Propolis Offers Benefits for Oral Health
Propolis is a resinous substance created by bees and they use it around the entrance other parts of the hive to seal cracks. This helps to protect the hive from fungal, viral and bacterial infections. Honeybees collect resin and then mix it with enzymes and beeswax to make propolis. It is used by humans for its beneficial health effects including in the area of oral health.
Propolis protects the teeth from cavities, gingivitis, and the buildup of plaque. A Brazilian study showed a decrease of 60 percent in the rate of cavities in rats with the use of propolis.
Halitosis is bad breath and it is brought on by a buildup of bacteria in a person's mouth. Propolis helps to combat bacteria such as enterococcus faecalis, streptococcus salivarius, streptococcus sanguinis, candida albicans, lactobacillus casei, and other types of odor-causing oral bacteria.
Thrush is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth and throat, and is caused by the bacteria, candida albicans. According to Phytotherapy research, propolis extract is as effective at clearing up thrush as traditional antifungal medication is. Bees use propolis for its anti-fungal properties. You can read more about it here.
Help for Gum Inflammation
Propolis toothpaste is effective at fighting the bacteria that causes gum inflammation, gingivitis, or Periodontitis. When the bacteria are stopped from growing around the base of teeth and in the crevices between them, there is a lower occurrence of plaque, which can lead to gum issues.
Canker sores or mouth ulcers typically happen on the inner lip, tongue, inner cheek, throat, bottom of the mouth under the tongue, or the soft palate. The pain associated with these sores can be excruciating and make it difficult to drink, eat or even talk. Many dental professionals recommend propolis to get rid of these sores. Studies report effective healing occurs through applying propolis tincture each day for over 14 days.
Other Dental Uses for Propolis
Propolis is also ideal for covering a tooth after it accidently falling out, so that it can be inserted. It helps prevent bacteria for growing on the root. Dentists have used propolis to seal a tooth socket after a tooth extraction to prevent infection.
Dentists have found propolis effective, when used with other traditional periodontal treatments or on its own as discussed earlier.
Dentists in Russia typically use propolis in fillings for root canals, because of its antibacterial and anesthetic qualities.
Studies on Propolis
A study on whether propolis would be an effective mouth rinse for oral surgery wounds was conducted by Carvalho and Magro-Filho in 1994. These wounds were a result of patients having sulcoplasty performed. The patients came back 4 different times for clinical and cytological evaluation.
The results of the study showed that an aquaeous alcohol solution containing propolis aided in the healing of the intra-buccal wounds made in surgery. This mouth rinse also provided some anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects on the wounds.
There was some minor irritation also caused to the wounds. Epithelization of the surgical wounds also was evident.
Another study was performed in 2008 using three intracanal medicaments containing propolis to see how effective they were against Enterococcus faecalis. The conclusion was that propolis was an effective antibacterial agent in vitro against the Enterococcus faecalis with root canals. This means that it would be an effective alternative medicament for intracanal issues.
Should Everyone Use Propolis?
Propolis is safe for most people to use. However, if a person is allergic to any bee products he or she should not use propolis. Check with a doctor before giving propolis to and infant, as babies have more sensitive systems than adults do.