Top 3 Essential Oils for Oral Health

Essential Oils for Oral Health 1

Top 3 Essential Oils for Oral Health

 

Essential oils have been widely used for multiple purposes, and some have been proven to help with improving oral health.  Although they have been used for thousands of years, some health claims associated with essential oils remain controversial.

 

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are natural oil extractions that are obtained from a plant species through a distillation or mechanical method.  The methods used for the extraction of these oils are essential for determining their efficacy, as chemically extracted essential oils are not to be considered “true essential oils”.  So how do you exactly know that the essential oil you are purchasing is truly a high quality essential oil?  Well, there’s a few things you can keep in mind when choosing an essential oil that is right for you. 

  • Check for purity of the oil- make sure that there are no additives or chemicals added to your oil.  Pure essential oils should not be greasy or leave a residue on a piece of paper once dried; if it does, then chances are your oil is not pure and has been mixed with an oil or other additive.

 

How to use essential oils?

Essential oils are often used in perfumes, lotions, medicine, and aromatherapy among others.  There are various ways these oils can be used, and should be used with caution in order to avoid any side effects such as skin irritations and/or allergic reactions.  If used for aromatherapy, the oil may be inhaled directly from the bottle, used in a diffuser, or humidifier in order to reap its benefits.  If used topically, most essential oils will require dilution with a carrier oil in order for it to be applied directly onto the skin.  Such carrier oils may include fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, or avocado oil to name a few.

 

What are the top 3 essential oils for oral health?

Various essential oils have demonstrated benefits towards oral health.  Below are the top 3 that have been proven to work.

      1. Peppermint essential oil.  Peppermint oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties; which make it beneficial in treating bad breath and gum disease as it helps to inhibit plaque formation.  A study conducted by Shayegh et al; stated that peppermint oil blended with toothpaste was found to be more effective at lower concentrations in inhibiting the formation of dental plaque than chlorhexidine, which is an antiseptic mouth rinse. (1)
      2. Tea tree essential oil.  Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca is known for its anti-inflammatory and strong antibacterial benefits.  According to a study conducted by Elgendy et al; “Tea tree oil can be used as adjunct to conventional periodontal therapy in patients with chronic periodontitis.”(2) Another study conducted by Betul et al; demonstrated that using a tea tree oil mouthwash can help reduce bleeding associated with gum disease.  Simply adding 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and using it as a mouthwash, has demonstrated some benefits. (3)
      3. Eucalyptus essential oil.  Eucalyptus essential oil has gained popularity for its anti inflammatory, anti plaque, and antibacterial properties; and has been widely used for treating toothaches.  Using this oil as a natural remedy has demonstrated various benefits and has also been proven to help with gum recession.  Simply mix 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil diluted with 1-2 tablespoons of water, gently brush the affected area with a soft bristled toothbrush, and then rinse with plain water. (4)

 

Essential oils have proven their efficacy, but should be used with caution.  Always consult your medical doctor prior to using any essential oils, as some may have adverse effects or interact with certain medications.  What essential oil have you tried for your oral health and did it help? Comment on the link below.

 

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Resources:

  1. Shayegh S, Rasooli I, Taghizadeh M, Astanch SD (2008 Mar 20). “Phytotherapeutic inhibition of supragingival dental plaque,” Nat Prod Res.2(5):42-39.
  2. Elgendy, Enas Ahmed et al. “Effect of local application of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil gel on long pentraxin level used as an adjunctive treatment of chronic periodontitis: A randomized controlled clinical study.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology vol. 17,4 (2013): 444-8. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.118314
  3. Rahman, Betul et al. “Comparative antiplaque and antigingivitis effectiveness of tea tree oil mouthwash and a cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwash: A randomized controlled crossover study.” Contemporary clinical dentistry vol. 5,4 (2014): 466-70. doi:10.4103/0976-237X.142813
  4. Takarada K, Kimizuka R, Takahashi N, Honma K, Okuda K, Kato T (2004 Feb). “A comparison of the antibacterial efficacies of essential oils against oral pathogens,” Oral Microbiol Immunol. 19(1):61-4
  5. Hans, Veenu Madaan et al. “Antimicrobial Efficacy of Various Essential Oils at Varying Concentrations against Periopathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR vol. 10,9 (2016): ZC16-ZC19. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/18956.8435

 

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