coconut oil

Reap the Potential Benefits of Coconut Oil

February 11th, 2016

cYou may have heard about oil pulling in the news, on blogs, or from friends. This latest trend is actually an old Indian oral therapy dating back 3,000 years! It's an inexpensive practice that involves the gentle swishing of approximately 1 tablespoon of oil through the teeth for about 10 minutes daily before rinsing out. However, it should be well noted that this procedure should never replace brushing, flossing, and other daily dental habits.

Research has found that coconut oil may be effective in keeping our mouths healthy. It was tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which are often found in the oral cavity and aid in producing acids that cause tooth decay. The study reported that the oil was able to fight off cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. A beneficial ingredient of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents that help defeat gingivitis, plaque, and microbes that cause bad breath.

Not to mention, recently, there has been news of individuals using coconut oil as toothpaste (for both humans and pets!). The suggested reasons behind this trend are that coconut oil does not contain harmful antibacterial chemicals, for example triclosan, which are sometimes found in traditional toothpastes. These harmful chemicals have raised concerns about antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. In addition, coconut oil is believed to help maintain a healthier balance of lipids on your tongue in comparison to some toothpastes. Toothpastes often contain chemicals that create the foam-like texture of the toothpaste, including sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). These chemicals interfere with phospholipids found on the tongue, which as a result can create a bitter taste in your mouth. Research has found that SLS may even negatively impact the health of individuals with recurring canker sores. However, further research is needed to prove the effectiveness of using coconut oil as toothpaste.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


What Is Oil-pulling?

March 23rd, 2014

olive oilThe latest dentistry-related craze to hit social media has been an article on the miraculous benefits of "oil-pulling" on oral health.  Some articles claim that this new fad can even eliminate acne and eczema, cures hang-overs, aids in sleep problems, and helps alleviate general pain.  Could oil-pulling be a new cure-all health practice or is it just another pseudoscience fad?

Oil-pulling is an ancient folk practice originating from India.  Essentially, this practice entails swishing a tablespoon of any cold pressed, vegetable-based oil like coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.

If you haven't seen any of these articles yet, here are a few of the dentistry-related claims they make:

  • Removes bacteria and toxins in your mouth and lymph system
  • Re-mineralizes teeth
  • Strengthens gums
  • Whitens teeth naturally
  • Reduces bad breath

Groups of bloggers and scientific researchers have both been questioning the validity of all these claims.  Although there is some scientific literature supporting some of the claimed benefits of oil-pulling, the research does not lend any clear substantial support.  In fact, some report that a placebo effect is actually taking place.

An online community of doctors called Science Based Medicine state that "oil pulling for general health or any other indication is pure pseudoscience."  Other scientists and medical practitioners are choosing to take a more middle-ground stance on this practice.  Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist, agrees that maintaining proper oral health is essential to be healthy overall and that oil-pulling is just another (and not necessarily crucial) method of maintaining healthy teeth.  Studies have shown that coconut oil does indeed remove harmful bacteria from your mouth.  However, research has also shown that oil-pulling is not much better than regular mouthwash in removing harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The verdict?  It would best be advised that people should remain cautious to believe and try everything they read online through social media.  Although oil-pulling might have some health benefits, it seems that there is not enough scientific support to back up all of its claims.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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Coconut Oil Can Help Fight Tooth Decay

March 14th, 2014

coconut oil
Did you know that coconut oil acts as a natural antibiotic when digested? Did you also know that it kills the bacteria responsible for tooth decay?
It's true! There's also evidence to suggest that the antibiotic part of the oil can be added to oral hygiene products.

Dr. Damien Brady and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are responsible for these findings. They set out to see if the natural antibiotic in coconut oil could be used to fight strains of streptococcus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouth and responsible for tooth decay.

The researchers tested the impact of coconut oil, vegetable oil and olive oil in their natural states and when treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion.  The oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. Only the enzyme-modified coconut oil showed an ability to halted most strains of bacteria from reproducing. It also attacked Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium which is a major cause of tooth decay.

Test studies have also found that semi-digested coconut oil kills Candida albicans, a yeast that causes thrush. The scientists think that enzyme-modified coconut oil, meaning in its semi-digested state, could possibly have antimicrobial properties in oral healthcare, specially in hygiene products.

The research gave some insight into the workings of antibacterial activity in the human gut. "Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health," said Dr Brady.

Dr. Brady said: "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations."

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    Drs. Ali & Ali are happy to answer any questions you may have about this exciting new discovery! Or, if you have a different question or concern, don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

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