Think about all the amazing things that tiny little buzzing bees do. Not only are they responsible for making sure we have plenty of beautiful flowers to enjoy, but they are also responsible for pollinating a large portion of the food that we eat (fruit, nuts, vegetables and seeds all require pollination!) Of course, there’s also honey, which we use to sweeten foods, as well as royal jelly, beeswax, and the lesser known champion – propolis, which all have potential health benefits. Read on to learn about one potential health benefit in particular regarding propolis extract!
What Is Propolis Extract?
Propolis is a sticky resin-like substance that honeybees create by mixing sap and pollen from tree buds with their saliva and other bodily secretions. The result is a thick binding substance that the bees use to fill cracks in their hive, protect against outside invaders and bacteria, and support the hive’s all-around structure. Coincidentally, propolis extract has a lot of health benefits for us humans, too, particularly in regards to our oral health.
01. Helps Fight Bacterial Plaque
Bees use propolis to protect their hives because of its antioxidant and anti-fungal effects, which keep bacteria from getting in and putting their eggs at risk. And wouldn’t you know, propolis extract can have the same protective effects in our mouths! Studies show that using a propolis extract like this one from Gaia Herbs can have a very positive effect on your oral health. Just add a few drops to water and swish in your mouth twice a day as part of your normal dental routine. Researchers say you may notice stronger, healthier-looking gums and possibly fewer cavities!
02. Supports Fresh Breath
Bad breath, in most cases, is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene. The bacteria that already lives in your mouth works to break down particles of food, and in the process, produce sulfur compounds (that don’t smell pleasant). Smelly breath can be embarrassing and can lower self-confidence, but it can easily be fixed! Properly brushing and flossing your teeth after meals, combined with adding propolis extract to your daily rinsing routine will likely do the trick!
03. Support Healing
Ancient civilizations used propolis extract as a natural way to treat skin wounds and burns. Applied directly, it not only soothes, but has been shown to be supportive in helping to prevent infection. With this in mind, many dentists have begun using it during and after dental procedures to keep the area free of bacteria and even shorten recovery time after oral surgery.
04. May Help Tooth Sensitivity
Propolis is often recommended for those who suffer from the effects of chronic fever blisters and canker sores. So, it’s not surprising that it can be beneficial for supporting tooth sensitivity. Propolis can be applied directly to the area affected and seems to have an immediate soothing effect. In fact, some researchers even say that it counteracts tooth sensitivity!
05. Works Well for Dentures
Because products containing propolis have strong anti-fungal properties, they have been beneficial in supporting oral health for those who use dentures. Oral prosthetics have a tendency to trap bacteria and fungal yeast which can have a serious impact on the gums and mouth as a whole. Studies show that using a binding agent that contains propolis extract can greatly support oral health for those who wear dentures, and in some cases may even help repair existing damage.
Do you use propolis extract in your daily dental routine? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!