Manuka Honey: Oral Health Benefits
Did you know Manuka honey is good for your oral health? With its superior anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, it is not surprising that this honey, native to Australia and New Zealand, can reduce tooth decay and gum disease, and keep bad breath at bay.
The key to good oral health is to reduce bad bacteria, which prevents plaque formation and inflammation, and to ensure that the good bacteria, essential for oral health, stays intact. Luckily, Manuka honey has powerful properties that inhibit the growth of bad bacteria often associated with plaque formation, tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’re wondering about the sugar content in the honey and its effect on tooth decay and cavities, then let us assure you that Manuka honey does not react like regular sugar. Unlike sugar, Manuka honey does not create an acidic demineralising environment in the mouth, which is how tooth decay begins. In fact, research also shows that Manuka honey is more effective than pharmaceutical-manufactured antibacterial mouthwash chlorhexidine in reducing plaque formation.
Combine this with Manuka’s healing and anti-inflammatory properties, you may find this honey to be extremely beneficial for your teeth and gums.
What are the benefits of Manuka honey for oral health?
Manuka honey has been shown to improve these conditions because of its strong therapeutic properties. It is also beneficial for your oral health in many other ways.
Let’s look at some of the oral benefits of Manuka honey:
- Prevents cavities
- Reduces plaque formation
- Reduces gum disease
- Temporarily relieves toothaches
- Reduces tooth decay
- Eradicates bad breath
- Fights oral infections
Why Manuka honey is beneficial for oral health?
The answer lies in the healing properties of Manuka honey. Its potent anti-bacterial activity inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria such as P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans.
These harmful oral bacteria grow on the surface of your teeth, forming layers of biofilm which is known as dental plaque, which leads to gum disease, inflammation, and tooth decay.
With Manuka honey, you can reduce dental plaque, gingivitis, inflammation, and some of the oral bacteria in the mouth.
Studies also show that Manuka honey is as effective as chlorohexidine against Streptococcus mutans, one of the main bacteria responsible for tooth decay and cavities.
As a strong anti-inflammatory, Manuka honey can reduce tooth pain and associated swelling. It can also reduce gum inflammation and pain, often associated with gum disease. Manuka’s wound healing properties are beneficial here as it quickly clears bacteria from infected wounds, even deep-seated wounds, associated with gingivitis and periodontal diseases.
While Manuka helps reduce bacteria and with wound healing, it is also gentle on the tissues, promotes the growth of new cells, and repairs tissue damaged by inflammation, while introducing antioxidants into your body.
All of these incredible therapeutic properties of Manuka honey can be attributed to an organic compound found in abundance in Manuka—Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO).
How is Manuka honey used for oral health?
We recommend using Manuka honey in four ways for healthy teeth and gums:
Mix Manuka honey with water for a natural mouthwash. Gargle and rinse with Manuka mouthwash after brushing.
Simply apply a tiny amount of Manuka on your toothbrush and brush your teeth. Rinse your mouth.
Gum massage gel
You can also use Manuka honey as a gel to massage your gums and leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse. This will help with gum inflammation and keep bacteria away.
A spoonful of honey
Approximately one teaspoon of Manuka honey a day is more than enough to help your teeth and gums and keep bad breath at bay.
Can I put honey on a tooth extraction?
Because of honey’s wound healing properties, it is beneficial to use it after tooth extraction. A 2019 study showed that honey resulted in a decrease in wound size and faster healing after teeth extraction in children.
Honey is also useful in treating dry sockets, which occur when a blood clot either doesn’t form properly or falls out after a tooth extraction, exposing the nerves and bone. According to another 2019 study, pain and inflammation can be decreased from dry sockets by applying a honey dressing.
Is Manuka honey good for receding gums?
Receding gums is a symptom of gum disease and Manuka honey has shown positive results in treating gum disease, including gingivitis, bleeding, and receding gums.
Which Manuka honey is best for my teeth?
There are 3 main rating systems for Manuka honey:
- Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)
- Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA)
- Methylglyoxal (MGO)
The strength of Manuka honey is defined by its UMF or MGO rating. The higher the rating, the better that honey is for your teeth. It is recommended that at the very least you should choose honey with the rating of UMF 15 and MGO strength of 514.