August 17, 2021
Plant essential oils are frequently associated with and commonly used in aromatherapy. They exhibit relaxing, analgesic, antiphlogistic, and antiseptic activity. This is, however, not the major field in which they are used. More and more frequently, they are employed in medicine and dentistry as alternative therapies. It is mostly their antiseptic effect that is utilized. They are also known for their antioxidant activity and are often used in food preservation, as spasmolytic agents, and in local anaesthesia.
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is one of the most potent plant antiseptics. It is very popular in dermatology and cosmetology. Tea tree oil easily penetrates through external skin layers due to such properties as lipophilicity and high solubility in the secretion of sebaceous glands. It is used to treat skin disorders caused by fungal infections such as candidiasis, viral infections such as herpes, bacterial infections such as acne vulgaris, dandruff, frostbites, burns, ulcers, and psoriasis. In dentistry, it is used in the treatment of oral candidiasis, angular cheilitis, and prosthetic stomatopathy, i.e., a group of infections caused by Candida spp. The risk of candidiasis is higher among patients with lowered immunity, after antibiotic therapy, using acrylic or other dentures, patients with reduced salivary flow, and in the elderly. It is especially among the elderly that all these factors frequently coexist. Furthermore, the use of infected dentures may cause local infection of the oral mucosa as well as respiratory tract or digestive tract infections.
That is why it appears advisable for wearers of partial functionally unstable dentures to use toothpastes containing tea tree oil. The next antiseptic ingredient used in the studied toothpaste is the ethanolic extract of propolis, which is prepared by extracting crude propolis using 70% ethano. In dentistry, propolis is used in the treatment of caries and periodontal diseases; it also exhibits antiphlogistic and antifungal activities.
A toothpaste containing tea tree essential oil and propolis extract was evaluated in fifty subjects using removable acrylic partial dentures. The effects of the toothpaste on microflora and overall oral health (plaque, gum bleeding, oral hygiene) was evaluated during the study. Significant improvements in all evaluated indexes were observed after 7 and 28 days of using the toothpaste, including stabilization of oral microflora