The following article was written by Patricia Bandy, RDH, in completion of requirements to become an IABDM Certified Biological Hygienist. Congratulations, Patricia!
Essential oils can be used as an adjunct to healing therapy. The following will discuss the essential oils to be used for this particular blend, mixed together in a serum, and placed in colored glass vials to protect from light. Recommendations on how the oils should be used by the client or clinician will be advised. The reasons why it is a benefit to the client to use this blend of oils versus conventional recommendations from a regular dental office will also be discussed.
The first ingredient is Cocos nucifera, or coconut oil. The lauric acid in coconut oil has been proven to be antimicrobial. It has been linked to the benefits of reducing inflammation in the skin and wound healing. This is also used as a carrier oil, which is used to dilute the essential oil and carry it to the skin of the client. Coconut oil is soothing and hydrating, making it beneficial for those with dry mouth.
Peppermint oil, often used for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, also adds a refreshing flavor to freshen breath. It has also been used in French Medicine for Candida.
Thyme oil, from the botanical family Labiatae or mint, is highly antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It is also an antioxidant and has a measurement of 159,590 on the ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, an attempt to quantify the total antioxidant capability of the source).
Clove oil is the next powerful essential oil. It has analgesic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. In a work published by Dorman and Deans, the antibacterial activity of thyme and clove was tested against 25 strains of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. These oils had the widest spectrum of activity. The antiviral activity of eugeniin was found effective against the herpes simplex virus. According to scientific research, it has proven to reduce biofilm on teeth. It boasts a high antioxidant value, topping the ORAC scale at 10,786,875. It stimulates the immune system. Used in dentistry for years to suppress a toothache, the eugenol in clove, along with zinc oxide, is the basis for ZOE temporary filling material to settle the nerve, disinfect, and heal the tooth. Clove also has a numbing effect that has proven effective with a past client who refused topical anesthetic for scaling.
Spearmint is antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. It is also used in French medicine for Candida. It helps to freshen breath. Spearmint has an ORAC value of 5,398.
Almond oil is added, also as a carrier oil. It works as an emollient, which makes an excellent moisturizer for those who suffer from dry mouth. It also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting benefits.
It is wise to mention that not all essential oils are the same. Purchasing from a reputable company that uses pure ingredients, no additives, and practices sustainable methods of harvesting is encouraged.
Two to three drops of this Essential Oil Serum is to be applied on a toothbrush used to brush for 2 minutes before expectorating. Health Canada does not approve internal ingestion of essential oils.
The oils will bind to the tissues and provide healing to areas of inflammation. Areas of inflammation include diagnosed gingival conditions of gingivitis and periodontitis. Signs of oral candidiasis on the tongue, palate, and under dentures may benefit from the combination due to the antifungal properties. The patient should be advised to use the oil to brush oral appliances and dentures to remove microbes and Candida, and to freshen from odors, as not to re-introduce pathogens to the mouth.
Placing the blend on cold sores may lessen their duration and heal, as clove oil has been proven antiviral. This blend can also be used in a session of oil pulling (Ayurvedic medicine), where they add 2-3 drops in coconut oil and swish for 10 to 20 minutes, until it becomes a frothy, white consistency, and then expectorate. But brushing the teeth and flossing after are still the best recommended method of removing biofilm from the teeth. They should not substitute oil pulling for regular home care.
Caution should be used with essential oils, as they are antibacterial in nature, so there is a risk of disrupting the balance of oral microflora. Using a reputable probiotic chewable tablet would be beneficial to balance the oral microbiome.
Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should take caution when using essential oils. Some individuals can have a sensitivity to the oils, so testing of choice can be done to ascertain the patient’s tolerance.
It is important to offer patients a healthy alternative to commercial mouthwashes that contain harsh ingredients. Alcohol dries the oral cavity and should be avoided. There have been studies done on the dyes used in mouthwashes. These studies have shown dyes to be linked to hyperactivity, including ADHD, irritability, depression, hives and allergic reactions, asthma, and tumor growth, as some dyes have benzidine ,which is a carcinogen linked to bladder and pancreatic cancer.
