Tea tree oil (also known as melaleuca oil) has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. It has certain chemicals called terpenoids that have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Tea Trea Oil is an essential oil that is produced by steam distilling the leaves of an Australian plant called the Melaleuca alternifolia. Originally, the leaves of this Australian plant were used as a tea substitute, which is how tea tree oil got its name.
Tea Tree Oil Uses
Tea tree leaves were originally used for healing skin ailments, scrapes, insect bites, skin spots, cuts, infections, and burns by crushing the leaves and applying them to the area in need. Tea tree oil has also been used to treat conditions such as acne, athlete's foot, dandruff, nail fungus, vaginitis, thrush, periodontal disease, boils, lice, eczema, psoriasis, yeast infections, and as a general antiseptic. It is often used in creams, ointments, soaps, lotions, and shampoos.
Tea Tree Oil for Bad Breath
Tea tree oil can also be used to treat bad breath. Many toothpastes and oral products use tea tree oil as an ingredient. Sometimes it is even used in mouthwashes, oral rinses and other solutions for treating bad breath.
Why is tea tree oil used in halting halitosis? Well, because it has antifungal and antiseptic qualities which allow it to kill fungi and bacteria that feed on food particles left in the mouth. The antiseptic property is mainly what makes it effective for preventing bad breath.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil being used for bad breath is safe, since it is a 100% natural product. It is environmentally friendly since it is obtained from a renewable natural resource, and the tea trees are not disturbed and are allowed to survive.
However, there are unfavorable effects of tea tree oil for halitosis, and researchers recommend that you consult with a dentist before deciding if tea tree oil would be appropriate for you to use to combat bad breath. In rare instances,Tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions and may also possibly alter hormone levels. Allergic reactions are most common with pure tea tree oil, so it is usually diluted before using. However, it can also cause irritation when diluted.Tea Tree Oil should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Tea Tree Oil for Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease / Gingivitis)
Not only can tea tree oil help with bad breath (halitosis), but because it has antibiotic qualities, it can also help heal gum infections. It can treat severe chronic gingivitis (gum disease / periodontal disease) and bleeding gums. This is one of the main reasons a dentist would tell a patient to use toothpaste that contains tea tree oil for treating bad breath.
In order to get rid of gingivitis, you can use the tea tree oil by using one drop on top of your normal toothpaste on your toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth. It has a numbing effect and strong taste that will dissipate within five minutes. Never swallow the oil, do not use more than one drop, and wait around 15 minutes before drinking or eating. After a few weeks of using the tea tree oil, the gums should return to normal. One should also avoid sugary foods and drinks. If there are no results after a month, you could be suffering from a deeper infection in your body and should see a doctor/dentist for further help.
Tea Tree Oil can be used against the follow bacteria/fungi:
Gram Positive bacteria: Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), Staphyloccus epidermidis, Staphyloccus pneumoniae, Staphyloccus faecalis, Staphyloccus pyrogenes, Staphyloccus agalactiae, Propioni-bacterium acnes, Betahaemolytic streptococcus.
Gram Negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniac, Citrobactor ssp, Shigella sonnei, Proteus mirabilis (urinary tract infections), Legionella ssp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Fungi: Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton rubrum, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans, Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Thermoactinomycetes vulgaris.
Source: Alt Medicine