5 Best Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Teeth

Using coconut oil for teeth is known as Oil pulling, Kavala, or Gundusha. Coconut oil is nothing but swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes.

Here comes a question why only coconut oil for teeth? Many people use coconut oil due to its favorable taste, antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory powerhouse.

The major objective of oil pulling is to remove harmful bacteria from your teeth that cause plaque. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is effective in killing the bacteria related to tooth decay. It is different from other oils because it is a medium-chain fatty acid1.

1. How to Use Coconut Oil for Teeth?

Coconut Oil for Teeth
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Let us tell you four simple steps for using coconut oil for teeth.

  1. Measure one to two tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Swish the coconut oil on your teeth for around 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to swallow the coconut oil into your mouth.
  3. Spit the coconut oil into the trash or a tissue, do not swallow the coconut oil, as you be swallowing bacteria. Please do not spit in a sink as it will lead to a buildup and may lead to clogging into the pipe.
  4. After completing the process of oil pulling, rinse your mouth with warm water and then go ahead with normal brushing your teeth.

Use the process of coconut oil for teeth four to five times a week to get the best results. At first, it might be difficult for one to swish the coconut oil into your mouth for a long time. You can start doing it for a couple of minutes and gradually increase the time duration.

2. Benefits of Coconut Oil for Teeth

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Oil pulling is an ancient process that majorly focuses on removing the bacteria from the mouth and improving the mouth’s dental health—listing down six benefits or facts about using coconut oil for teeth.

2.1. Kills Harmful Bacteria

As per dental research, there are 300 bacteria found in an individual’s mouth at any given point in time of the day.

Certainly, these harmful bacteria can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases2. 60% of people use mouth wash or coconut oil to rinse their mouth to reduce the bacteria from the saliva.

2.2. Eliminating Bad Breath

Bad breath is also called Halitosis, and is usually caused by the smell of the chemicals produced by the harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Bad breath may also be caused due to gum diseases, poor oral hygiene, infections, dry mouth, use of tobacco products3, and tongue coating. Bad breath can be treated by proper brushing and tongue cleaning habits, having a professional dental clean-up, or by swishing the coconut oil on teeth. The type of treatment performed will depend on the cause of bad breath.

2.3. Helps in Preventing Cavities

Poor oral hygiene and eating sugar in excess amounts can cause tooth decay, leading to tooth cavities.

Plaque is the sticky, bacterial film that forms on the surface of the teeth when the bacteria in the saliva of the mouth mixes with starchy or sugary food items. If this plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, it hardens to form tartar. This may result in the formation of decay and dental cavities.

Some researchers have shown that Coconut oil for teeth or oil pulling reduces the harmful bacteria found in saliva.

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2.4. Prevents Gingivitis

Cavities and other harmful bacteria are also removed with the help of Coconut oil teeth. The bacteria that cause plaque can also lead to Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

If you are using coconut oil for teeth, and following a regular brushing or flossing protocol, and you are still, having problems with your teeth or gums, you need to visit a dentist for a routine checkup.

Gingivitis4 is a serious dental condition. It is a type of periodontal or gum disease and if left untreated, it may lead to tooth loss. If you notice any symptoms of gingivitis, such as red, swollen, tender, receding gums that bleed easily, immediately consult your dentist.

2.5. Can be Easily Added to Your Routine

The biggest benefit of coconut oil teeth and oil pulling is that you can easily add it to your daily regime. In addition to that coconut oil pulling requires only one ingredient you can easily find in your kitchen.

2.5.1. Other Benefits

There are various other advantages of coconut oil for teeth. Coconut oil pulling has an anti-inflammatory property5. Furthermost, oil pulling has anecdotal evidence that helps in naturally whitening your teeth. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties too.

Coconut Oil for Teeth
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3. All the Risks and Side Effects

Coconut oil is not dangerous for teeth but has minor side effects for oil pulling. When you do the oil pulling for the first time, you might have a sensation of feeling nauseous. Other side effects may be a headache, sore jaw, and tooth sensitivity.

People who are allergic to coconut or coconut oil, do not try this technique. Coconut oil for teeth does not replace brushing teeth and other oral hygiene techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Long Does Coconut Oil Take to Work on Teeth?

Coconut oil may aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Begin with simply 5 minutes per day. Swishing for 20 minutes is a long period, and while the longer you pull, the more bacteria you’ll eliminate, 5 or 10 minutes will still provide some benefit.

2. Can I Use Coconut Oil on My Teeth on A Daily Basis?

You can use coconut oil to whiten your teeth every day if you like, but most people only do it a few times a week. If you don’t want to swish the oil in your mouth, you can apply it to your toothbrush and clean your teeth instead.

3. Is It Important to Clean My Teeth After Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling does not require brushing your teeth because it removes food and bacteria from the mouth. But, brushing afterward is necessary to ensure that all of the poisons pulled out of the mouth are removed.


Coconut oil for teeth is a very simple and easy way to reduce cavities, germs, harmful bacteria, gingivitis, and bad breath. Using coconut oil for teeth is generally considered a low-risk method but could be unsafe in the following conditions:

  • If you swallow the coconut oil after 15-20 minutes of the process.
  • If you are allergic to coconut.

Consult your dentist before adding coconut oil to your daily dental regime.

Read more from us here.

Proofreaded by:

Dr. Foram Bhuta

Dentist (B.D.S)

  1. Aoyama, Tosiaki, Naohisa Nosaka, and Michio Kasai. “Research on the nutritional characteristics of medium-chain fatty acids.” The Journal of Medical Investigation 54.3, 4 (2007): 385-388. ↩︎
  2. Roberts‐Thompson, Kaye F., and A. John Spencer. “Public knowledge of the prevention of dental decay and gum diseases.” Australian dental journal 44.4 (1999): 253-258. ↩︎
  3. McMillen, Robert, Jeomi Maduka, and Jonathan Winickoff. “Use of emerging tobacco products in the United States.” Journal of environmental and public health 2012 (2012). ↩︎
  4. Page, Roy C. “Gingivitis.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology 13.5 (1986): 345-355. ↩︎
  5. Varma, Sandeep R., et al. “In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 9.1 (2019): 5-14. ↩︎

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