Recent research done at the Athlone Institute of Technology studied the effects of several natural oils on common bacteria found in the mouth. And to no one’s surprise coconut oil came out as the big winner.
These new findings were a follow up study of earlier work that showed digested milk made it harder for Streptococcus mutans to stick to tooth enamel.
Enzyme-modified Coconut Oil, The Toothpaste of The FutureScientists found that when the oil was treated with digestive enzymes it effectively inhibits the growth of the majority of bacteria found in our mouth, S. mutans included.
S. mutans is an acid-producing bacteria that plays a major role in tooth decay, affecting 60 to 90 percent of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries.
While coconut oil’s bacteria fighting properties is nothing new, further studies presented at the Autumn meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick, suggested that enzyme-treated coconut oil may be a potential killer to the yeast Candida albicans, which causes thrush.
“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. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection,” said lead researcher Dr Damien Brady, from the Athlone Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland.
Not only will their research mean a lot to our oral health, they are also looking into the effects of digested products, such as coconut oil, on our overall gut health.
“Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health,” said Dr Brady.
How To Use Coconut Oil For better Oral HealthHave you ever thought of using a spoonful of coconut oil to clean your teeth and improve overall oral health? Then now may be the time. It doesn’t contain fluoride and is so much more effective at doing the job than regular toothpaste or mouth wash.
Oil pullingSwish a spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to not swallow the oil as it contains all the nasty mouth bugs. Spit it out in the bin and rinse teeth with water.
Tooth Paste RecipeHere’s the all-natural tooth paste we use at home…
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2-3 tablespoons baking soda
- 15-30 drops of peppermint essential oil
Sources: BBC news, The Telegraph, and Wellness Mama