Why Coconut Oil Is Good for Your Teeth

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: February 13, 2023

Why Coconut Oil Is Good for Your Teeth

In this article, we will talk about how you can use this coconut oil to benefit your teeth and oral health. 

Coconut oil is good for you as it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Lauric acid present in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. All of these make them beneficial for your teeth as well. To understand how coconut oil is beneficial for oral health, let's first understand what coconut oil is and how it can be used and benefited from.  


Coconut itself is a beneficial fruit. Coconut consists of husk, shell, coconut water, and meat (kernel). The husk and shell are often used for decorative and other purposes. Coconut water is a rich source of nutrients and also helps various bodily functions. The meat is the most useful part of the coconut. It can be eaten as it is or used to make oil, cream, and milk. These products are used for various purposes.

Coconut oil is fat. Saturated fats are the major component of the fat in coconut oil. They have traces of some vitamins, nutrients, and plant sterols. They do not have cholesterol and fiber.  

Properties of Coconut

Coconut is widely accepted to be having many health benefits such as:

  • They have antibacterial properties.
  • They have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • They have ketones that help provide energy to the brain.
  • Coconut is rich in saturated fats that are necessary for the body. 
  • The fatty acid present in the oil helps it to attract lipid-coated bacteria and kill them.
  • Coconut is considered to be a good source of energy.
  • In some research, it is found to be stimulating the enzyme of the body such as salivary enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, and many more.
  • They are found beneficial to hair as they have antibacterial properties.
  • Coconut also has anti-oxidant properties.
  • It is also found useful in hormonal balance.

The oil is derived by processing the coconut meat. The oil quality depends on the process to extract it and the later procedures.

Types of Coconut Oil

In the market, there are many coconut oils available. One should choose an oil that suits their needs best. There are mainly three types of coconut oil available mentioned below:

Organic/ Unrefined Coconut Oil

It is pure coconut oil that is derived from coconuts. It is unprocessed oil. This oil has a strong smell and flavor of coconut. It is solid at room temperature. One may use it for various purposes including cooking, and oil pulling. 

Refined Coconut Oil

It is processed coconut oil. The process removes the smell and some flavor of the coconut from it. It is solid at room temperature. As this doesn't have a strong coconut flavor it is preferred by many people.  

Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil

MCTs are a type of saturated fat found in the coconut naturally. They are known to be easily absorbed and converted into energy. They do not need a high amount of bile and other enzymes to digest and absorb. It is liquid at room temperature. This makes them favorable for consumption. It might not be the most preferred choice for oil pulling. 

One can either buy coconut oil from the market or can make their own at home. 

To Prepare The Oil At Home:

  • First, Grate some coconut meat.
  • Add some water to the grated coconut and blend it in a processor or mixing machine. 
  • Now use a muslin or cotton cloth to separate the milk-like water from the mixture in a bowl. For this, put some blended coconut mixture in the cloth and tie it, then squeeze it properly to remove all the liquid. Once you drain all the water, the solid crumbles remain.
  • Add this solid coconut meat crumbles into a pan and put it on heat. Heat this on medium to high flame till the oil separates from the crumbles. These crumbles will turn golden. Keep stirring the mixture in between this separating process. 
  • Once you see them separated, use a strainer or colander to separate the mixture. Once you strain the oil, you can store it in a container in a cold dark place for longer shelf life. 

It has many uses, varying from cooling to hair, skin, and even oral health. We will take a deeper look into the oral health benefits of coconut oil.

What is Oral Health?

Our mouth consists of the oral membrane of the mouth, teeth, tongue, gums, tonsils, and jaw structure. All these parts have their distinctive as well as some common functions. The mouth is the first opening for ingestion of food and fluids, it must be taken care of properly. Any problem in the mouth can cause various issues throughout the body.

The things you do to take care of your mouth are called oral health maintenance. This oral maintenance includes brushing, using mouthwash, and flossing your teeth. Apart from these, you can also use oil pulling especially using coconut oil. Oil pulling is found to be very effective to maintain good oral health. Coconut nut oil can also be very beneficial.

