Of all the questions we receive about our HealThy Mouth Blend, one of the most common we get is why we chose the ingredients we did.
So in this article, we’d like to share the backstory of how our HealThy Mouth Blend was created, the role of each ingredient in the blend, and some of the various beneficial elements of the formula.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this has been a learning process for us.
When we first created the formula, we weren’t aware of all of these benefits that we’re going to share with you today.
But over the years, we have discovered more and more reasons why our Healthy Mouth Blend is such a helpful tool for supporting greater oral health. Much of the discovery we’re about to share with you came from customers who let us know how they had benefited from using the HealThy Mouth Blend.
First off, we should make clear that we were blessed with much of the initial formula work.
At the risk of sounding ‘woo woo’, it was as if God’s hand was in the whole process. Actually, we have no doubt God’s hand was in the whole process!
We essentially asked a question and waited for the answer to show up in our lives:
“How can we make a product available that will effectively help others to have a healthy mouth and prevent the progression of damaging gum disease?”
Then we waited.
We knew the ingredients had to be organic.
For many years, we had already been living a ‘beyond organic’ lifestyle.
We knew that plants grown organically don’t contain pesticides or GMOs, and the research had already resoundingly shown us that organically grown plants are nutritionally superior to plants that are grown with conventional farming methods.
In particular, organic plants have 20-40% more antioxidants than plants grown commercially. Since the phytonutrients (antioxidants) are concentrated in the production of plant essential oils, organic was a must for us and our HealThy Mouth Blend formula.
It makes sense if you think about it.
Plants grown organically have to be provided the actual nutrition necessary to thrive, so the nutrients that are provided to them wind up in them.
On the other hand, plants that are grown conventionally are ‘propped up’ by pesticides and manufactured fertilizers that produce an artificial environment where the plant doesn’t require as much nutrition to thrive, so fewer nutrients wind up in these plants.
We are proud that we are able to stick to our values and make a product from 100% organic or wildcrafted ingredients (manuka is wildcrafted, not farmed, so it can’t ‘officially’ be called organic).
Why a Balanced Formula?
We knew we wanted to make a balanced formula.
Given our background in the Chinese Longevity Arts (we actually met in a kung fu school and have been studying the arts together since 1985), we are well aware of the concept of yin and yang, natural balance.
Since this product was going to be used in the mouth (and the mouth is the main pathway for introducing ‘new stuff’ into the rest of the body), we knew the formula had to be a balance of warming and cooling herbs.
That way, we wouldn’t be causing any imbalances ‘downstream’ from the mouth.
For example, we had heard of people who had progressively damaged their health over the years by repeatedly using products that contained only cooling (mint family) ingredients in their oral hygiene routine.
The habitual cooling of one’s ‘stomach fire’ can cause all sorts of digestive problems down the road.
On the flip side, using only warming ingredients (cinnamon, clove, etc.) can ‘overheat’ the digestive system.
So, given that one of the fundamental principles of OraWellness is ‘do no harm’, it was critically important to us that we create a balanced formula of both warming and cooling elements.
With these guiding principles in place, we took several deep dives into the research and clinical trials (along with lots of time behind our own microscope) to confirm the effectiveness of the HealThy Mouth Blend.
Here’s what we found…
Why Peppermint and Spearmint?
The mint family has long been used to cool inflammation.
In addition, scientific literature shows that both peppermint and spearmint are very effective in reducing certain oral pathogens, particularly those related to gum disease. (1, 2)
Common sense says that there’s a reason why so many toothpastes are mint flavored. However, in the process of trimming costs, mainstream oral hygiene product manufacturers sacrificed real mint for artificial flavors and therefore lost the healing benefit of the mint family.
Why Cinnamon (Leaf)?
Cinnamon contributes to the warming profile of the formula. Also, the literature suggests that cinnamon essential oil is the most effective in stopping streptococcus mutans, the main bad bug implicated with tooth decay. (3)
And what’s the second most common toothpaste flavor? Cinnamon!
