Tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil) is the most versatile oil famous for its potent healing effects. Today, it has been used in a wide variety of household and beauty products like body washes, shampoos, mouthwashes, toothpastes, multi-purpose household cleaning sprays, and more. From body care to skin care to hair care, this oil packs a potent punch wherever it’s used.
Even Tea Tree Oil Research Group at The University of Western Australia showed that this magical oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory ingredients that are effective in treating dandruff, acne, insect bites, fungal infections, and even some dental conditions. Today, this miraculous oil is widely available as 100% diluted oil. Diluted forms are as available that ranges from 5 to 50 percent in skin care products.
History of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is derived from the ‘Melaleuca tree’ that is native to Australia. It has been used for years by native Bundjalung people of Eastern Australia. They have also been used as an ancient medicine by Aborigines for centuries. These Native Australian people crush tea leaves to extract the oil that they use to treat cold and colds by inhaling it or apply it directly to the skin for better healing. This oil got its name actually from Captain James Cook who spotted Bundjalung people brewing leaves of Melaleuca tree to make a tea.
Tea tree oil contains compounds, including terpinen-4-ol that has been shown to kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. This agent also boosts the activity of white blood cells and help to fight germs and other foreign invaders. These properties make it an awesome natural remedy for treating fungal and bacterial skin conditions, promoting healing, and preventing infection.
Naturally Antibacterial: This oil has long been used for its anti-bacterial properties because it kills deadly bacteria in the mouth effectively and fast.
Anti-Microbial: Tea tree oil kills viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms. It also includes terpenoids that even effectively eradicate antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antiseptic: Tea tree is effective at killing a volatile sulphur compound that causes bad breath. This prevents the further growth of bacteria in the mouth.
Solvent Abilities: This essential oil possesses solvent abilities that mean it can dissolve the lumps of White Blood Cells (WBC) that cause the development of pus. This helps you to get rid of mouth sores, ulcers, and boils.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil in your Dental Care?
The best way is to buy tea tree oil toothpaste or apply the oil directly to your gum and teeth. But make sure you do not swallow the oil because it can pose side effects like nerve damage, confusion, steadiness, ability to walk, and even coma.
1. For Plaque Prevention
Tea tree fights infectious microorganisms that ruin tissues in the mouth and cause receding gums, tartar deposits, and plaque. Mix the following herbs in oil:
2. For Cavities, Sore/Swollen Gums, and Gum Disorder
Dentists in Australia use tea tree oil mouthwash before any dental procedure and as an everyday preventive measure against gum disorder. Just note that gum disorder is caused by plaque buildup, which further creates inflammation, bleeding, swelling, and redness in the gums.
a) Add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil to a small glass of water.
b) Now swish it around your mouth two times a day.
Add a few drops of oil to your toothpaste and brush it for at least two minutes.
3. Bad Breath
Tea tree contains natural deodorant properties that lower odor-causing bacteria and bad breath. Tea tree, when used as a mouthwash, kills odor-causing bacteria and improve bad breath.
a) Add 3 drops of tea tree into 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or any other edible oil.
b) Now rub the mixture directly on sore or swollen gums using your finger or a Q-tip.
4. For Toothache
Use tea tree oil topically on your teeth to get rid of pesky tooth pain.
a) Add 5 drops of tea tree to your mouthwash.
b) Gargle two times in a day.
Note: You can also rub a tiny amount of aloe vera directly onto the infected tooth.
5. For Receding Gums
Receding gums develop due to excess bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth. Tea tree oil is an great remedy to fight receding gums, periodontitis, thrush, and oral herpes infections. But before you use this oil, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist or physician. He will suggest you about the application and solution strength that is correct. For this type of dental condition, it’s a good idea to use tea tree oil in the form of a gel, oral rinse, or toothpaste form.
a) Use mouth rinse that has 5% dilution of tea tree oil.
b) Wash your mouth with one tablespoon of the solution four times every day.
6. For Canker Sores, Mouth Sores, or Cold Sores
There are different types of mouth sores that can occur inside or around your mouth. Few are painful, and some are not. They can be caused by viral, fungal, bacterial infections, a denture, or loose orthodontic wire.
Canker sores are small shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues of the mouth or at the base of gums. But cold sores are small fluid-filled blisters that occur on and around the surface of lips. If your sore does not wipe away within ten days, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist.
a) Add 3 to 5 drop of oil to a small glass of water.
b) Gargle with this solution two times every day.
7. For Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disorder and can result in tooth loss if not cared properly. Its signs include swollen, red, and inflamed gums. A 2014 study has found that tea tree oil mouthwash can lower bleeding associated with Gingivitis.
a) To make tea tree oil mouthwash, add 3 drops of tea tree oil to one cup of warm water.
b) Gargle your mouth with it.
Note: This oil can also interfere with few medicines. Thus, it’s best to speak to the doctor before using it for the first time.
Is it Safe to Use?
Tea tree oil is found to be lethal when ingested internally because it is a pure composition of different naturally occurring chemicals. Just note that if you accidentally got tea tree oil in the mouth, wash your mouth with a freshwater well to make sure that no residue is left and also call at 1-800-222-1222 to take assistance from Poison Help Hotline. If there is no access to the phone nearby, drink a small amount of milk, and reach the nearby hospital as soon as possible.
Note: Breastfeeding, pregnant ladies, and those who have an allergy to thyme or celery should avoid using this oil.
How to Dilute it for Mouth Application?
It is advised to use the oil diluted for mouth applications.
a) Measure one cup of mouthwash or water and transfer it into a bottle or jar.
b) Add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree and use a small amount of it if you are using it on a daily basis.
Note: Use a high amount of it if you are using it to treat an acute condition like gum infection. You can safely add up to 1/8 tsp to the diluting agent.
c) Put a cap on the bottle or jar and shake it well.
d) Gargle with it for at least thirty seconds. After that, spit it up into the sink. Do not swallow it.
d) Do this four times in a day to treat gum infection and sore throat. If you are using diluted oil to treat an oral infection, use it two to four weeks or till the condition enhances. You don’t need to refrigerate this mixture, but make sure you shake it well before use.
Tip: You can also add other oils too like spearmint and peppermint oil. Although it is bitter, myrrh tincture is as beneficial for treating dental issues. You just need to add a tiny amount to the mouthwash. In order to sweeten it up, add a small amount of stevia to it.