88% of patients resorted to home remedies for the treatment of oral health issues

According to results from a DentaVox survey, the use of home remedies is a widespread self-care practice. The most popular panacea for dental issues is herbs and plants. While half of the respondents evaluate the treatment as effective, 45% of them admit that they still had to see a dentist for the same problem.

Which conditions responded best to home cure and how were they treated? Find out more key insights on the topic in the infographic below:

dental home remedies infographic

Download infographic (pdf).

Most and least popular home cures

The majority of respondents in the survey have some experience with at least one type of dental home remedy. Herbs and medicinal plants are the most popular cure for 64% of people, while household chemicals (e.g. soda bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide) are the least used, according to ⅓ of survey participants.

The key role of herbs in traditional medicine might be behind their popularity as a dental remedy. Also, it can be due to the positive results from their use for some oral diseases, as supported by other studies.

On the other hand, the skepticism over the use of household chemicals is surprising in view of the versatile use of chemicals such as sodium bicarbonate. However, it is very likely to be a result of growing concerns over possible dangers and harmful effects.

Effectiveness and side effects of home treatment

Nearly half of respondents try out home therapies within the same day or even immediately after first oral health symptoms occur. 52% of them find this type of treatment effective. However, despite their satisfaction, in most cases, 45% of respondents eventually seek professional dental help for the same issue, and just 20% never or very rarely end up at the dentist’s office after using home remedies. The findings may seem controversial at first glance. But, it is possible that home remedies are used in emergency cases before their first visit, or in combination with conventional treatment.

Conditions that best responded to home remedies

According to 54% of participants in the survey, therapy with herbs and plants was most successful in cases of bad breath. A similar share of respondents pointed out that bad breath is the oral issue that best responded to treatment with foods and oils. The perceived effectiveness of herbs can be related to their success in inhibition of gingivitis (a common cause of bad breath), as reported by other studies. With regards to the use of foods and oils, it seems that the opinion of respondents is opposite to that of dental professionals who deny oil pulling as ineffective if not dangerous.

As for the other types of remedies, one in three respondents who used household chemicals believe that stained teeth are the issue that best responded to chemicals. Despite that some teeth whitening products may contain the same chemicals as part of the ingredients, professionals warn on the potential dangers of their use at home.

Similarly, 30% of survey participants who used alcohol as a remedy report best results with regards to toothache. It is not surprising considering that alcohol has been used since ancient times to relieve pain. Whether effective or not as a short-term emergency solution, dentists remind that alcohol doesn’t clean infection and therefore cannot be used as treatment.

Takeaways

With DIY dentistry on the rise in times when access to dental care is limited, as the current coronavirus lockdown, home remedies may seem as a promising alternative cure for dental issues. Results from the survey indicate that the majority of people already have experience with the use of home remedies and most of them report satisfactory results in some cases. Despite this, it is always best to consult your dentist when any symptoms of oral health issues occur.

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Disclaimer:

This article does not provide medical advice but only presents results based on responses of survey participants.