The following is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and is intended for educational purposes only - to illustrate the science behind essential oils, how they might be applied in the real world, and to offer a foundation from which to speak to your doctor.
Consult your primary healthcare provider before using essential oils.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts and SHOULD NOT be handled by anyone unaware of the RISKS and DANGERS they pose.
According to the toothpaste manufacturer Colgate, a basic cavity-fighting toothpaste will have five primary elements - 1) fluoride, a mineral that keeps tooth enamel strong, thereby making teeth less susceptible to cavities and the damaging effects of acidic foods, 2) abrasives, which scrub away food particles and debris, and which polish away surface stains, 3) flavoring agents, to mask the taste of other ingredients and make the tooth-brushing experience more enjoyable, 4) humectants, which trap water so toothpastes do not dry out, and 5) detergents, which create a foaming action that spreads and coats the other active ingredients over the teeth (Source #1).
If you'll notice from Colgate's list, there's nothing within the elements for a basic toothpaste that talks about killing germs or bacteria. The Colgate formula is basically a delivery vehicle for fluoride to strengthen enamel, and abrasives to scrub and polish.
While the following formula does not contain fluoride, it will provide several benefits to your teeth and oral health, which will be explained as you keep reading. If you want to make your own toothpaste, but don't want to lose the benefits of fluoride, you can incorporate foods into your diet that naturally contain fluoride, such as coffee, black tea, oatmeal, raisins, and potatoes, just to name a few (Source #2).
Recommended Essential Oils:
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon) - 1 drop
Mentha piperita (peppermint) - 1 drop
Mentha spicata (spearmint) - 1 drop
Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) - 1 drop
Syzygium aromaticum (clove) - 1 drop
Recommended Carrier Oil:
Cocos nucifera (coconut oil, virgin) - 1 American Tablespoon
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) - just a pinch
Egg Shell Powder - just a pinch
In a small, clean mixing glass, combine essential oils, carrier oil, and desired optional igredients. Gently warming the coconut oil will make incorporation of the essential oils much easier, as unrefined coconut oil remains solid below 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Store in a dark amber glass balm jar or appropriate substitution. This formula would slightly overfill a 15 mL balm jar.
Treat just like regular toothpaste. Dip the bristles of your toothbrush into this formula and brush teeth like normal. Spit and rinse mouth with water after use. If you have sensitive gums, gums that bleed, or broken skin in the mouth, then ask your dentist if this formula is safe for use.
Inclusion of Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon) in this formula is supported by research conducted by Jeong, Kim, Han, and Choi, published in Scientific Reports, the 5th most cited journal in the world in 2021. This study suggests cinnamon essential oil is "...a potential natural antimicrobial agent that can aid in controlling oral diseases by effectively inhibiting the formation of pathogenic oral biofilms" (Source #3).
Inclusion of Mentha piperita (peppermint) in this formula is supported by research conducted by Thosar, Basak, Bahadure, and Rajurkar, and published in the European Journal of Dentistry. This study tested the effects of peppermint essential oil against four common types of oral pathogens; Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus fecalis, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans. Researchers concluded that peppermint essential oil showed "...significant inhibitory effect..." against the pathogens tested, and noted that peppermint essential oil could provide "...an effective intracanal antiseptic solution against oral pathogens" (Source #4).
Inclusion of Mentha spicata (spearmint) in this formula is supported by research conducted by Rasooli, Shayegh, and Astaneh, and published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, the official scientific journal of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists. This study tested the effects of spearmint essential oil against in vitro and in vivo samples of the oral pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus pyogenes. Researchers concluded that spearmint essential oil can significantly inhibit biofilm formation of the tested pathogens (Source #5). Because the biofilm protects pathogens, inhibition of the biofilm is one tactic for preventing the proliferation of the underlying pathogens.
Inclusion of Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) in this formula is supported by research conducted by Zahid and Alblowi, members of the faculty of dentistry in the Department of Periodontology at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, and published in The Open Dentistry of Journal, which is published by Bentham Science. This study involved 12 subjects between 18 and 30 years of age, divided into three groups. One group was given a mouthwash made of normal saline, one group given a mouthwash made of Chlorhexidine gluconate, a common medical disinfectant and antiseptic which has been shown to prevent dental plaque, and one group was given a mouthwash made from a myrrh solution obtained from myrrh resin crystals. Researchers concluded that the myrrh based mouthwash reduced plaque, and showed superior improvement in gingival inflammation (inflammation of the gums) compared to the other two mouthwashes (Source #6).