The Harm Of Poor Oral Health

The mouth is an important part of the digestive system, which is necessary for the functional system of the body. Any issue in this system can cause a major risk to the body. The mouth is the opening of the system, food, and fluids enter the body through there only. Taking good care of the mouth that is the oral health is extremely important. Lack of care can cause the following issues: 

Oral Thrush

Thrush is a condition where your body part is affected by a yeast infection. It is characterized by white rashes in the affected area. It is caused by a type of yeast called candida fungus. Our body naturally has some amount of this fungus in the body. It causes no harm as it is under control due to the presence of other bacteria and fungi and other maintaining factors. However, due to many conditions, this control is lost, and this fungus can grow and causes rashes and other side effects. 

The thrush that takes place in the mouth that is the oral cavity is called oral thrush. It is also known as oral candidiasis based on the fungus causing it. As mentioned, the cause of oral thrush is the imbalance of controlling factors. There are many reasons which can cause this. Some of the reasons are diseases, stress, and smoking. 

One might suffer the following symptoms if they have oral thrush:

  • White rashes on the mouth
  • Dry and red crack in the corner of the lips
  • Red tongue
  • Irritation and Inflation in the gums
  • In severe conditions, it can cause difficulty in swallowing along with severe fever.

Periodontal Disease

It is a disease that affects your gums. The plaque or the yellowish-white substance that settles at the base of teeth can cause this. Due to this disease, the bacteria present in the plaque travel to the inner layers of the gums beneath the tooth. They affect the gums and make them red and swollen. If left untreated they can cause the bone, which grips the tooth with the gums, to lose its hold. It causes the loose of the tooth.  

Periodontal disease happens in four stages, each with increasing effects. They are as mentioned below: 


It is the very early stage of periodontal disease. At this stage, the gums become red and swollen. The Plaque formation has just started and is not severe. This condition can be easily treated with a proper oral hygiene routine. 

Mild Periodontitis

When the gingivitis is left untreated it turns into mild periodontitis. Here, the gums lose the bone (grip) with the tooth. It gives the plaque chance to penetrate the layer of the gums. 

Moderate Periodontitis

Here the condition worsens more when not treated. Here the bone loses its grip even more, and the tooth may start to move a little. The gums become sore and very red. It might even bleed a little when it is touched roughly. 

Severe Periodontitis

In this condition, the gums lose bone completely, and the tooth is loose. The tooth can fall apart, leading to exposed gums attracting bacteria and other diseases. This condition can spread to the gums in the surrounding. It increases the chances of getting infected by bacteria and plaque. 


It is commonly known as Bad breath. It is also known by the name of fetor oris. In this condition, the person suffers from bad breath. It is a very common problem. It is found to be having a deep psychological impact on the person. A severe case can lead to anxiety. One can avoid it with a proper oral hygiene routine. If the problem remains one should consult a dentist to see the cause and get treated accordingly. 

There are many causes of bad breath. The major ones are mentioned below:

  • Poor oral hygiene: If you do not take your oral hygiene routine seriously such issues will happen. It is because the food, bacteria, and dry mouth can cause the mouth to smell if not cleaned in time. 
  • Food: Often food is stuck to the teeth in the mouth. If the food remains there for a longer period they produce a foul smell.
  • Disease: Many diseases can cause the mouth to smell. It can be a bacterial infection, inflammation, issues in the gums, and even hereditary disease.  
  • Dry mouth: Saliva has a cleaning and maintenance property. It helps to keep the mouth naturally clean and prevent some of the problems such as bacterial growth. 
  • Smoking and Tobacco: Smoking and Tabacco have many drawbacks. One of those is the smell they leave behind. Excessive use can cause severe odor issues. 

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Oral Health

There are some vital benefits that coconut oil provides. These benefits can be more effective with regular use along with other oral hygiene practices in your routine can be very helpful.


The cell wall of bacteria is made up of lipids (type of fat). By nature, lipids are attracted to oil. Thus, when you swish coconut oil in your mouth, the bacteria get attracted to it and stick with it. It helps to remove the bacteria that can cause harm to the mouth. It prevents the growth of bacteria which might cause many problems such as infection in the gums, throat infection, ulcers in the mouth, and bad breath. 


