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Human in The Silent World of Plants: Peace, Health, Brightness Part II Aromatherapy And Oral Health

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The area of ​​interest of aromatherapy has been the treatment of diseases that may occur with soul-body-mind imbalance, conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and the idea that many diseases can be prevented by improving the immune system.

Fragrant oils such as lavender, jasmine, and lemongrass, which were used for their calming effects in ancient times, have been the subject of many studies to overcome the fear of the dentist. In dental treatments or operations on the jaws performed under local anesthesia, aromatic oils are used for patient anxiety.

Oral diseases that concern millions of people all over the world are mostly infections, aphthous ulcers, ulcers, lesions seen after radiotherapy-chemotherapy, oral symptoms of systemic diseases, traumas, etc. It shows that: This condition, which is common in society and increases the body’s systemic microbial load and toxicity, not only negatively affects people’s physical condition, but also negatively affects their social and psychological states.

In ancient times, protecting oral health was an important issue to prevent the occurrence of many systemic diseases. For this reason, keeping the oral environment free from diseases is of great importance in Far Eastern medicine.

Mouthwash is used intermittently or continuously to protect against oral infections and diseases, to heal existing lesions, or to prevent bad breath. Due to the chemicals contained in most of the mouthwashes used, possible problems include staining of the teeth and gums, the risk of allergic reactions, leaving a bad taste, or local or systemic accumulation of chemicals in the body due to long-term use.

Natural methods that will have maximum effect and cause minimum damage have turned Western medicine towards treatment with natural oils, mostly sourced from the East, and have continued to be the subject of research with comparative methods from time to time.

The use of herbal products and their ability to treat gum infections have gained popularity. Studies have shown positive results that the use of essential oils obtained from plants alone or in carrier oils and mouthwashes is an important factor in the treatment of oral health and diseases.

“Oil pulling” is a traditional ayurvedic method that has been used in India since ancient times to maintain oral health. This method aims to clean the oral environment, which serves millions of bacteria, by using coconut oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil, and to keep this environment, which is the gateway to the body, healthy. In Ayurvedic medicine, the prevention of approximately 30 systemic diseases, ranging from diabetes to asthma, is considered to be an important part of the “oil-pulling method”. This method, which has been used for centuries, has come to the fore again. Coconut oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, is also important in Ayurvedic remedies. It has been reported in studies that long-term mouthwash with coconut “oil pulling method” reduces oral bacteria and is beneficial for the continuity of oral health. It is stated that coconut mouthwashes are as effective against cavity-causing bacteria as their equivalent chemical mouthwashes.

There are studies on the effectiveness of cardamom oil, which has many pharmacological properties and antibacterial-anti-inflammatory effects, in advanced gingival diseases.

Tea tree oil has a strong broad-spectrum antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and antioxidant effect. The locally applied gel form of this natural oil is used in the treatment of moderate gingival infections and candida infections. It has been proven by research that it contributes to healing with its penetrating effect on deep tissues. Antiseptic mouthwashes containing this essential oil prevent the proliferation of oral bacteria.

In the non-surgical treatment of chronic periodontitis seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients, mouthwashes made of aromatic oils containing turmeric, clove, mint, thyme, and tea tree were used along with the treatment, and positive results were observed.

An attempt was made to overcome the pandemic with psychoneuroimmunology, which is the mechanism of action in Ayurveda. Many Ayurvedic approaches are aimed at increasing the immune system. For this purpose, applications were made during the COVID-19 pandemic and Ayurvedic methods were tried to reduce the viral load created by the virus in the mouth.

The antibacterial effect of eucalyptus oil is beneficial in preventing and reducing the occurrence of mouth-throat infections and protecting against caries. The most prescribed mouthwash in the world contains the active ingredients eucalyptus, mint, and thyme. This mixture is also used for bad breath.

Peppermint essential oil, with its antibacterial and antifungal effects, is added to many oral hygiene products. Clove essential oil, which has antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects, is used in some oral diseases, caries prophylaxis, and pain.

With its antimutagenic and antimicrobial effects, cinnamon and lemon essential oils are used in advanced gum diseases and fungal diseases in the gums of people wearing dentures.

There are studies on the fact that lemon essential oil prevents bad breath by inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria and reducing volatile sulfur compounds.

Studies are showing that the geraniol substance found in lemon, lemon grass, some fruits, and plants has antioxidant, antibacterial, and strong anti-inflammatory effects and that this effect is good for some oral lesions. There are also studies showing that other monoterpene-containing essential oils besides geraniol have antitumor activity.

In addition to the essential oils mentioned, examples of plants used in oral infections and on which various studies have been conducted are turmeric, guava apple, mango, citrus, pomegranate, neem, moringa, aloe vera, licorice, tea tree, white chicory, asparagus, basil, prickly acacia, neem oil.

Prof. Dr. Hulya Kocak Berberoglu

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