The recent trend of “superfoods” has introduced manuka honey as such. Together with kale, quinoa, spirulina, goji berries and much more, honey has been attributed a well-deserved super-food title.
Honey as a natural gum disease remedy
It may sound a bit weird at first. How can a sugary product be good for our teeth and gums? Dentists and dental hygienists have always advised us to keep away from excessive sweet stuff in order to achieve good oral health. And here am I now, telling you that honey can help defeat gingivitis.
However, if you know that manuka honey has high antibacterial properties, you would take this blog post seriously. The reason I bring up manuka, is because not all honey products are the same or have the same healing capabilities. Even though they are produced in the same natural way, different bushes and flower yield out different types of honey.
All honey contains some degree of antibacterial properties. But, not all honeys are equal. The difference between manuka honey and regular raw honey is a hundred fold.
Research has shown that all honeys contain hydrogen peroxide which is produced by a special enzyme. This enzyme is believed to be the key to the strong antimicrobial properties that honey has.
When it comes to dental health, honey can reduce plaque by considerable amounts. It can also reduce the amount of acid that is being produced. This stops already existing destructive bacteria from producing dextran. This type of bacteria is most often found on top of the teeth and is responsive for the formation of plaque, gingivitis and general tooth decay.
Studies have shown that chewing honey can be extremely helpful to preventing dental diseases. Manuka honey chewing sticks can be just as effective as brushing when it comes to removing plaque. They cannot compare to flossing, because the sticks are not thin enough to go between the teeth. However, chewing honey can easily replace traditional dental remedies that are used to remove plaque and lower the possibility of gingivitis.
In India, a study compared the reduction of plaque using manuka honey, a mouthwash with Chlorhexidine gluconate and a chewing gum with xylitol. The results concluded that the honey derived from the manuka bush reduced plaque formation better.
For now, there is no convenient way of using manuka honey for dental purposes. There are toothpastes that contain a certain level of bee propolis, but it is not the same. Scientists are working on creating a mouthwash that has manuka in it.
In the meantime, if you are curious to see how it works, you can always rub your gums with some manuka honey.