A dry mouth can cause various issues such as bad breath, rashes, itching, and cracks near the corner of the lips. Coconut oil can help to deal with this problem. It not only helps to hydrate the mouth and lips but also stimulates salivary enzymes. It promotes saliva formation that hydrates the mouth and keeps the bacteria in check. 


It is because naturally, coconut has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. It definitely can work to your advantage to protect your gums and the muscles of the mouth. Regular use can benefit the person a lot and avoid many conditions such as bad breath and some bacterial infections in the mouth and throat. 

Oil can provide a protective layer around the teeth and gums. It gives them protection from foreign harm or attack. Although it is not as strong as the protection that toothpaste gives you, it is good for you. 

Strengthen Your Jaw, Gums, And Teeth

When you swish coconut oil in your mouth it puts the jaw and muscles of the mouth at work. It strengthens them. The oil also makes the gums disinfected and thus protecting and strengthening them.

Oil Pulling

This concept of utilizing oil to maintain good teeth and oral health is nothing new. This procedure of using oil in the mouth is called oil pulling. In oil pulling, one has to use a small amount of oil and swish it in their mouth just like a mouthwash. Oil pulling is an ancient practice in India, it is used to clean your mouth. It is said to fight the bacteria in the mouth, whiten the teeth, and promote oral health.

Oil pulling is generally practiced using sesame oil or coconut oil. Most people prefer to use coconut oil, as it has antimicrobial properties and it tastes slightly better than sesame oil. Indulging oil pulling in your routine of oral hygiene can be very beneficial in long run. 

Oil pulling can be simply explained as putting some oil in the mouth, swishing, and gargling it in the mouth through the tongue and teeth. 

Importance of Oil Pulling

Our mouth is the opening source of food for the body. Through our mouth, the food enters the body and reaches the digestive tract to digest and provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Thus any bacteria present in the mouth may travel with the food into your digestive system and cause problems. Hence, it is crucial to keep the hygiene of the mouth intact. 

The bacteria in the mouth can cause problems with teeth and gums. In gums, it can cause bleeding, infection, and even plaque formation. In teeth, it can lead to tooth decaying and weakening grip with the gums. 

Bacteria accommodation in the mouth can cause bad breath. Thus, it can help you fight bacteria and maintain good breath. It can boost your confidence. The bacteria and microbe present in the mouth can affect the muscles in the mouth. Thus, oil pulling can help you tackle this issue. 

Benefits of Oil Pulling

There are many benefits of oil pulling. They are as follows: 

Promotes Gum Health

Oil pulling can promote the health of the gums. It helps to eliminate the bacteria and microbes present in the gums. 

This is important can these microbes can cause bleeding, infection, and even plaque formation. It is characteristic for bacteria to attack the gums and infect them. If this infection is left untreated, it can cause severe infection and even cause bleeding and aches in the gums. Plaque is the white substance that settles on the base of teeth on the gum. 


The bacteria, if not cleaned from the teeth, can cause decaying teeth. It can lead to aching teeth. One may need to get the cavity scrapped or filled. If left untreated, it can lead to complete decaying. It can lead to a situation where the teeth have to be extracted completely. 

Oil pulling can help you eliminate the bacteria and thus promote healthy teeth. 

Good Breath

If the bacteria remain in the mouth, they can use the breath to have a stale smell. Also, many other reasons can cause bad breath such as some food, smoking, dry mouth, infection, and many more. It can have social and psychological impacts on the person. If the problem is stretched, it can have major problems. Thus, using oil pulling can help you with this issue. 

Avoids Infection

When bacteria are present in the gums or muscles of the mouth cavity, they can cause infection. This infection hinders the normal functioning of the mouth. These functions include ingestion of food, respiration, chewing of food, and the ability to speak. 


It is found that the saliva and tongue can sometimes be involved in excreting toxins out of the body. Hence, detoxifying the body. If the bacteria affects the process it can be harmful. This oil-pulling and tongue scraping are considered healthy practices for detoxification.

