How Eucalyptus May Help Keep Your Teeth Healthy

One of the most popular evergreen trees is the eucalyptus. Native to Australia, this tree has been used for thousands of years in various medicinal practices (e.g. Ayurvedic, Chinese, Greek, etc.) as a natural remedy to treat many health conditions (via MedicalNewsToday). With over 400 species, one of the most common ways to use the medicinal properties of eucalyptus is to make tea from the dried leaves (via Healthline). It's critical to note that you cannot consume the leaves whole, nor should you confuse eucalyptus tea with eucalyptus oil, which are both toxic if ingested. Children may be at particularly high risk, so it's important to consult your healthcare provider first. 

However, some research shows that certain eucalyptus products may be safe and good for your oral health (per WebMD) as long as you don't swallow it and they contain safe levels of eucalyptus extract. Such products may include mouthwash, toothpaste, and gum. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers found that participants who chewed gum with at least 0.4% or 0.6% eucalyptus oil significantly reduced the inflammation of their gums, plaque build-up, and the bleeding of their gums. 

More benefits of eucalyptus for oral health

A 2015 study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventative and Community Dentistry explains that eucalyptus leaf extract promotes oral hygiene because it contains an abundance of cavity-fighting properties that inhibit harmful bacteria, such as lactobacillus acidophilus.

MedicalNewsToday points out that, while you do not want to ingest eucalyptus oil orally because it is poisonous to consume, eucalyptus oil is full of antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Not only do these properties help prevent gum disease and ward off unwanted bacteria, but some people claim they also help freshen bad breath, improve gum/teeth strength, and ease cold sores if used in a safe and correct way (per Cirocco Dental Center).

One of the easiest ways to harness the power of eucalyptus leaves is to use products that already contain eucalyptus leaf extract. Whether you choose mouthwash, chewing gum, or various other dental products. It's important to use products intended specifically for oral health and from trusted sources.