Essential oils was used in ancient times for oral health. It is only recently that science has caught up with the flow and found that essential oils are in fact safe and effective. Unfortunately, there isn’t much finding for therapies that are plant-based, making it difficult for research to be carried out on the subject.
The mouth, dark and moist is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, both pathogenic and non-pathogenic. The pathogenic bacteria are responsible for the diseases and infections that occur in the mouth. The non-pathogenic bacteria on the other hand not harmful to the health.
Antiseptic mouthwashes have been introduced to help get rid of the bacteria. Unfortunately, these mouthwashes end up getting rid of all the bacteria in the mouth. Now, this isn’t the best option for your oral needs.
That’s where essential oils for oral health come in. Essential oils, even though they possess antibacterial properties and fight germs do not broadly destroy every bacteria in the mouth.
Before proceeding, we’ll show you a few points about essential oils that we think you should know :
• They support oral hygiene :
A study carried out using a mixture of ethanol and essential oils found that better results were achieved. The mixture was able to inhibit the growth of subgingival periopathogens (a cause of gingivitis) than a rinse with essential oils without ethanol or a saline control.
Unlike other rinses, like the chlorhexidine rinses, the essential solution will not stain your teeth.
• Relieve anxiety:
An example of an essential oil that will relieve your anxiety and calm your heightened emotional states is the lavender essential oil.
It has been used even in dental waiting areas with results showing that nervous patients become calm and it even lessens perceived pain during needle insertions.
Another essential oil that is useful, especially in calming anxious children is the orange essential oil. When inhaled, it reduces cortisol levels in saliva and slowing anxious pulse rates.
• Benefit in wound care:
Dressing wounds are carried out using essential oils that protect the wounds from getting infected. Clove essential oil for example, improves therapeutic and healing effects according to a prominent study.
• Aids in dental implants:
When essential oils for oral health, like lavender and Melissa essential oil, are applied to dental implants, they have been shown to limit the amount of biofilm produced.
• Antimicrobial activity:
. One study demonstrated the ability of some essential oils in exceeding the antimicrobial benefits of methylparaben – a substance typically used in the preservation of various cosmetics.
While essential oils may not automatically replace the preservatives we typically see used in the cosmetic industry, we do have reason to believe that they may serve a supportive role in providing antimicrobial effects
Top Essential Oils for Oral Health
- Spearmint essential oil for oral health:
This essential oil has a strong antiseptic property. It therefore gets rid of pathogenic microbes and helps heal up wounds quickly. It also helps soothe soft tissues that may be inflamed, like the gum tissue.
Myrrh essential oil for oral health
This essential oil has both soothing and antiseptic properties. It has been used in time past to heal mouth ulcers and support gum health. It may also support the flow of blood to the gum tissues, helping it stay healthy.
- Clove essential oil for oral health:
Clove essential oil was used for decades in Traditional Chinese Medicine to relieve tooth ache. According to clinical research, clove has antibacterial properties that inhibit the thriving of pathogenic bacteria. As a result, it’s been used by dentists to disinfect disturbed root canals.
Infact, a recent study shows that clove essential oil has a specific ability to inhibit growth of wild and mutant bacteria strains. Now, that’s amazing.
- Cinnamon essential oil for oral health:
Cinnamon essential oil possesses anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. As a result, it is often used for these properties.
A recent research shows that the essential oil has the highest antimicrobial potency against streptococcus mutans. The bacteria is responsible for tooth decay.
Cinnamon essential oil has also been found to have the greatest antibacterial potency against lactobacillus plantarum , one of the bacteria responsible in gum disease. Pretty impressive, right?
- Peppermint essential oil for oral health:
You can use peppermint oil to make your own toothpaste and brush your teeth twice with it. As an alternative, you can mix some peppermint oil with a tablespoon of regular toothpaste and brush with it. You can save the rest of this mixture and use again withing one week.
Responsibly Managing your Oral Health with Essential Oils
While there are many ways in which we can apply essential oils to our oral health, it is important to keep a few things in mind. To assure safe practice and usage that will give you the best chance at having a long-term relationship with essential oils without developing sensitivities, consider the following:
1. While we discuss many ways essential oils can be used, this does not mean there is a need for you to implement everything discussed here. Use what is needed in your life for the appropriate amount of time to address the concern.
2. Long-term use of stronger oils, such as clove, could pose potential risks in developing sensitivities. Go for more strength where more strength is required rather than as a daily regimen.
3. Using stronger, hard-hitting oils: depending on your need, the stronger oils – such as clove – are usually best suited for acute needs. Acute needs are addressed in the short-term (in general over about a week), to help gain control of a situation before moving on to lower-impact (but still effective) maintenance treatment.
4. The longer your treatment plan requires, the more gentle your long-term approach to you aromatic care will be. You’re not going to use maximum dilutions of clove over several months when managing oral infections, for example. But it may be appropriate temporarily to help improve a more intense situation in preparation for a long-term care plan. Something like hydrosol oral rinses are a perfect example of an extended use complement to acute treatment.