Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Dental & Oral Health

Get Email Updates

Dental & Oral Health Guide

Christine Jeffries

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Coconut Oil: Tooth Decay's New Enemy

By Katie Meakem
 
Rate This
Coconut Oil: Tooth Decay's New Enemy 3 5 29
meet tooth decay's new enemy coconut oil
PS Productions/Photospin

Coconut oil is used in hair care and skin care products and now scientists are saying that it could be used in dental care products to fight tooth decay.

Researchers from the Athlone Institue of Technology in Ireland said that coconut oil treated with enzymes blocked the growth of the main cause of tooth decay, streptococcus bacteria.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth create acids that decay teeth, according to WebMD.com.

Bacteria feed on sugars in food, make acids and then the acids attack your teeth for at least 20 minutes after eating.

Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of 2-5 years old in the United States and about half of all children have had decay, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers tested the effects of coconut oil along with vegetable oil and olive oil. The oils were then treated with enzymes to create a process similar to digestion and tested against streptococcus bacteria, BBC reported.

According to the researchers, only the coconut oil treated with enzymes stopped the growth of most strains of streptococcus bacteria.

Coconut oil is made up of mostly saturated fats, but its 60 percent concentration of medium chain fatty acids is what makes it different from the other oils.

Also, when lauric acid, a fatty acid in the coconut oil, is digested it converts into monolaurin, which is helpful in fighting harmful bacteria, reported Organicfacts.net.

The ability of the enzymes to transform the coconut oil into an active acid was what was thought to stop the growth of the bacteria, but the enzyme-altered oil’s exact mechanism is unknown.

The properties of coconut oil make it a wonderful oil to cook with, nourish your hair and fight bacteria in your mouth. The possibilities are numerous with this oil and researchers are taking notice.

Sources:

Virgin Coconut Oil.Retrieved September 4, 2012.
http://www.thevirgincoconutoil.com/articleitem.php?articleid=163

Tooth Decay – Topic Overview. Webmd.com. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/tooth-decay-topic-overview

Coconut oil could combat tooth decay.Retrieved September 4, 2012.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Marielaina Perrone DDS Blogger

Excellent research. Look forward to seeing products come to market.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dental Implants

October 6, 2012 - 10:35am
MichellePaulson

Scientist have revealed that coconut oil had been treated with enzymes which is good for tooth decay. coconut oil has been found to be a "natural antibiotic" that combats tooth decay.

October 7, 2012 - 9:35pm
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1636 Health

Changed

609 Lives

Saved

456 Lives
1 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do you see a dentist regularly?:
View Results