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Tea Tree Oil For Mouthwash - Does It Work Well?

Does using tea tree oil for mouthwash actually work?

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is probably one of the best known antiseptic liquid around. It has proven effects against bacteria, fungus and even viruses.

No doubt, the mouth harbors many unfriendly germs (bacteria and fungus). Most of the time, they do not bother us. However, many factors (including low immune system and poor oral hygiene) can cause them to overgrow leading to many oral cavity diseases especially gingivitis (gum disease).

A prescription mouth rinse is available but many discriminating individuals are asking if tea tree oil works. After all, if a natural solution exists, and if it is proven to work, why not go for that instead?

Read on find out what research studies have revealed to us...

Studies on using tea tree oil for mouthwash and oral health

Here is one particular clinical trial that we found very interesting:

Antimicrobial activity of garlic, tea tree oil, and chlorhexidine against oral microorganisms.
Groppo FC, et al.
Int Dent J. 2002 Dec;52(6):433-7.

This study was conducted in Brazil at the Piracicab Dental School in 2002 involving 30 volunteers.

They compared how effective tea tree oil, garlic and chlorhexidine (the standard) are at killing bacteria found in the mouth.

And the results...

Chlorhexidine and garlic stopped the growth of the bacteria mutans streptococci only. Tea tree oil stopped mutans streptococci and other bacteria.

More importantly, only in the garlic and tea tree oil group did the mouth stay relatively bacteria free for 2 consecutive weeks. They even beat out the prescription chlorhexidine solution.

The table below summarizes some of the side effects of tea tree oil from the study:

Side Effects Tea Tree Oil Garlic Chlorhexidine
Strength Used 0.2% 2.5% 0.12%
Unpleasant taste 30% 100% 40%
Burning Sensation 60% 100% 40%
Bad Breath 20% 90% 40%
Nausea Feelings 10% 30% 0%
Note: The higher the number above, the more volunteers reported the side effects. And yes, we all know that garlic will give you bad breath.

A quick look at this chart will tell you that a garlic mouthwash, while effective at killing the germs, will send your friends running the other way for weeks. Garlic mouthwash is not an option any right-minded person would want to try.

Tea tree oil mouthwash works and is supported by this clinical study.

Side Bar - Do not ever undervalue research studies conducted in so call "developing countries". We would choose to do research studies in underdeveloped and developing countries ourselves since the cost of research would be much lower than in, for example, Canada! This type of research studies rarely get funding from the big pharmaceutical companies.

Did you know that using tea tree oil for mouthwash actually works against bad breath?

See the article How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Bad Breath for that particular use along with the clinical study to prove this. Keep in mind that the researchers used a 5% tea tree oil solution.

Recommendations - How to make tea tree oil for mouthwash

This study showed that a 0.2% tea tree oil mouthwash is effective. Many people have made concentration as high as 5% (good for bad breath). We will provide the formula for the 5% strength as well.

Strength Tea Tree Oil Dilution Ratio Add solution for a total volume of...
Tea Tree Oil
Natural Mouth Solution
0.2% 0.5 mL 250 mL (1 cup)
0.2% 1 mL 500 mL
0.2% 2 mL 1,000 mL (1 litre)
5% 13 mL 250 mL
5% 25 mL 500 mL
5% 50 mL 1,000 mL (1 litre)
Note: Expect more burning sensations when using the 5% tea tree oil mouthwash.

The base solution is made of water (distilled or purified water is best). Add about 5 drops of peppermint oil for flavor and several packets of stevia (natural sweetener) and adjust for flavor and taste.

Remember to shake well before each use as separation is expected to occur (tea tree oil is an oily liquid).

Another option (perhaps a better choice) is to simply add the right amount of tea tree oil into your existing mouthwash that you current use.

Direction for use

Gargle with 30 mL (1 tablespoon) for 30 seconds after brushing and flossing your teeth. Twice daily is ideal but using it at bedtime should provide acceptable results.

See our detailed report Tea Tree Oil Dilutions for information on how to make this and other similar formulations.

Bottom line

Thinking of using tea tree oil for mouthwash?

Go for it. And your mouth will thank you.

Get More Info on the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

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Related to Tea Tree Oil for Mouthwash

Tea Tree Oil Dosage and Dilution Guidelines

Tea Tree Oil Dilution Ratios

Tea Tree Oil for Infections



Jump to Tea Tree Oil Uses Home Page

Return to Does It Work

References for Tea Tree Oil for Mouthwash

Revised: August 31, 2019


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