There is a place for essential oils in biological dentistry. They are beneficial to aiding clients in better oral health through their antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Patients are instructed as to the number of uses to ascertain these benefits. Patients are given an alternative to commercial mouthwashes, to reduce the possible systemic side effects of ingredients in these products and still freshen their breath.
- Nelson-Dooley C. Heal Your Oral Microbiome. (2019). Ulysses Press.
- Modern Essentials. (2015). Utah: Aroma Tools
- Zumpano J. Is Food Coloring Safe for Kids? December 26, 2019. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-food-coloring-safe-for-kids/
- Potera. Diet and Nutrition: The Artificial Food Dye Blues 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/
- Essential Oils Antioxidant Capacity. http://www.selfhealthrevolution.com
- Ferreria M. Almond Oil: What are the Benefits? October 12, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/almond-oil
Essential Oils. http://medlineplus.gov
- West, H. What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work? September 30, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils
- Peedikayil FC, et al. Comparison of antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil and chlorhexidine on Streptococcus mutans: An in vivo study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. Sep-Oct 2016;6(5):447-452. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27891311/
- Asokan S, et al. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18408265/
- Rajkowska K, Otlewska A, Kunicka-Styczyńska A, Krajewska A. Candida albicans Impairments Induced by Peppermint and Clove Oils at Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Jun; 18(6): 1307. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5486128/
- Pearson K. 8 Health Benefits of Mint. December 13, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/spearmint
- Dorman, HJ, Deans SG. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Feb;88(2):308-16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10736000/
- Kurokawa, M, et al. Purification and characterization of eugeniin as an anti-herpesvirus compound from Geum japonicum and Syzygium aromaticum. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Feb;284(2):728-35. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9454821/
- Kurokawa, M, et al. Efficacy of traditional herbal medicines in combination with acyclovir against herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 1995 May;27(1-2):19-37. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7486956/
- Cortés-Rojas DF, Fernandes de Souza CR, Oliveira WP. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2014 Feb; 4(2): 90–96. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819475/
- Garg I, Sing, S. Enhancement in antifungal activity of eugenol in immunosuppressed rats through lipid nanocarriers. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2011 Oct 15;87(2):280-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21689909/
- Nagdeve M. 16 Surprising Benefits Of Clove Oil. October 8, 2020. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-clove-oil.html
- Ali SM, et al. Antimicrobial activities of Eugenol and Cinnamaldehyde against the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2005 Dec 21;4:20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16371157/
- Fu Y, et al. Antimicrobial activity of clove and rosemary essential oils alone and in combination. Phytother Res. 2007 Oct;21(10):989-94. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17562569/
- Kurakawa, M, et al. Purification and characterization of eugeniin as an anti-herpesvirus compound from Geum japonicum and Syzygium aromaticum. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Feb;284(2):728-35. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9454821/
- Lee, SK, Teoh EC, Razali M, Zainal-Abidin Z, Mohd-Said S. (2013). Antibacterial Activity of Clove Essential Oil on Anaerobic Oral Pathogens. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266783506_Antibacterial_Activity_of_Clove_Essential_Oil_on_Anaerobic_Oral_Pathogens
- Zainal-Abidin Z, Mohd-Said S, Adibah F, Majid A, Mustapha WAW, Jantan I. Antibacterial Activity Of Cinnamon And Clove Oils On Oral Biofilm. August 2013. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266802541_Antibacterial_Activity_Of_Cinnamon_And_Clove_Oils_On_Oral_Biofilm
- Dagli N, Dagli R, Mahmoud RS, Baroudi K. Essential oils, their therapeutic properties, and implication in dentistry: A review. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2015 Sep-Oct; 5(5): 335–340. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606594/
- Groves M. 11 Surprising Benefits of Spearmint Tea and Essential Oil. October 24, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/spearmint
- Lin T, Zhong L, Santiago JL.Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan; 19(1): 70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/