathews said...

Thank you Life Extension, I've been a fan for years and retweet your tweets every chance I get.
Cherie B. Mathews
Founder & CEO healincomfort com
Austin Texas

I'm helping breast cancer patients

LifeExtension said...

Cherie Mathews - Thanks for retweeting our stuff! BTW here's a little info on breast cancer in case you're looking for it:

http://ow.ly/hrnEa

Dental Implants In Northridge said...

The dental health are so essential with different conventional and dental care. It so entire and toxicity with dental treatments.The dentistry are so concern with amalgam significant factor.

toronto escots said...

YOu really have great way of sharing your thoughtrs.Please keep it up.

LifeExtension said...

toronto escots - Thanks for the kinds words and for reading!

JessFry said...

A small manufacturing business in Tonga called Kenani Estate Co. Ltd. manufacture and produce Kakala, virgin coconut oil with natural essence in a range of tropical fragrances; Mango, Vanilla, Frangipani, Ylang Ylang and Pure unscented coconut body oil. The coconut oil is all natural. The only ingredients are virgin coconut oil and pure essence as fragrance.

The oil is in liquid form and naturally solidifies during cold temperatures. Storage in warm areas such as your hot water cupboard to maintain the oil in its liquid form or only requires rubbing between your hands to return it to a liquid state. Coconut oil is a popular beauty product. It is more than just a body moisturizer it also can be used as; a makeup remover, bath oil, hand and foot treatment, hair revitalizing, scalp oil, shaving oil and more.

I know they are looking for international distributers and retailers to carry their product so readers, its a great product and shop owners.. it will move off the shelves check out Kakala Polynesian Coconut Body Oil on facebook... So true about coconut oil.

tomoh said...

Ozonated give oil.

Bookkeeping Sunshine Coast said...

This is very interesting topic on oral health.Generally, the public has never heard of this.I'm sure an increase of demand on coconut products will soon increase due to these latest discoveries.

LifeExtension said...

Bookkeeping Sunshine Coast - We're glad you liked the topic. Thanks for reading!

Scott said...

This is awesome. Coconut oil toothpaste.. yes please and please hurry! I'll be the first to buy it, especially for my family.

LifeExtension said...

Scott - We hear you! Thanks for the feedback. :)

Edward Puriski said...

I'm still understanding from you, but I'm making an attempt to achieve my ambitions. I undoubtedly enjoy studying every thing that is posted on your internet site.Keep the stories coming. I preferred it!.

LifeExtension said...

Edward Puriski - Thanks for the kind words. They really mean
a lot!

jogara jumawan said...

When I've read the blog about tooth whitening and then this is the next, I'll definitely try this in our home. East Harlem dentists

local dentist finder said...

Hey that's great! Thanks for explaining the effects of Coconut Oil and how it's helpful in dental health. I think we should have it daily :)

LifeExtension said...

local dentist finder - Our pleasure! Thanks for reading. :-)

Security Guard Training Toronto said...

Well, I would agree with the compliments here. This is really a great inspiration.

Land Rivers said...

Excellent information. Thanks for spending the time. Genuinely enjoyed the post.

LifeExtension said...

Land Rivers - Glad you liked it! Thanks for reading. :-)

RICHARD WILLIAMS said...

When i was searching some information on dental health I came across your post. I found several methods to fight against tooth decay before but your post shown me a new way. Besides using the coconut oil toothpaste people should avoid eating high sugar and high acid foods to prevent tooth decay.

LifeExtension said...

RICHARD WILLIAMS - Yes, good points!

Odontologijos Klinika Vilniuje said...

It was quite a new information to me!

Xerxes kho said...

wow! seriously? I didn't know that coconut is also a cure to prevent tooth decay. we love to eat coconut as ingredients for so many foods and there a lot a lot of uses of it. I am also interested with coconut oil toothpaste, I'll surely find that in stores near us. Thanks for the share!
Xerxes
Manhattan dental clinic

Life Extension said...

Xerxes kho - Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties. You will find that some people make their own coconut oil "tooth paste" at home. Check out YouTube.

Oral Health said...

Great post! Been reading a lot about combating tooth decay. Thanks for the info here!

Life Extension said...

Oral Health - Thanks for stopping by!

Dentist said...

This is an excellent and very well written article! Thank you.
As a dentist I know that preventing the bacteria that causes plaque is the key to good dental health. I was amazed to learn that coconut oil can actually inhibit the growth of Streptococcus bacteria. I'm definitely going to research this further.
Again, than you.

Life Extension said...

Dentist - Glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...