Essential oils and oral health research

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essential-oils-in-bowl(NaturalHealth365) Let’s clear up one major misconception: Essential oils do not kill all the oral flora like antiseptic mouthwashes do. Thankfully, this is not the case. As with most substances in nature, essential oils work toward harmony in the body, and generally do not create imbalances.

As essential oil expert Robert Tisserand explains with gut bacteria, “Whether [essential oil] constituents might then negatively affect the bowel flora is pure speculation.” Similarly, there is no reason to believe that therapeutic grade essential oils will kill all of the microbes in your mouth.

Editor’s note: Learn more about the many health benefits of essential oils and how they can naturally kill unwanted oral infections.  Register now for The Holistic Oral Health Summit to learn more, online and FREE from Sept 28 – Oct 5!

Essential oils proven to help promote oral health

There are several studies that point out the safety of using therapeutic grade essential oils for oral health concerns.

The Journal of International Oral Health, for example, published a wonderful article in 2014 titled “Possible Use of Essential Oils in Dentistry,” which is like a 7-course meal of information evidence-based natural health enthusiasts should feast on!

To sum it up for you, there are 5 key areas that essential oils can help to improve oral health:

  • Oral hygiene support: Essential oil rinses are found to be equally effective in inhibiting plaque as fluoride. Also, as chlorhexidine causes staining of teeth on long term use, essential oils can be used as an alternative to chlorhexidine rinse. Essential oils have shown to possess antimicrobial activity against subgingival periopathogens too.
  • Anxiolytic (Anti-anxiety): Aroma of lavender essential oils is capable of altering emotional states and reducing mild anxiety. It has been reported to be useful in reducing anxiety in dental patients when used in waiting area. It also can reduce the pain of needle insertion. In addition, the use of aromatherapy with natural essential oil of orange has been shown to reduce salivary cortisol and pulse rate due to child anxiety state.
  • Wound dressing: According to one study, better therapeutic effects can be achieved from wound dressings containing essential oils like clove to prevent infection.
  • Dental implants: Lavender, Melissa and other essential oils have been shown to possess antibiofilm activity. They can be used with dental implants. Treatment of dental implant material surfaces with essential oils has been shown to inhibit biofilm production.
  • Natural preservative: Essentials oils have the ability to kill microorganism strains than extracts and methylparaben in cosmetic emulsions. Similarly, they can be used to replace methylparaben altogether – which is used as preservative in various dental products.


Interesting essential oil uses for oral health

There are also some other interesting facts about essential oils you may find interesting:

  • The go-to antimicrobial oil is clove.
  • A blend of geranium, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint helps improve the oral health status of hospice patients with terminal cancer.
  • Because brushing is not recommended for people with mouth ulcers, fever, indigestion – as well as for patients with the tendency to asthma, cough, thirst and vomiting – oil pulling with essential oils can clean the oral cavity and treat halitosis (bad breath) and gingivitis.

So, what are the best oils to use for oral health?

Although several make the list, clove, orange and peppermint usually top the charts. Specifically, folk remedies oftentimes use these essential oils to combat the following threats:

  • Blood blisters = lavender
  • Canker sores = clove and lavender
  • Halitosis = peppermint
  • Plaque = virtually any can be used because they are all antimicrobial
  • Sensitive teeth = clove and orange
  • Whitening = clove, orange, rosemary, cinnamon, eucalyptus

About the author: Featured in the Holistic Oral Health Summit and founder of, Dr. Eric L. Zielinski is a sought-after natural health educator, motivational speaker and author. Inspired by the timeless principles in the Bible, Dr. Z’s mission is to provide people with simple, evidenced-based tools that they need to achieve the Abundant Life. He specializes in natural remedies and empowering life strategies, and coaches clients locally in the greater Atlanta area as well as globally through his Abundant Life Health Coaching programs.

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  • Jason Karp

    I use essential oils for tooth and gum problems and have had good results. All over the counter mouth washes are chemical mixtures of things you don’t want to absorb.

  • Tara Levin

    These oils keep infections away and supply other benefits. They also work better than commercial products.