How To Perform Oil Pulling?

Now that we know the benefits and importance of oil pulling, let's understand how it is done. It is suggested to perform oil pulling in the morning as it is found to be more effective, and can enhance the tasting ability. It is most effective when done empty stomach. 

There is debate on whether to brush teeth before or after the oil pulling. It is said as oil pulling before brushing teeth can help it impact better and effectively. But, it is also said that if you brush the oil away it benefits. Thus you can choose the method that suits your routine and needs. 


  1. First, take one tablespoon of oil and put it in your mouth.
  2. Chew it for some seconds, and then swish it and gargle it for about 15-20 minutes. If you are doing it for the first time, start with 3-5 minutes and gradually increase the time. It is because directly jumping into intense 15-20 minutes can hurt your muscles and jaw. 
  3. Spit the oil out in the sink or dustbin. This oil would be more liquid and white. 
  4. Now rinse your mouth with clean water. It will ensure that no residue is left. 

You can carry on with your oral hygiene routine after this. You can do this routine anywhere and at any time. It can be done while in the shower, casually strolling in the house, standing near the sink, or even reading a book. 

How Does This Work?

The bacteria are of single cells, or maybe some have more than one cell. These cells are made up of lipids. When the oil comes in contact with the bacteria, the lipid is naturally attracted to it and binds to the oil. Thus, swishing for some time can help you with the elimination of the bacteria naturally. 

Who Should Avoid Using Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil?

Those who have allergies to coconut and coconut oil should avoid doing it. It can cause more harm than benefits. If you see any allergic reaction or problems after using oil pulling immediately contact the doctors. If you have an aching jaw or some other problems, avoid oil pulling as it puts pressure on the jaw.

Children should avoid using oil pulling. It is because they can easily swallow it. Also, it puts pressure on their jaw, which might not be always good. 

Things To Take Care Of While Oil Pulling

One should wash and brush their mouth properly after oil pulling to make sure it's clean. Make sure to not swallow it. If a small amount of oil is swallowed it can easily be excreted, but a large amount can be harmful. This is because the oil does not have many bacteria and direct ingestion into the digestive tract can cause problems. 

Oil-Pulling Products

There are many products available in the market for oil pulling. They claim to best options and are infused with so many other good oils and components to promote oral health. You can avoid the hassle of choosing an oil by opting for simple sesame, or coconut oil. But some people may find its taste and smell unpleasing and thus opt for other oils infused with these two oils. 

However, there may be some that are not as good as they suggest. Picking a proper oil can be tricky if you don't pay attention to the details. Always make sure that the oil has one of these oils (sesame or coconut). Make sure they don't use other oils that are harmful to you or have bad fats.


Coconut has many properties that can help our bodies in various ways. These benefits can be to your skin, hair, organs, and even your mouth. Coconut has many useful products one such product is coconut oil. It is available in many types such as organic, processed, and MCTs.

Coconut oil is one of the most preferred oils for oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice of swishing oil in the mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spitting it out. This is said to aid oral hygiene. Coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and is thus used to eliminate the bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria can cause problems such as gum infection, tooth decay, bad breath, and problems in the muscles of the mouth. 

Oil pulling can help you deal with these problems and thus can be very effective. One can easily include it in their daily oral hygiene routine.


  • “Oil Pulling 101: How to Oil Pull & the Science Behind It” by banyan botanicals
  • “What to know about coconut oil” by medical news today
  • “20 Coconut Oil Benefits for Your Brain, Heart, Joints + More!” by Dr. Axe of ancient nutrition
  • “Should you try oil pulling?” by WebMD
  • “Magical health benefits of virgin coconut oil” by PharmaEasy
  • “Coconut: Are there health benefits?” by WebMD
  • “What is oral thrush?” by WebMD
  • “Periodontitis” by Cleveland Clinic
  • “Everything you need to know about bad breath” by Medical News Today
  • “Does coconut oil pulling have oral health benefits” by University General Dentists



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