Essential Oils in Dentistry
Essentials oils are usually stem distilled under pressure using special equipment. The can be produced from various plant parts: flowers, leaves, stems, bark, wood, roots, and seeds. The properties as well as the aroma of the oil, even from the same plant, may differ markedly. For purposes of toxicteeth.com, we may use cinnamon as an example. We use only the finest, therapeutic grade oil from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Distilling bark is a much more expensive and labor-intensive process than using the leaves, but we do not sell cinnamon leaf oil, but this is typically what is used in the fragrances used to make candles and soap.
With cilantro, the oil from the leaf has an extraordinarily intense aroma that will linger, like it or not, for a week after leaving the bottle open only for seconds. We are not recommending use of the oil, but the oil from coriander seeds has unique properties that may help with certain detoxification processes. However, for the most part, what we are using is the alcohol extract of the plant leaves.
Properly produced essential oils are very strong and are used by the drop, not more. Some oils can be more irritating, but not everyone has the same sensitivity so testing on the skin may be appropriate before using in the mouth.
Oils can be added to water used for rinsing, such as after oil pulling or brushing. In this case, make sure the container for the water has a tight lid because oils will float to the top and evaporate until the container is sealed. Then, before removing the lid, shake the container a few times to help disperse the oil in the water.
Our oils can also be added to the oil used for oil pulling. In these instances, the oil will tend to disperse well but lids should always fit tightly. The amount of oil used should not exceed 1-2 drops per ounce of carrier. This is true whether one is adding the oil to a mouthwash or swishing oil or even shampoo or liquid soap.
Some oils should not be swallowed except in truly tiny amounts. A very common oil used as a freshener is wintergreen, but it should only be ingested in truly tiny amounts. Even if someone spits out the extra toothpaste or mouthwash, some will be absorbed through the soft tissuesof the mouth and this amount should be carefully restricted.
Oils used to relieve toothaches generally achieve this because of their anti-microbial powers. Even if the bacterial count is drastically reduced by use of such oils, some friendly bacteria will also be lost. This is not an argument against using essential oils since antibiotics also kill somewhat indiscriminately. So, what we are saying is that regardless of what others say, our oils are full strength. They are not diluted, and they are very potent. Most people should consider that a single drop mixed into a carrier – such as an herbal tincture, water, or oil – will be best used over the course of one-to-three days.