Essential Oils for Oral Health & Dental Anxiety
By Caryn Gehlmann
Can essential oils be used to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Yes, for two reasons! One, if done correctly essential oils can be used as part of your personal oral health routine. Two, if going to the dentist makes you feel anxious (and so you tend to avoid going), essential oils can help you deal with dental anxiety.
Let’s start with how essential oils can be used as part of your personal oral routine. Remember, that you should avoid ingesting essential oils unless working under the recommendation of your healthcare provider. And it’s always a good idea to discuss your oral health routine with your dentist.
You can use essential oils to promote healthy gums and fresh breath. One way is by making your own mouth rinse. Here’s a simple essential oil mouthwash recipe you can try:
Take about one tablespoon of the mix at a time, swish around your mouth for 30 seconds and spit out like any other mouthwash.
Another shortcut is to simply place 1 drop of essential oil on your toothbrush and brush like normal and spit out excess oils and saliva.
I also wanted to share a product from one of our community members that I’ve personally used and I’m loving the results! Mishlei 3110 Oral Care Blend is an essential oil blend that utilizes 11 therapeutic quality essential oils chosen for unique properties that…
- Soothe irritation
- Support healthy gum tissue
- Freshen breath
Many are finding it very effective in reducing symptoms of painful dental issues such as swollen or inflamed gums, canker sores, and gingivitis. It’s easy to use, simply place 1-2 drops with toothpaste while cleaning teeth, or directly on the toothbrush for freshening, or on a cotton swab to apply to irritated gums.1 drop can also be used when flossing.
What about anxiety related to going to the dentist? Can essential oils help with dental anxiety?
This is a real problem for many. According to Web MD, “Between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.” However, if you keep putting it off you can run into serious complications like cavities and severe gum disease.
Various studies have shown how certain essential oils can decrease anxiety, pain, and cortisol levels in patients visiting the dentist. A study by the Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Best Dental Science College and Hospital, was conducted in an effort to search for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to reduce anxiety symptoms in patients during dental procedures. Their results: “Lavender oil and rose oil produced a significant reduction of dental anxiety level among orthodontic patients in both objective and subjective method.” They concluded, “Aromatherapy can be recommended as an easy alternative to reduce anxiety in patients before orthodontic treatment.”
So how can you use essential oils to reduce anxiety the next time you visit the dentist? First, identify the essential oil or blend that you find the most soothing and relaxing. Lavender is a favorite option for many, however, we’re all unique so you need to find the aroma that is most soothing to you personally. (A few favorite e3 blends for anxiety are Courageous, Peace, and Nerve Calming.)
Next, decide how you are going to introduce aromatherapy into your dental visit. It’s unlikely that your dentist will allow you to set up your diffuser in their office! But you can have a personal diffuser with you. One of our aromatherapy inhalers or even a cotton ball or tissue can give you access to the scent when you need a calming moment.
And finally, make sure to talk to your dentist about your anxiety and how you will be using aromatherapy to stay relaxed. That way you can work together on managing your anxiety and your dentist might even recommend an aromatherapy moment when they see you tensing up!
Are there other ways you’re using essential oils for oral health? We’d love to hear your feedback. Many are enjoying our resilience tips right now. Sign-up for our 30-day series, “Nurturing Resilience.” You’ll receive aromatherapy tips to help you feel calm, centered, and inspired in the face of many challenges (and some surprise discounts as well)!