Burba Dental featured image

Did Coconut Oil Damage My Tooth?

I have had a small amount of decay on my tooth. I prefer natural medicine and a friend told me if I used coconut oil it would heal my cavity. I’ve been using the coconut oil for 3 weeks and now my tooth is hurting something fierce. Did the coconut oil damage my tooth?


Dear Caroline,

Woman grabbing her jaw from pain.

The coconut oil didn’t harm your tooth, but it didn’t help it either. I haven’t examined you, so this is just going on an understanding of basic dental and tooth function, but I suspect your decay went deep instead of wide and now you have a tooth infection.

Unfortunately, this is going to take more work than if you had just gone to the dentist when the decay first appeared. I realize you were doing your best to take care of your oral health based on the information your friend gave you, but that information is false.

At this point, we don’t have anything that can heal a tooth, especially something as simple as using coconut oil. If we did, we’d certainly market it. Think of how many more people would come to the dentist’s office if it meant healing their tooth instead of filling it.

To date, the only way we have of dealing with decay is to physically remove the decay. That is done with a filling, a root canal treatment, or an extraction.

Where do you go from here?

Any time there is tooth pain, it is considered a dental emergency. You don’t want to chance leaving an infection to spread. That can be very dangerous because of how close your heart, lungs, and brain are to your jaw. It is much safer to deal with it right away.

Because you prefer natural medicine, I am going to suggest you see a mercury-free dentist. This way, if you need a filling at all, it will be a composite filling, instead of an amalgam filling which is loaded with mercury.

It is always better to nip these things in the bud instead of letting it develop too far.

Best of luck to you. I’m sorry this happened. I’m sure you are very careful with your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.