Calendula has antibacterial properties and reduces oral inflammation associated with gingivitis. Mouthwash made with calendula helps heal wounds and trauma to gums following tooth extractions.
Goldenseal is helpful for treating infections in the mucous membranes and for reducing bacteria that cause everything from gingivitis to strep throat. When used as a mouthwash it can help treat periodontal disease thrush.
Lavender is a strongly scented shrub of the mint family. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It promotes wound healing, so it may be helpful following oral surgery.
Myrrh is a resin from trees native to Northern Africa. It has pain-relieving and antimicrobial properties. It’s especially useful for treating gum disease, mouth ulcers, and sore throats and is often found in natural mouthwashes.
Peppermint serves as a topical anesthetic for the treatment of toothache. Menthol-a volatile oil- and peppermint essential oil, both derived from the peppermint plant have antibacterial properties. Peppermint adds pleasant, refreshing taste to mouthwashes.
Melaleuca aka Tea Tree is a member of the myrtle family. Its known for its antimicrobial activity and is especially powerful against drug-resistant fungal and yeast infections in the mouth. Its also useful for treating gingivitis and mouth ulcers.
Protect with Xylitol
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in birch trees and many plants, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also naturally produced by the body; normal metabolism can produce up to 15 grams (g) daily. Xylitol is a low calorie sweetener, equal in sweetness and volume to table sugar. In granular form, it can be used in a similar manner, such as sweetening cereals and hot beverages and for baking that does not require sugar for yeast to rise. It’s also available in chewing gums, mints, toothpastes, and other natural products.
A Natural Sugar - for your Teeth?
Research supports using xylitol to prevent cavities, plaque and tooth decay. One recent study showed cavities from forming just by using xylitol chewing gum for a year.
Bacteria can’t utilize xylitol to grow; therefore, fewer decay causing bacteria survive on the tooth’s surface over time, reducing plaque formation. Studies show that mothers who regularly chew xylitol gum are less likely to pass bacteria associated with cavities to their children (Danhauer, 2011)*.
Good to Know
To reap the full benefit of xylitol, a total intake of four or five grams a day is suggested. For example, that’s about three to five mints or pieces of gum daily. Natural remedies can go a long way, but serious pain and infections should be treated by a dental professional.
* Mother – Child Transmission a Possible Vehicle for Xylitol Prophylaxis in Acute Otitis Media? By J.L. Danhauer.