We are honored to be part of the return of small businesses to traditional ways, relying on components of nature and ancestral strategies to support greater health (especially greater oral health :)).
Clove plays several crucial roles in our HealThy Mouth Blend formula.
First, clove has long been used in traditional medicines around the world to alleviate oral health issues. Research shows that clove helps balance the oral microbiome by lowering the presence of the bad bugs associated with gum disease.
Second, like cinnamon, the nature of clove is warming, so it also offsets (or balances) the cooling mints in our formula.
To understand the third important role clove plays, we need to take a quick detour to discuss how periodontal pathogens (bad bugs implicated with gum disease) do their dirty work. While it may seem strange to consider, the truth is that different species of bad bugs communicate and coordinate with one another to collectively undermine the health of the host. This ability to communicate across species is called ‘quorum sensing’.
That’s where our good friend clove comes in to help us. You see, clove has been shown to be effective in disrupting quorum sensing. (4) Think of it like scrambling the communications of the enemy, which supports your preference for a healthy oral flora.
Another benefit of the clove in our HealThy Mouth Blend is that it contains a compound called ‘eugenol’. Eugenol is another good buddy of ours because it helps to soothe any distressed or painful nerves.
When nerves are assaulted often enough (as in a chronic bacterial infection like gum disease), the nerves can get super ‘hair trigger’ and even stuck in a constant ‘on’ state. Clove helps to unwind frazzled nerves so the area can rest and restore itself to health.
Myrrh has been used since before Biblical times to help heal a wide array of health issues. Treating everything from hay fever to herpes, myrrh has found wide appeal for its tissue healing support.
While myrrh does also help to balance the oral flora, we actually included myrrh in the formulation because of one of its other attributes: myrrh speeds the healing process by increasing blood flow to compromised tissue.
Manuka holds a special role in the formula.
Scientific literature states, “...manuka oil showed significant adhesion-inhibiting activity against P. gingivalis.” (6)
In other words, manuka makes it more difficult for ‘bad bugs’ (and the plaque that they create) to cling (or ‘adhere’) to teeth and gum tissue. The adhesion inhibition produced by manuka oil is a very positive step toward a healthy mouth!
That’s why so many of our customers rave about how their teeth feel so clean and fresh after using the HealThy Mouth Blend.
Manuka also happens to be the most effective plant essence for managing the toughest of ‘bad bugs’ associated with gum disease.
Note: Manuka is a plant, and our HealThy Mouth Blend contains the essential oil of that plant. Most people associate the word “manuka” with the honey produced from the same plant (manuka honey is honey produced by bees that have gathered pollen from the manuka plant). Our HealThy Mouth Blend does not contain any honey or bee products, but it does contain the essential oil derived from the manuka plant.
Concentrations that Are ‘Just Right’
Once we had identified the components of the formula, getting the concentration ‘just right’ was the next step in the process. You see, we call it HealThy Mouth Blend because it’s just that, a blend. It’s not 100% essential oils, as that would be much too strong and would almost certainly damage the sensitive tissues in the mouth.
What are the carrier oils?
We chose two different carrier oils to bring the blend to that ‘just right’ concentration.
Our original HealThy Mouth Blend has always been made with certified organic sweet almond oil. Almond oil is a super mellow oil that has beneficial qualities of its own, but we chose sweet almond oil because it’s color is very, very light and the flavor helps harmonize the other flavors in the formula.
A number of years later, some customers with nut allergies asked us if we could make a nut-free version of our HealThy Mouth Blend. After some research, we decided to use certified organic jojoba oil as the carrier oil for our Nut-Free HealThy Mouth Blend.
Quick note: there has been a recent increase in awareness of the capacity of phytic acid (found in grains, seeds and nuts) to disrupt our ability to absorb some nutrients from food. Because of this, we have received questions regarding the amount of phytic acid in the sweet almond oil in our original blend. It’s really a nonissue, as the phytic acid is found mostly in the skin and germ portion of nuts, but sweet almond oil is produced from the ‘meat’ of the nut.
