While you may already use tea tree oil as a natural antiseptic for minor cuts, burns and bites, you may not realise that the oil can also help you out with problems in your mouth. For example, tea tree oil may be able to fix problems with your gums. How does this work and when can tea tree oil help?
The Healing Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can be used as an antiseptic on a cut, it can reduce swelling on a bite and it can soothe a minor burn. These antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects can also be applied to your gums as well as your skin. If you are suffering from sore or infected gums, this oil may be able to deal with the bacteria and any related swelling or inflammation.
When to Use Tea Tree Oil on Your Gums
If you have a minor gum issue such as a scratch, a small area of inflammation or occasional bleeding on a part of your gum, tea tree oil may be able to deal with the problem.
For example, if you have a scratch on your gum or a small inflamed area, you may find that rinsing with a tea tree/water mixture helps deal with the problem. The Australian Tea Tree Industry Association recommends mixing 3-6 drops of the oil with water to make a quick mouthwash.
You can also buy dental products such as toothpastes, gels and mouthwashes over the counter which may also help. On an ongoing basis, these products may also help your gum health generally.
Warning: Bear in mind that you should never swallow tea tree oil; it is designed for topical use only and may make you ill if you swallow it.
When Tea Tree Oil Is Not a Good Fix
While tea tree oil does have some natural healing benefits for your gums, the oil may not work all the time for everybody and may not be the best solution for some gum problems.
For example, according to ABC Science, a study into the oral effects of tea tree oil found that while the oil had positive effects on reducing gum inflammation for some of the people who took part in the study, others didn't see such beneficial results. There are no guarantees that tea tree oil will always help deal with all gum problems especially if you have a lot of inflammation or a more serious case of gum disease.
Treating gum disease with tea tree oil alone may not be the best idea. If you don't treat gum disease correctly, you could end up losing some of your teeth. If you think you may have a more serious gum issue, it's best to consult your dentist. Your dentist may well recommend that you use tea tree oil as part of your treatment plan but is unlikely to agree that it can solve serious gum problems on its own.