Coconut oil is well known for its health-boosting abilities. It is extremely popular for keeping hair and skin looking healthy. Did you know that it has been used for centuries to assist in dental health? Ayurvedic medicine has used the popular oil to clean and whiten teeth, get rid of bad breath, and heal gums.
Let’s take a look at how coconut oil can benefit your oral health.
1. Removal of bacteria
Coconut oil contains antibacterial properties and especially works hard against the oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. This bacterium often leads to the decaying of teeth. When used in oil pulling twice a week, studies have shown a significant decrease in oral bacteria. Oil pulling is where you take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swoosh it around your mouth for about 5 minutes. What it is doing during that period is pulling bacteria into it and away from your gums and teeth. When you are done you spit it in the trash and brush your teeth as usual.
2. Reduces plaque and gum disease
When your gums become inflamed, this is known as gingivitis. By doing oil pulling with coconut oil, as described above, you can prevent plaque from building up on the teeth as well as prevent gum disease which leads to the complete loss of teeth.
3. Reduce bad breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a very common oral health issue. There are certain medical conditions that can cause halitosis, but if you have poor oral hygiene this can cause it as well. A big cause of this is that over time, if not taken care of, your teeth start to decay. A film can then form over your tongue and bacteria can start to build. All of this contributes to bad breath. If you use the oil pulling technique, then it will reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and improve your oral health dramatically.
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4. Helps receding gums
When it comes to receding gums, the danger is that your teeth are left unprotected, and you are at a higher risk for tooth decay, sensitivity, and tooth loss. There are many things that cause gums to recede, and they are:
- Misaligned teeth
- Badly fitted dentures
- Teeth grinding
- Aggressive brushing
- Gum disease due to plaque buildup
Even though it is impossible to get back the gum tissue that you have lost, you can stop it from happening further. By doing oil pulling with coconut oil once or twice a week, you are getting rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth and preventing the gums from receding further.
Coconut Oil for Oral Health
Coconut oil contains lauric acid which kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. Adding this to your dental hygiene routine will leave your gums healthy and happy.
Coconut oil can most definitely be used to improve oral health, but it should never replace your everyday oral hygiene practice. You should make sure that you are brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste as well as eating a nutritious diet. It is also highly recommended that if you smoke, you find a way to quit. Smoking highly decreases oral health as it weakens the gums.
When it comes to coconut oil and oral health, oil pulling with it once or twice a week is a beneficial habit to add to your personal hygiene routine. Remember not to swallow the coconut oil but spit it somewhere like your toilet or even into a paper towel, where you can then throw it in the trash. You will be amazed by the quick results.