Brush, floss and rinse. That all sounds so simple, and yet many of us skip one or two of these key steps when it comes to good oral care. Athough we never think about it, our teeth and gums are like a married couple; the two are together for several reasons. The pink flesh of our gums is delicate tissue that surrounds our teeth, holding them in place. Our teeth show off a white attractive enamel, but underneath the shell lies living tissue full of nerves and blood vessels.
Let’s be honest, our teeth take a lot of abuse; whether we are crunching into gooey caramel and peanuts, smoking cigarettes or biting nervously on a pen cap, our teeth and gums can suffer the consequences. Bacteria and acid begin their trek through the mouth, setting up house in the enamel, making tiny holes and causing infection, decay and pain and misery.
Not many people are aware of this, but tea tree oil can help you prevent these dental problems with a few smart steps. So, let’s examine what tea tree oil is and how it figures into the world of good oral hygiene.
Tea tree oil is an extract that comes from a plant that is common to Australia. This powerful oil has been used for many many generations in treating a variety of ailments, because of its amazing antiseptic and antifungal properties. The extract has always been used topically; you should never swallow tea tree oil. In fact, tea tree oil is posionous and can cause, drowsiness, hallucinations, even coma in some cases. If you are pregnant, you should talk to your doctor before application, because the science is still not clear on how this affects the growing fetus as well as a breastfeeding mother.
To keep a clean, healthy mouth, tea tree oil is beneficial for fighting off dental infections. For example, with a nagging tooth ache, rince your mouth with a gargle mixture by adding 3-5 drops of tea tree oil to a mouthwash. As we have mentioned, do not swallow the tea tree oil and later rinse with fresh water to remove any residue.
For healthy, pink gums, a tiny amount of tea tree oil can make a difference. Apply one drop directly onto your regular toothpaste, and brush for at least 2 minutes. You can do this daily to ward off gum infection, too.
If you have had root canal treatment or any other kind of oral surgery, tea tree oil is a wonderful and natural remedy. Both the gargle mixture and toothpaste mixture using tea tree oil help the tissue heal more rapidly following this kind of oral surgery.
Tea tree oil also keeps the breath clean by suppressing the odor-causing bacteria and heals cold sores and cankers. The incredible extract keeps teeth and gums super clean, getting rid of inflammation, swelling and redness.
The great news is that tea tree oil is readily available in drugstores and over the counter. Plus, it is inexpensive for all the cool stuff it can do. A two ounce bottle of 100% tea tree oil costs about $8, and a little goes a long way.
Good dental health is not a given, but tea tree oil is a strong weapon in excellent dental hygiene!
Nadia Kiderman is an oral health specialist based in NY.