Scientists have discovered that digested coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that could be incorporated into dental care products.
The team of Irish scientists, from the Athlone Institute of Technology, tested enzyme-treated coconut oils against strains of Streptococcus bacteria. One form of Streptococcus, Streptococcus mutans, is the acid-producing bacterium that causes tooth decay.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil
After the tests were conducted, enzyme-modified coconut oil was found to strongly inhibit the growth of S. mutans.The oil diminishes the binding of S. mutans to tooth enamel, thus limiting the destructive ability of the bacterium.
The study suggests that enzyme-modified coconut oil has the potential to become a marketable asset to the oral healthcare industry. The oil could become a natural alternative to chemicals, as well as offer other positive attributes, as noted by lead researcher, Dr. Damien Brady: “[w]ith increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
Further work will examine how coconut oil interacts with Streptococcus bacteria at the molecular level, as well as how it affects other harmful bacteria and yeasts.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Stewart and his staff pride themselves on their awareness of cutting-edge research, such as the benefits of coconut oil in preventing tooth decay. Until coconut oil is available over the counter, however, you should continue with your usual oral care regimen: brush twice daily, floss daily, and visit your Livonia dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning. Call our Livonia dentist office today to set up an appointment 734-425-4400. We serve families in Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and surrounding areas.