Coconut Oil and Sea Salt for Improved Oral Health
Dr. Niloufar Molayem is a well-respected holistic dentist in Pasadena, CA, who has gained a reputation for protecting the overall health of her patients, without the use of dental procedures that employ toxic materials. Contact Dr. Molayem for a consultation or to learn more here.
Living a holistic lifestyle doesn’t always mean buying everything that has an organic seal on it. Often, I come across products labeled as organic or holistic that list ingredients that are not meant to optimize health and, on the contrary, have the opposite effect. Sometimes, what you have at home in your kitchen cabinet is all you need.
My practice philosophy is founded on long term care for my patients. This means giving constant education about gum disease, as the health of the gums is the foundation of oral health. Nowadays, the vast majority of the population suffers from either gingivitis or periodontal gum disease. Whichever category you fall under, and even if you are one of the lucky ones who maintains healthy gums, you should add two things to your bathroom routine that are probably in your kitchen cabinet…coconut oil and sea salt.
I clearly remember the first time I used coconut oil. I bought it because all three of my little girls brought home from school the lovely gift of head lice. I was advised by someone to put the coconut oil in their hair and brush the lice out. That began my love story with coconut oil. I began using it to fix almost anything, just like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding used Windex to fix all wounds and scratches. I became the coconut oil lady. My friends know that my answer for everything is to put coconut oil in it, around it or over it. The coconut oil had worked its way from a hair detangler, to a makeup remover, to diaper rash cream and then to a gum rubbing cream. I started to make recommendations to my patients to routinely rub it on their gums or commit to oil pulling. The results were as I thought, and I noticed an improvement in many of my patients’ periodontal health. Patients were happy to do it. It was soothing with healing properties. The patients even picked up brushing and flossing more often because their gums were not so tender anymore. Improved home care resulted in firm, healthy gums.
Sea Salt was a different journey, as I was raised with it. Any time my sisters and I had a sore throat or a sore in our mouth, my mom had us swish or gargle with sea salt. I knew of the anti-septic properties long before dental school, but that’s when it was confirmed. One of my instructors had a research study done on the effects of sea salt on periodontal gum disease and the findings were miraculous. The research study showed that sea salt eradicated bacteria that causes periodontal gum disease. In my practice, I advise my patients to rinse with sea salt every time they experience acute flare-ups of gum disease, which show up as bleeding gums. I also have started to recommend rinsing with sea salt three days before and three days after deep cleanings. I do not recommend long-term use of sea salt as an oral rinse though and that’s where coconut oil can be used. Nevertheless, bottom line is that if you brush and floss properly every day you don’t need to do anything else, but most people fall short and that’s when these products come in handy.