I take oral health *very* seriously.
I think it all stems from my childhood — watching my grandfather remove his dentures. You have to admit, it’s a pretty shocking and potentially scarring act to witness if you don’t quite understand what’s going on! I mean, here was a man I knew and loved, my very own Dido, and he could actually remove his teeth at night. It titillated and terrified me at the same time. Mostly terrified.
Now that you all have that image in your head (heh)…
So when I began adopting a more “natural” lifestyle, my toothpaste and mouthwash were the last to be converted. I thought I really *needed* those chemicals to keep my teeth extra sparkly and my gums healthy! But nope. Just as I learned that all-natural deodorant can keep you perfectly odor-free, I found that all-natural oral care practices can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape without subjecting your body to a whole bunch of nasties.
Essential oils are an integral part of my natural oral care routine.
As we know, the benefits of essential oils are far more than aromatic. They have amazing therapeutic, healing qualities. I use the following 5 essential oils in my DIY all-natural whitening & remineralizing toothpaste and DIY all-natural herbal mouth mouthwash.
The top 5 essential oils for healthy teeth and gums:
Cinnamon essential oil
Cinnamon EO has long been used for its medicinal properties, specifically its antifungal, antibacterial properties. Recent research conducted in New Zealand showed that cinnamon EO has the greatest antimicrobial potency against streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, and lactobacillus plantarum, one of the bacteria responsible in gum disease. Pretty darn impressive, huh?
Peppermint essential oil
Researchers have found that the peppermint EO is extremely effective at killing anaerobic bacteria, they type of bacteria that thrive in a low oxygen environment such as the mouth, and can cause gum disease.
Spearmint essential oil
Spearmint EO’s properties are very similar to that of peppermint EO: it is a strong antiseptic, eliminating germs and helping any wounds heal more quickly. It is also soothing to soft tissues like gum tissue.
Myrrh essential oil
Myrrh EO acts as both an antiseptic and a soother. For this reason, it has traditionally been to support gum health and to heal mouth ulcers. Myrrh EO may also assist gum tissue health by supporting the flow of blood to the tissue.
Clove essential oil
Clove EO has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to relieve tooth pain. Clinical research demonstrated that clove inhibits many pathogenic bacteria. In the past, dentists have used clove to disinfect disturbed root canals, since clove has moderately strong germicidal properties. A recent study showed that clove EO has a particular ability to inhibit the growth of mutant and wild strains of bacteria, which is just fascinating.