Essential oils are hype right now, and for a good reason. They have been found to boost energy, relieve stress, enhance your immunity, have healing properties, and the list goes on and on.
Should you use essential oils in your dental care? The answer is yes. You would be surprised to know that these expensive natural oils have numerous properties and are used in different ways to boost your oral health.
Nowadays, more and more people are adopting a ‘clean living’ lifestyle. People are achieving this kind of lifestyle by replacing chemical-based products with those that consist of more natural ingredients. Hence, there is a growing popularity of these natural products, specifically essential oils. Hence it becomes more important to understand fact vs. fiction when it comes to your oral health.
The Rundown on Essential Oils
Essential oils are derived from natural sources like plants. They are distilled or extracted from their leaves, seeds, bark, stems, roots, or flowers. They are comparable to human tissues and cells and also in regards to their chemical structure. These properties of essential oils make it easy for your body to identify and accept them.
As they have small molecular makeup, your body can process them very effectively. As a result, they easily penetrate membranes and diffuse through your body membranes and tissues. Many can produce more than one therapeutic effect and can provide multiple benefits to your teeth and gums.
But you should make a note that these essential oils are not a replacement for your regular oral hygiene habits like brushing, daily flossing, and using mouthwash. They should only be used as an added benefit to your oral health.
What is the history of essential oils? Essential oils have been around for ages. Even longer than current pharmaceutical technology came into the picture when antibiotics and other medications were developed. Centuries ago, the Egyptians used essential oils as primary medicines to treat different ailments.
There is also evidence that around 200 BC, the emperor of China used clove oil to improve his breath. This progressed into the 19th century, when essential oils found an important place in dentistry. And it later expanded periodontal therapy, endodontics, temporary fillings, and other dental care products.
How Should You Use Essential Oils?
You can use essential oils in three ways:
- Topical Use: You can apply directly to your skin undiluted or diluted with a carrier like coconut oil.
- Internal Use: You can place drops of the oil under your tongue, in capsule form, or by adding to your food or drinks.
- Inhalation: You can inhale the oil either through a humidifier, diffuser, vaporizer, or a combination of these methods. You can also place a few drops in the palm of your hand, rub them together. Then place the cupping hands over your mouth and nose and inhale deeply.
A common question that everyone asks – are essential oils safe? The best part of essential oils is they have minimal or no adverse side effects and hence can be used for a variety of health conditions. However, it is always a good idea to check with your dentist if you have any conditions that may contradict the use of essential oils.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
=> Keep essential oils away from your ears and eyes. If you experience irritation on your mucous membranes, flush the area with vegetable oil, NOT water. As essential oils are not soluble in water.
=>Always dilute essential oils when using on children aged 12 years old and below.
Essential Oils to Maintain Dental Health
Below are ways you should use essential oils for your dental health:
- You can regularly clean your toothbrush and eliminate the bacteria present in it. You can soak your toothbrush in a mouth rinse containing essential oil.
- Oil Pulling (swishing oil for a few minutes and then expectorating) using sesame or coconut oil can have an antibacterial effect against the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are responsible for diseases like halitosis, thrush, and plaque-induced gingivitis.
- If you are not inclined to floss daily, you may use a mouth rinse containing essential oil to the water of an oral irrigator. This process would help reduce bacteria in your oral cavity.
As you know, clove oil is probably the most popular oil in the dental field. It is extensively used to treat dry sockets, tooth pain associated with pulpitis, and hypersensitivity for ages. Few other oils like sweet basil, cinnamon bark, peppermint, sweet fennel, spearmint and a few others were studied to determine their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiplaque effects on teeth.
Essential oils are gaining new popularity among fans worldwide. Castor oil is a good example. These potent liquids are fresh ingredients that you can customize for almost any kind of oral hygiene need. You can choose from a wide range of natural oils which are known for their antifungal and antibacterial properties.
As with any DIY dental treatment, be cautious and do your research before using them. Not all essential oils are safe to ingest and some might hurt you if applied directly onto your gums and skin. Essential oils are extracted from plants and usually are sold singularly.
Essential Oils For Good Teeth and Gums
Already there are many studies available to support the use of essential oils in healthcare. However, there is still a need for more knowledge, research, and training in this area. Many studies have already proved their effectiveness when used for antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Your oral environment is full of microbes and bacteria that you cannot eliminate by brushing and flossing alone. Hence it is advantageous to consider the addition of essential oils to your dental routine.
It is a known fact that your oral health has a deeper connection to your overall health. When you fail to clean and care for your teeth, and gums properly, you could be putting yourself at risk for more severe health issues. Conversely, when you practice regular oral hygiene, you are setting yourselves up for a healthier mouth and fewer dental problems in the future.
You might have a few favorite oral hygiene products that you already use in your daily routine. But what if you want to go the extra mile and give your mouth a boost when it comes to cleaning – essential oils are a good choice. Thankfully, some essential oils that are safe to use for cleansing the teeth, mouth, and gums. At the same time, their potent nature makes them useful for promoting fresh breath.
Essential oils should only be used as an added benefit to your oral health like:
1 Fights Bad Breath
Essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, myrrh, and eucalyptus oil can help fend off bacteria that cause bad breath. All these oils have antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that will keep your breath smelling fresh all day long.
2 Treats Gingivitis
The antibacterial properties of especially tea tree and clove and oil can treat gingivitis and other gum problems. Cinnamon is another essential oil that you can use to treat gingivitis because of its antimicrobial potency. A property that fights against the bacteria responsible for gum disease. This key feature of essential oil also stimulates blood circulation to your gums, in turn promoting healthy gums.
3 Relieves Toothache
It is a fact that clove oil has been used for thousands of years to relieve tooth pain. Since clove has very strong germicidal properties, dentists actually use clove to disinfect root canals and relieve pain, especially after a procedure.
Tooth pain can strike without warning and has several causes, gum disease and cavities. Research on essential oils has found that they are effective in managing toothaches.
4 Fight Cavities
Do you know that rosemary essential oil is a natural disinfectant that can be helpful in removing bad oral bacteria that causes tooth cavities, plaque buildup, bad breath, and other minor dental issues? Tree tea and clove are other essential oils that benefit the prevention of tooth decay.
Essential Oil Treatments
Every person has unique dental needs, but there are three basic things most patients care about: tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis (stinky breath). There are two simple methods of applying the healing powers of essential oils to your oral health:
You can promote fresh breath and healthy gums with an essential oil mouth rinse. Use 5 to 10 drops of your choice of oils in one cup of water. Swish only one tablespoon of the solution at a time and spit out like you would any other mouthwash.
If you want to fight plaque and prevent tooth decay – put 2 drops of an oil of your choice on your toothbrush. Brush your teeth gently and spit out excess oils and saliva.
Additional tip – to keep your toothbrush clean place it in a quarter cup of peroxide mixed with one drop of essential oil. Let your brush sit for at least ten minutes before shaking it off.
If you use this oil in conjunction with regular flossing and brushing, they can be an effective part of your preventative oral hygiene routine. As always, make sure you discuss everything with your dentist – especially your DIY ventures and less conventional practices. If you would like to get a more in-depth opinion on the matter, call your dentist and book an appointment today at Dentist Ahmed Clinic.