More and more essential oils are seeming like the go-to source for natural remedies these days—with the science to support it. For instance, lavender has been shown in several small and medium-sized studies to be effective at reducing anxiety and helping with depression. And lemon helps pregnant women with first stage labor pains, nausea and vomiting.
Now imagine what power essential oils could have in maintaining oral health. While modern medicine and dental practices have their place, it’s best to start and stay natural where possible. Check out these five essential oils that have been shown to decrease oral bacteria and tooth decay.
5 BACTERIA FIGHTING OILS
This oil has been used in dentistry for a while. Many dentists use it during root canals or to treat dry sockets. Clove has powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties that are important for preventing infections in both scenarios. It can also help you prevent tooth decay by keeping harmful bacteria at bay.
In a comparative review against clove oil, cinnamon oil proved to be a greater antibacterial agent against Streptococcus mutans, the nasty bug that causes most tooth decay. But you have to be careful. Cinnamon can be an irritant to the tissue in the mouths of some individuals. So always test the water first before diving in all the way.
Aside from its bacteria-fighting properties, peppermint offers the benefit of taste and increased salivation. Extra saliva in the mouth can be helpful for those who deal with bad breath caused by dry mouth. In addition, regular saliva production helps your teeth to remineralize naturally.
If you’re dealing with gum disease, mouth ulcers or other wounds in your mouth, then myrrh may be the essential oil for you. At least for the short term. One study noted that myrrh had the ability to repair mucosal wounds when used as a rinse over a two week period. If used longer, it can cause damage. Be curious but cautious. If you have myrrh on hand, it could help to expedite the healing of your mouth sores.
You may already of the wondrous antibacterial and anti-everything power of tea tree oil. But now you know it applies to your oral bacteria as well. In particular, tea tree oil has a significant impact on the formation of biofilm on your teeth. Biofilm is created by bacteria that allows them to adhere more snuggly to teeth, making it more difficult to remove the bacteria. Add tea tree oil to your oral care routine and rid yourself of that nasty biofilm.
There are several ways you can add these essential oils to your daily oral care routine. For example, mix together a mouthwash, add a few drips to your Waterpik tank, run the oil over your floss, drip them onto your toothbrush head, use your finger to manually apply to your gums or include them in your homemade toothpaste or powder.
If you’ve never heard of tooth powder, then follow the recipe below to get going with the best way to fight plaque and prevent tooth decay.
TOOTH POWDER RECIPE
The Basic Recipe…
4 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay
3 Tablespoons Calcium Powder
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
Now Add Essential Oils (or powders)…
1 and ½ teaspoons ground peppermint leaves (or 5-10 drops essential oil)
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon powder (or 5-10 drops essential oil)
1 teaspoon to tablespoon Clove powder (or 5-10 drops essential oil)
You can even add things like activated charcoal to help with teeth whitening. Or throw in xylitol or stevia for a hint of sweetness.