The use of essential oils dates back to 3000 – 2500 BCE. Ancient civilizations used aromatic plants and oils for everything from beauty products to medicines. During the Middle Ages, fumigating houses with aromatics was thought to repel the plague. Recipes included sandalwood, cloves, nutmeg, camphor and many other aromatic plants and oils.
Essential oils are still popular today. Search Pinterest and you’ll find thousands of natural DIY toothpaste and oral health recipes which include them. But, there’s not a lot of science to prove whether or not essential oils are beneficial to oral health.
So, we asked Larry Kuhl, DDS, our Senior Dental Consultant, to weigh in on essential oils:
“Essential oils are not a replacement for good oral hygiene like brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups. But, they can be an effective addition to your oral health routine.”
With that in mind, we explored a few essential oils that may help with common oral health problems.
Here’s how to use three types of essential oils for healthy teeth and gums:
Essential oils to fight bad breath
Most toothpastes and mouthwashes are mint flavored because mint naturally freshens bad breath. Essential oils that may help fight bad breath are: peppermint, tea tree, sage, myrrh, clove, and eucalyptus. Add a drop to some water to make your own mouth rinse or directly onto your toothbrush. Learn more about common causes and cures for bad breath.
Homeopathic teething remedy
Chamomile hydrosol is a popular homeopathic teething remedy. Unlike most essential oils, chamomile hydrosol may be applied directly to swollen gums to help ease teething pain. Always talk to your pediatrician, pediatric dentist or naturopath before treating your baby’s teething pain.
Aromatherapy to ease dental anxiety
Fear of the dentist is the second most common reason adults don’t stay on top of their routine dental visits. These visits include exams, cleanings and fluoride treatment which are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Fortunately, there are many essential oils which can help ease your nerves. They are: lavender, rose, ylang ylang, chamomile, and frankincense. Before your next dental visit, try applying a few drops to your neck, forehead and temples.
Talk to your dentist about your specific needs and how essential oils might be a good addition to your oral health routine.
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