Inclusion of Syzygium aromaticm (clove) in this formula is supported by research conducted by Cai and Wu, members of the University of Iowa's Dows Institute for Dental Research and Periodontics Department, and published in the Journal of Natural Products. This study tested the effects of isolated compounds from clove plant material against various known oral pathogens using a process of disk diffusion on agar surfaces. Researchers concluded that three different compounds isolated from the clove plant "...demonstrated potent growth-inhibitory activity against the periodontal pathogens..." Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia (Source #7).
Inclusion of Cocos nucifera (coconut oil) in this formula is supported by research compiled by Wallace, a member of George Mason University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and published in the (formerly) Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the official journal of the American Nutrition Association. This research review compiled data from several previously published research studies and reports that coconut oil was "...as effective..." as chlorohexidine, a common ingredient in mouthwash, in reducing the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans, which "...is the pre-dominant microorganism found in dental plaque associated with..." dental cavities (Source #8).
Optional inclusion of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in this formula is supported by a research review conducted by Madeswaran and Jayachandran and published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research, the official publication of the Indian Society for Dental Research, which is the India division of the International Association for Dental Research. The research review reported research showing that sodium bicarbonate displays bactericidal properties against bacteria known to cause cavities, and against bacteria associated with periodontal disease (Source #9).
Optional inclusion of egg shell powder in this formula is supported by research conducted by Neel and Bakhsh and published in the European Journal of Dentistry. Research showed that an eggshell powder toothpaste performed as well as a common over-the-counter toothpaste that has been shown to repair tooth enamel. Weakened tooth enamel is believed to be a primary cause of tooth sensitivity (Source #10).
Colgate. (2023, January 9). What is in toothpaste? Five ingredients and what they do. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/selecting-dental-products/what-is-in-toothpaste-five-ingredients-and-what-they-do#
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, April 26). Fluoride Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Fluoride-HealthProfessional/
Jeong, Y. J., Kim, H. E., Han, S. J., & Choi, J. S. (2021). Antibacterial and antibiofilm activities of cinnamon essential oil nanoemulsion against multi-species oral biofilms. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 5911. https://doi.org/10.1038%2Fs41598-021-85375-3
Thosar, N., Basak, S., Bahadure, R. N., & Rajurkar, M. (2013). Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study. European journal of dentistry, 7(Suppl 1), S071–S077. https://doi.org/10.4103/1305-7456.119078
Rasooli, I., Shayegh, S., & Astaneh, S. D. A. (2009). The effect of Mentha spicata and Eucalyptus camaldulensis essential oils on dental biofilm. International journal of dental hygiene, 7(3), 196-203. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-5037.2009.00389.x
Zahid, T. M., & Alblowi, J. A. (2019). Anti-Inflammatory and anti-plaque effects of Commiphora myrrh mouthwash: a preliminary pilot clinical study. The open dentistry journal, 13(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330928110_Anti-Inflammatory_and_Anti-Plaque_Effects_of_Commiphora_Myrrh_Mouthwash_A_Preliminary_Pilot_Clinical_Study
Cai, L., & Wu, C. D. (1996). Compounds from Syzygium aromaticum possessing growth inhibitory activity against oral pathogens. Journal of natural products, 59(10), 987-990. https://doi.org/10.1021/np960451q
Wallace, T. C. (2019). Health effects of coconut oil—A narrative review of current evidence. Journal of the american college of nutrition, 38(2), 97-107. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2018.1497562
Madeswaran, S., & Jayachandran, S. (2018). Sodium bicarbonate: A review and its uses in dentistry. Indian Journal of Dental Research, 29(5), 672. https://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2018/29/5/672/244935
Abou Neel, E. A., & Bakhsh, T. A. (2021). An eggshell-based toothpaste as a cost-effective treatment of dentin hypersensitivity. European journal of dentistry, 15(04), 733-740. https://doi.org/10.1055%2Fs-0041-1729676
All formula proportions would assume use by a physically mature and healthy adult and are NOT recommended for children.
If approved by your physician to use the above blend, you are reminded:
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