When to Use Coconut Oil vs Essential Oils for Oral Health

Coconut cut in half

Cold sores are a common and uncomfortable ailment that can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. These painful blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and while there is no cure, there are ways to manage the symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. While there are a variety of over-the-counter treatments available, many people prefer to use natural remedies to soothe their symptoms. Two popular options are coconut oil and essential oils. But which one is best for treating cold sores?

First, it's important to understand the difference between coconut oil and essential oils. Coconut oil is a type of fat that is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. It has a semi-solid consistency at room temperature and a pleasant, tropical aroma. Coconut oil has a variety of uses, including cooking, skincare, and oral hygiene. It is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which have been shown to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, a type of saturated fat that has been shown to have antiviral and antimicrobial effects.

Essential Oils For Oral Health

In addition to helping someone naturally manage a toothache, essential oils can support oral health by reducing symptoms associated with gingivitis, freshening breath, and minimizing the growth of bad bacteria in our mouths. Ultimately, researchers consider essential oils to be “a key component in oral health management.”

Tea Tree For Cold Sores 

Essential oils may be more effective at treating cold sores once they have already appeared. Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil, have antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to kill the herpes simplex virus and speed up the healing process. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that has been shown to be effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi, including HSV. 

Peppermint Oil For Cold Sores 

Peppermint oil has a refreshing, cooling effect that can help to reduce pain and inflammation. To use essential oils for cold sores, dilute a few drops in carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply them to the affected area several times a day. It is important to continue using essential oils until the cold sore has fully healed to help prevent future outbreaks. In addition to tea tree oil and peppermint oil, there are several other essential oils that may be helpful for treating cold sores, such as eucalyptus oil, lemon balm oil, and oregano oil. As with any essential oil, it is important to use caution and to always dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying it to the gums or skin.

Coconut Oil For Cold Sores

Now, let's consider when to use coconut oil versus essential oils for cold sores.

Coconut oil is a great option for maintaining oral health and preventing cold sores. As mentioned, it has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to kill the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. Additionally, coconut oil can help to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation. It is also a natural moisturizer, so it can help to prevent dry, chapped lips that are more prone to cold sores. 

To use coconut oil for cold sores, simply apply a small amount to the affected area several times a day. You can use a cotton swab or your clean fingertips to apply the coconut oil, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after the application to prevent the spread of the virus. Coconut oil can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with other natural remedies, such as herbal remedies. It is important to continue using coconut oil until the cold sore has fully healed to help prevent future outbreaks.

Regular Oral Care To Support Overall Oral Health and Hygiene 

Ultimately, by incorporating products like our Brilliant Black Oil Pulling into your routine, and ensuring that you brush and floss regularly, you’re enabling your mouth with what it needs to ward off problems. In fact, oil pulling alone has been linked to the prevention or cure of more than thirty systemic diseases! 

So, while it’s good to know how you can treat cold sores as they arise, it’s perhaps better to know how to support your oral health so that it can beneficially impact your overall health. Your mouth is considered to be the mirror of your general health, after all, so it’s good to remember to treat it as such.

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