I am always on the lookout for more natural solutions to oral health care problems and this week I came across a study that was published in 2014 in The Journal of The Indian Society of Periodontology that concluded:
Propolis was more effective than 5% potassium nitrate in relieving dentinal hypersensitivity and had an immediate and sustained effect.
According to this study, the all-natural propolis was actually found to be “better” than the potassium nitrate. I am very familiar with potassium nitrate as it is the most common de-sensitizing ingredient found in most over-the-counter de-sensitizing toothpastes on the market today. While it does work for most people by reducing symptoms I am concerned that it does not address the root cause of tooth sensitivity! While I really feel that this should always be our goal; healing the tooth instead of masking the symptoms, there are times when temporary relief is the most immediate concern!
Propolis I am not so familiar with so here is what I found:
Propolis is a resinous yellow brown to dark brown substance collected by honey bees from sprouts, exudates of trees and other parts of plants and modified in the beehives by addition of salivated secretions and wax. It is used by bees for protection, to repair openings and damages in hives, to construct aseptic places for queen egging and to embalm killed invaders. Chemically, Propolis of different parts of the world is constituted by 50-60% of resins, 30-40% of waxes, 5-10% of essential oils, 5% pollen, besides microelements like aluminum and calcium.
So far, more than 300 organic compounds of different groups mainly phenolic, such as: Flavonoids, stilbenes, phenolic acids and its esters have been identified from Propolis. Many biological activities have been reported for Propolis, such as antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, anesthetic and free radical scavenging action.
Propolis Has a Tubular Sealing Effect
The researchers speculate that Propolis has an immediate effect on sensitivity due to its tubular sealing effect which prevents the flow of the dentinal fluid in the tubules and that its stable, long lasting effect is due to the stable nature of the deposits so formed. Additionally, based on another study published in 2004 that the authors of this study alluded to, Propolis flavonoids may also delay dental pulp inflammation and stimulate reparative dentin formation. Here is the healing component I am always looking for!
Since the study involved professional application of the Propolis I think it might be worth doing a few test cases here in my office to see if it works in real life situations. Is anyone interested in trying this out?
Until next time,