Bee Propolis and Oral Health

Bee propolis is created by honey bees by combining their saliva, beeswax and other substances excreted by the bees after they’ve gathered together sap, plants and tree buds. Also known as bee glue, propolis is frequently used by the bees to seal up different holes and gaps that are present within the structure of their hive. It’s sticky when it’s above about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it solidifies into a very hard substance when it’s colder outside. Egyptians found it to be a holy substance, and we’re still using it today!

There are many natural properties of bee propolis that makes it beneficial for bee propolis and oral healthoptimal health. For example, it is naturally antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and antibacterial. This makes it an excellent candidate to use for maintaining optimal oral health of your tongue, teeth and gums. It can provide you with fresher breath, treat plaque buildup and control gingivitis.
Let’s talk a bit more about the natural properties of bee propolis, how it’s used and its potential oral health benefits.

The Purpose of Bee Propolis in the Hive

While bee propolis has a number of potential health benefits for humans, its original purpose is to assist a bee colony. Originating from trees such as the willow, beech and chestnut, the propolis that bees create will help protect the colony from the weather outside, larger insects and even rodents. Because the propolis can harden, it provides a very strong level of protection. Its antibacterial properties can help protect the overall health of the bees. If an infection is present, bees know to utilize propolis to control the infection. They will also cover the bodies of insects and even small rodents that have made their way inside the hive to prevent any kind of decomposition or transfer of infection. 

How It’s Used for Humans for Oral Health

The best way for humans to extract bee propolis from a hive is to remove it when bee propolis throat sprayit is still in a sticky and liquid form. Solvents such as propylene glycol and gloverin can be used to extract and prepare the propolis when being used for something like oral care products. You may find it added to toothpastes, propolis throat spray, rinses, ointments, propolis capsules and much more. 

Keep in mind, your mouth consists of more than just your teeth. Your oral health relates to the condition of your teeth, the health of your gums, your salivary glands, tongue and even your digestive system. After all, your digestive system is related to chewing and ingestion of food. Your mouth is capable of easily absorbing substances like propolis. It can help to control tooth decay, prevent inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), control inflammation of the tissue around your teeth and it can even assist with oral diseases. [Link to propolis health  benefits when consumed as a dietary supplement]

Studies Relating to Bee Propolis and Oral Health

Many studies have been conducted to determine what kind of health effects bee propolis can have on a person’s teeth and gums. These studies have determined that using a propolis-based spray or toothpaste can reduce the amount of bacteria that is living within the mouth. It can reduce the buildup of plaque after just a couple weeks time. Natural chewing gums are even including propolis in their ingredient list to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Propolis is commonly used to treat canker sores, either in a pure liquid form or via a blend with natural herbs.

Bee Propolis for Plaque Issues

Because of the antioxidant and anti-fungal effects that bee propolis naturally contains, you can use propolis to fight against plaque. Plaque is bacterial in nature, so rinsing with a propolis-based product of some sort can kill the bacteria that’s causing plaque to build up. This is the same bacteria that can cause bad breath, so you may notice that your breath smells fresher when you target the bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria is something that occurs naturally from food particles that are stuck in between your teeth. Sulfur compounds can also be produced as your mouth attempts to break down the food that you’re eating.

Infection and Oral Issues

There are a number of sores and wounds that you may experience inside of your mouth. It can aid in healing, but this is also a great way to protect against infection. Infection is a common risk with dental issues because of the bacteria that’s present in your mouth. You can also use it after dental procedures to speed up the healing process. For easy application, you can opt for a propolis throat spray if you need to target the back of your mouth or throat.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

It’s uncomfortable to have sensitive teeth. When you bite into something cold or hot, the feeling you get can send shivers up and down your spine. You can get pretty fast results from applying bee propolis directly to the area of your mouth where you experience the sensitivity. Use a mouthwash with propolis in it if you experience widespread sensitivity across all of your teeth.

Propolis and Dentures

When you have dentures in your mouth, it’s common to have trapped bacteria and yeast under the dentures and in between the false teeth. While you have the ability to remove your dentures and clean them, you can end up with some pretty serious gum issues when your dentures have been left in for many hours. You can prevent growth of bad bacteria, improve your breath, maintain healthy gums and heal any gum disease or sores that are present thanks to the inherent benefits of bee propolis.

Buying Bee Propolis

As with any natural product on the market, there are all kinds of brands and products to take into consideration. If you’re looking to take bee propolis in capsule form, it’s recommended that you consume approximately 1000 milligrams daily. [1000mg bee propolis capsules]
You can apply propolis topically, and you’ll want to follow label instructions in this case. You may be limited to the number of times you can apply a certain product over the course of 24 hours. A product that is simple and straightforward is usually the safest and most effective, especially if you're using something like a propolis throat spray that will be largely ingested.

The actual chemical composition of bee propolis can vary based on where the propolis is found, the type of bees living in that hive, the trees used by the bees to create the substance and the season it was collected. You can expect it to be composed of resin, wax, essential oil, pollen and other organic substances.
Thanks to its microbial properties, you may be interested in adding it to your oral healthcare routine. If you’re dealing with ongoing oral health issues, you may want to consult with a trusted dentist before starting any kind of propolis regimen. However, this is a very safe product that can be used for optimal oral health. Keep in mind, you may experience an allergic reaction to bee propolis if you’re prone to allergic reactions from bee stings, honey or local tree pollen.
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