Many natural living enthusiasts adopt practices that use natural extract instead of going for manufactured chemicals. Dentistry has a fair share of these people too, who advocate coconut oil for dental hygiene. Well, we are not in the dark about the potential health benefits of using coconut oil. However, should you go about swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes daily? Does this act of “oil pulling” with coconut oil have any benefits, or is it just another useless trend? Let’s explore all these questions and discuss the benefits of coconut oil for our teeth.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut. This oil is concentrated in saturated fats, making it one of the world’s richest plant-based sources of saturated fats.
One type of fat known as lauric acid is of particular interest to us. This is because this fat has excellent antimicrobial properties. Moreover, about half of coconut oil comprises lauric acid, so you can expect good antimicrobial properties from the whole solution.
Nonetheless, with so many types available in the market, many prefer to use oil that has better taste with limited processing for dental remedies. Therefore, most people try to use extra virgin coconut oil for the practice of oil pulling.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian ayurvedic remedy that has resurfaced in recent times with many proponents. All you need to do is swish vegetable oil around in your mouth for 15-20 mins daily. Oil pulling with coconut oil can supposedly help you get rid of several dental issues, such as cavities, gingivitis, and halitosis (bad breath). Let’s discuss what research says about these claims.
What Does Research Say About The Benefit Of Coconut Oil For Your Teeth?
Research so far has shown that coconut oil is effective against S.mutans. These bad bacteria are found in saliva, and they are quick to feast on any food remnants stuck in between your teeth. Their feasting releases acid that causes tooth decay. Therefore, coconut oil may help to control cavities in your mouth. A few pieces of research testing this hypothesis yielded interesting results. That is, researchers found out that coconut oil was as efficient as chlorhexidine (mouth wash).
However, that’s not all; 60 individuals with plaque-induced gingivitis were asked to try out coconut oil. After a month of use, there was a notable reduction in gingivitis. This suggested that coconut oil is effective against plaque buildup. Essentially, it is suggested that coconut oil can weaken plaque adhesion to the teeth making it easier to remove.
A few pieces of research also yielded similar results with halitosis. However, while the results are optimistic, we still need more studies to determine its effect. This is mainly because many current studies had weak structures, such as a small sample size or no control groups.
However, do you know what will never fail you? A regular visit to the dentist’s office. It’s always beneficial, so feel free to visit Bayside Dental. You can call us at 979-330-4113 to learn more about how we can help you out.