Manuka honey has long been regarded as nature’s medicine from the bees for wounds and healing since ancient times. But did you know that Manuka honey has wide ranging benefits beyond just wound healing? In more recent times, studies have shown that Manuka honey has real benefits for your oral health.
Methylgloxal, which is one of the compounds found in Manuka honey, is believed to be the major element for most of these health benefits - such as its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
Unlike regular sugar, honey doesn’t create an acidic demineralising environment in the mouth, which is how tooth decay begins. Instead, premium Manuka honey actually inhibits oral bacteria that is often associated with plaque formation, tooth decay and gum disease. It is also gentle on oral tissue and provides anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Manuka Honey Oral Health Benefits
Due to its antibacterial properties, manuka honey can be really beneficial for your holistic oral health, including the following:
Prevent dental cavities
Dental cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth and lead to tooth decay. Using Manuka honey can prevent dental cavities because of its antibacterial effects. Manuka is also known to be effective against Streptococcus mutans, one of the most common pioneer bacteria that colonizes the oral cavity.
Reduce dental plaque
Dental plaques are biofilms or layers of bacteria that grow on surfaces of your teeth. Dental plaque can build up and get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, leading to gingivitis and gum disease. This is why regular brushing and flossing is important to remove dental plaque.
Manuka honey can help with reducing dental plaque and inhibit oral bacteria.
Gingivitis is caused by bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums, which may lead to more serious periodontal disease. This may mean the loss of teeth as your gums start to separate from them.
According to studies, Manuka honey has been 50% more effective in reducing the growth of bacteria against gingivitis. Manuka also boosts your immune system and has strong anti-inflammatory benefits for your gums.
How to Use Manuka Honey for Your Oral Health
Now that you understand the oral health benefits of manuka honey, let’s take a look at how we can use the honey for everyday oral care:
You can make your own homemade honey toothpaste by mixing castile soap, olive oil, manuka honey and essential oils. This toothpaste is created from all natural ingredients and is much more beneficial for your teeth than regular, commercial toothpastes.
Alternatively, you can mix some Manuka honey with warm water to form a natural mouthwash. Gargle and rinse after brushing for the best effects.
You can also use Manuka honey as a paste to apply directly to your gums and leave it on for a few minutes. This can help with gum inflammation and also to reduce plaque buildup on the teeth.
Nature’s Glory Manuka Honey for Oral Health
While Manuka honey seems really beneficial for our oral health, it is important to note that you should only use high-grade premium Manuka honey with high levels of antibacterial effects. This can be done by checking the label of your Manuka honey bottle for ratings - either a high UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), MGO (methylgloxal) level or Total Activity levels.
At Nature’s Glory, we use Total Activity or TA to measure this. Total Activity is the degree of antibacterial activity of the Manuka honey compared to a standard disinfectant solution. Having a Total Activity of 10+ or more is regarded as important in the killing of bacteria and germs that cause diseases, for example Staphylococcus Aureus.
For our Manuka honeys, the TA levels for our Organic New Zealand Manuka Honey Bioactive 15+ and Organic New Zealand Manuka XO Honey Bioactive 30+ is considered high levels of activity at 15+ and 30+ respectively.
Furthermore, our Manuka honeys are organically grown and harvested, ensuring that you are consuming pure honey without any additives and chemicals. This is pertinent as you are not introducing more toxins into your oral system.
Do note that using Manuka honey as a natural way to take care of your oral health does not replace your regular oral health habits. You should still continue to floss and brush your teeth everyday and get regular checkups at the dentist. However, Manuka honey can be quite effective at reducing dental plaque and bacteria for overall better oral health in conjunction with your everyday teeth cleaning habits.