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Coconut Oil May Inhibit Bacteria Growth, Preventing Tooth Decay

Dentists have long encouraged the use of fluoride to prevent cavities and tooth decay. But several studies have also found that other things, such as lollipops, raisins, licorice root and gum, may also help in the fight against tooth decay. And now, a new study is suggesting that coconut oil could also combat tooth decay and could be used in a variety of dental care products.

Scientists from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland found that coconut oil which had been treated with enzymes stopped the growth of Streptococcus bacteria–a major cause of tooth decay. Presenting their findings at the Society for General Microbiology ‘s Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick , the researchers said coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that could easily be incorporated into commercial dental care products.

Because upwards of 90 percent of children in industrialized countries are faced with tooth decay, the scientists believe the findings are especially significant.

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