As the holidays approach, we’re taking a look at a tasty treat that we all enjoy during the colder seasons. We sprinkle it into our oatmeal, in our teas, and bake it into seasonal pies – but did you know that cinnamon can be helpful to our oral health? This flavorful spice has many health benefits due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Cinnamon is even a popular ingredient in some mouthwash and toothpaste products.
While you’re enjoying your time with family and friends this season, it’s also important to maintain good oral health. Dr. Coates shares how cinnamon can help you do just that!
Benefits of Cinnamon for Your Oral Health
A derivative of the Cinnamomum verum tree, cinnamon has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Compounds in cinnamon offer great antioxidants, plus anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help your overall health – including your oral health. Here are a few of its awesome health benefits:
1. Encourages Healthy Teeth
Cinnamon contains calcium that helps you maintain healthy teeth. Just a tablespoon can offer almost 80mg of calcium.
2. Calms Oral Inflammation
Flavonoids in cinnamon can fight inflammation, reducing swelling and helping tooth pain. It also helps to soothe tender gums, especially in teething infants. Inflammation in the gums, called gingivitis, can be painful and progress to a more severe form of periodontal gum disease. Cinnamon bark oil inhibits porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes gingivitis and gum disease.
3. Fights Infection
Its antimicrobial, antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties make it perfect for fighting off infections and illness.
4. Attacks Bacteria
Studies have shown that cinnamon can protect against some bacteria that lead to tooth decay and halitosis. Cinnamaldehyde, the active ingredient in cinnamon, fights bacteria that lead to gum disease. It also includes other compounds that combat bacteria by breaking their cell walls and thwarting cell division, stopping the growth of bacteria.
5. Helps Prevent Cavities
Cinnamon bark oil helps ward off streptococcus mutans bacterium that causes cavities and enamel erosion.
Applying Cinnamon to Your Oral Care Routine
Studies have shown that there are some benefits to adding cinnamon to your oral care routine. Cinnamon extracts and oils can be applied directly to the mouth, chewed, or used as a mouth rinse as long as they are labeled safe for internal use. There is also some evidence that cinnamon oil can even be beneficial when used to clean dental appliances.
Discuss Cinnamon and Other Oral Health Tips with Dr. Coates
It’s important to note that while cinnamon has been shown to affect oral health positively, it doesn’t replace good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing each day are essential. You must also visit your dentist regularly to maintain your oral health.
The research is ongoing, so discuss with your dentist how to best apply cinnamon to enjoy the natural antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits. There are cases of cinnamon allergy causing contact dermatitis or more serious reactions. To learn the best ways to use cinnamon and other oral health tips, schedule your consultation with Dr. Coates today!