Essential oils are time-tested treasures gaining new popularity among fans everywhere. These potent liquids are fun and fresh ingredients that you can customize for almost any oral hygiene need.
As with any DIY dental treatment, do your research and be cautious. Not all oils are safe to ingest and some may hurt you if applied directly onto your skin.
Essential oils are distilled from plants and usually sold singularly—one ingredient per bottle although you can also find oil blend products. Like other supplements, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate their safety or efficacy.
Using Essential Oils for Oral Health
Those in the natural health field are concerned that dangerous chemicals in conventional health products may hinder natural bodily functions, especially the endocrine system. The attraction to using essential oils in dentistry is that they may not pose such a risk to the body.
Cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree essential oils are all believed to be antimicrobial, which means they kill germs that cause pain, disease, and decay.
Myrrh oil is antimicrobial and may also soothe and heal gums by increasing blood flow to the tissue.
Clove oil is antimicrobial and may also aid in numbing pain.
Essential Oil Treatments
While each person has unique dentistry needs, these are the three main things most patients care about: gum disease, tooth decay, and halitosis (stinky breath!) Below are two simple ways to apply the healing powers of essential oils to your oral health:
Promote healthy gums and fresh breath with an essential oil mouth rinse. Use 5-10 drops of your choice of oils per one cup of water. Swish one tablespoon of the mix at a time and spit out like you would any other mouthwash.
Prevent tooth decay and fight plaque by putting 2 drops of an oil of your choice on your toothbrush. Brush gently and spit out excess oils and saliva.
Bonus tip: Keep your toothbrush clean (and therefore the rest of your mouth) by regularly placing it in a 1/4 cup of peroxide mixed with 1 drop of an essential oil. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before shaking it off and leaving it out to dry.
Used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, essential oils can be a powerful part of your preventative oral hygiene routine. As always, make sure you run everything by your dentist—especially DIY ventures and less-conventional practices. If you’d like to get a more in-depth, professional opinion on the matter, call your Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health and make an appointment today!