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How Coconut Oil Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay

  By posted Dec 9th 2012
Healthy Living


How Coconut Oil Can Prevent Tooth Decay

The following post was contributed by Guest Blogger Shoshana Davis, who is a contributor to TopDentists.com, an online dental health resource, as well as other health and lifestyle online publications. 

It comes as no surprise to regular health food junkies that coconut oil is popping up everywhere. The healthy fat can replace butter on popcorn and can even act as a tasty supplement to your daily smoothies.  In a recent study, researchers from Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in Ireland experimented with plain coconut oil, as well as coconut oil treated with enzymes, to see if it had any effect on tooth decay. It did.

The researchers at AIT found that coconut oil is effective in destroying most strains of the bacteria  Streptococcus and especially Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that produces acid and is a common cause of tooth decay. The enzyme treated coconut oil was very successful in destroying most strains of the bacteria. The treated oil was made to represent the coconut oil after digestion.  They also proved that the enzyme treated coconut oil is successful in attacking the yeast. 

It is very important to treat and prevent tooth decay. If the condition goes untreated, it can eventually cause infection and tooth loss.  The actual mechanism for tooth decay happens when dental plaque builds up and begins to break down the tooth enamel  bit by bit. It is said that tooth decay affects between 60 to 90 percent of children and almost all adults in industrialized counties. The belief is that coconut oil will fight the bacteria in the plaque, preventing the decay.

Coconut oil is not the only food product to have shown to be helpful in keeping your mouth healthy in a partially digested form. In the past, studies have shown that an enzyme treated milk  had similar success in treating the streptococcus mutans bacteria.

The researchers mentioned in a press release that these findings could have a huge impact on the oral healthcare industry. Currently, chemicals used in mouthwashes and toothpastes kill both good and bad bacteria, leaving the mouth vulnerable. The scientists plan to find a way to use the enzyme treated coconut oil to make healthier options for consumer based oral care products.

Read more about the health benefits of coconut oil. 



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