A positive shift in cultural perspective…
The internet has been very active concerning the relatively new information pertaining to the human microbiome. As such, we are starting to see a cultural shift away from the ‘scorched earth’ policy of using multi-spectrum antibiotics to kill everything in sight.
Instead, we see more of an attitude of being a good steward of our precious microbiomes. When it comes to oral health, around here at OraWellness, we call it being ‘a good conductor of the symphony’ in our mouths, and we speak quite a bit about how to balance our oral flora.
Part of the elegance of the HealThy Mouth Blend formula is due to it being ‘just right’ in its concentration. Not enough essential oil results in an ineffective product, but too much essential oil creates a product that’s too strong and that could be downright dangerous.
We pored over books and scientific studies, making sure our formulation was potent enough to be effective but diluted enough to be safe (after all, anything that goes in the mouth spreads to the rest of the body). Ultimately, we had to see the effectiveness with our own eyes, and we spent plenty of time staring into our microscope.
Continuing on the path to ‘just right’
No one ingredient in our blend is so strong as to stress sensitive oral tissues.
Using a wide array of plant essences and a carrier oil base, we are able to maintain safe levels of essential oils while ensuring that the blend is very effective.
Again, we aimed for a perfectly balanced product to assist each of us in balancing our oral flora, so the HealThy Mouth Blend formula is strong enough to effectively prevent and even help stop gum disease, yet gentle enough to soothe stressed tissue.
Here’s what one study had to say regarding essential-oil-based oral hygiene products: “Long-term use of an EO [essential oil] mouthwash is microbiologically safe… and no evidence of antimicrobial resistance.” (6)
How have others benefited?
Here are just a few ways customers have expressed how they have benefited from using our HealThy Mouth Blend:
“Our breath smells better and our teeth are so much whiter!” Paula N
“I got a ‘thumbs up’ from my dentist! Oh, and my teeth are even whiter! yayyy!!!” Rick B
“My hygienist said yesterday “This is the best your gums and teeth have ever looked.” Rosita R
“my gums are no longer bleeding” Charletta T
“now I just no longer have any receded gums.” Laura H
“The dentist has confirmed that the decay on our son’s front teeth has stopped!” Sayuri G
“my gums have begun to regenerate” Lara T
“the canker sore healed in a fraction of the time it normally would have taken to heal.” Jan S
“A drop rubbed on a cold sore a few times a day shortens the healing time significantly.” Angela E
“I have no more tooth sensitivity” Heidi F
“OraWellness is truly my healing miracle” Susan H
Other customers have even reported improvements to seemingly unrelated issues, from arthritis to brain fog. This makes sense given that gum disease is a major contributor to systemic inflammation. We recently detailed this in an article titled, “Is a major cause of disease hiding right under our noses?”
The scientific benefits
So, after many years of studying the literature and hearing how customers benefit, here’s how we have come to view the main benefits of the HealThy Mouth Blend:
Increased adhesion inhibition – makes it more difficult for bad bugs to undermine our oral health
Disrupts quorum sensing – scrambles the communication between bad bug species
Balances oral flora – targets specific bad bugs without compromising the diversity of the oral microbiome
Reduces plaque formation – helps us be a ‘good conductor of the symphony’ in our mouths
Increases saliva production – critically important to stop tooth decay and gum disease
We hope this article has been informative to share the thought/prayer/research process that went into creating our HealThy Mouth Blend.
If you have found benefit from using our products, please share your experience in the comments below so others reading this can hear from you directly. It’s always so much more powerful when we can read testimonials directly from the happy customer!
Plus, we love to hear how you benefit from our products!
Helpful, Related Resources:
Can some plaques actually help our teeth stay healthy? [article]
How to balance your oral flora and be a good conductor of the symphony in your mouth [article]
Is a major cause of disease hiding right under our noses? [article]