Could coconut oil put an end to tooth decay?

We Brits aren't known for our fabulous teeth but a discovery by scientists could put that reputation behind us.

Coconut oil combats tooth decay
Coconut oil combats tooth decay

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Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland have found that coconut oil is a powerful killer when it comes to the bacterium that cause tooth decay.

The bacterium called Steptococcus mutans feeds on the sugar in our diets and clings to the tooth enamel, producing acid that eventually causes them to rot.

But when scientists treated coconut oil with digestive enzymes, it became a potent killer of the bug.

Leader research Dr Damien Brady told the Society for General Microbiology at their autumn conference: "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60 to 90 per cent of children and the majority of adults in industrialised 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."

Dr Brady revealed that he is now planning a range of experiments designed to check whether the enzyme-treated coconut oil could combat other bugs.

What do you think? Will we soon be waving goodbye to fresh mint and saying hello to cool coconut toothpaste? Leave your comments below...