Essential Oils in Dentistry
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Essential oils have been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Though virtually forgotten in the mainstream of our culture over the past decades, they have been gaining popularity once again. And no, they’re not just a fad. There are many scientifically supported applications for essential oils in dentistry. At Prescott Dentistry, we want to provide you with evidence-based information about holistic options that can keep your mouth and your whole body healthy.
Eucalyptus oil is made from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia. It is probably most known for its cold-fighting properties, but it is also very useful in dental health. According to a 2015 review, it has antibacterial activity and is also anti-inflammatory. It can help kill bacteria that leads to plaque buildup and can freshen breath. Eucalyptus oil is often used in dental mouthwashes, and toothpastes.
Lavender oil has been shown to have some antibacterial and antifungal properties. But its anxiolytic properties are probably most useful in dentistry. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood when inhaled or applied topically to the skin. We know that going to a dental appointment can be stressful, so this may be helpful for some of you. We also have a complimentary comfort menu available for you, because we want your experience with us to be as relaxing as possible!
The main component of cinnamon oil is a compound called cinnamaldehyde. It has been shown to have very strong antibacterial activity. It is also an antioxidant and has antimutagenic properties. This means that it has the potential to stop the spontaneous mutation of human cells, which could be useful in cancer prevention.
Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils today. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antibiofilm activity. It completely inhibits the biofilm formation of candida albicans, a yeast that causes oral thrush. It is commonly used in a wide array of oral products because it also fights bad breath. Peppermint oil increases saliva production, which is useful in treating halitosis (bad breath) from dry mouth.
Eugenol oil comes from cloves. It has been widely used in dentistry for its analgesic properties with tooth pain. This oil is also effective against oral pathogens that cause dental caries and periodontal disease.
Essential oils can be used alone, but in when used in combination, their benefits are multiplied. They may even have applications for treating antibiotic resistant bacteria. Remember, never apply essential oils directly to your teeth or gums without talking to your dentist first, as they can cause damage. They must usually be diluted or used with a carrier oil or in a mouthwash or toothpaste. At your next appointment with Prescott Dentistry, ask us about essential oils in dentistry and which ones might be beneficial for your oral health!
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