A gum disease remedy that uses honey? That sounds rather unlikely, doesn’t it? Honey is sticky and sweet, so intuitively it would seem more likely to cause dental problems than help mitigate them.
But honey – and especially Manuka honey – actually can help with gum disease. And the reasons it’s helpful are pretty interesting, and yet another indicator of how amazingly beneficial Manuka honey really is.
It’s Not Just the Antibiotic Effect
If you’re already aware of honey’s antibiotic properties, you’re probably thinking that killing off bacteria in the mouth is how Manuka honey helps with gum disease.
And you’d be right. Manuka honey does inhibit the growth of the oral bacteria that cause plaque. But there’s something else.
Manuka honey also prevents the bacteria from producing a substance called Dextran. Dextran, a polysaccharide, is a gummy substance produced by the bacteria to help them stick to the surface of teeth. So even if a trouble-making bacterium isn’t killed outright by the honey, it finds it much more difficult to stick around.
Manuka honey’s healing properties also seem to help accelerate the healing of damaged gum tissue.
Honey Flavored Toothpaste: Wouldn’t That be Sweet?
Among the many natural remedies for gum disease, Manuka honey is one of the most promising. In fact, you may soon be able to purchase toothpaste that actually contains small quantities of Manuka honey.
In the meantime, though, if you want to give it a try, some researchers recommend simply rubbing Manuka honey onto your gums after every brushing. And since Manuka honey retains its antibacterial potency when diluted as much as 50 times, it can also be diluted and used as a mouthwash or with an oral irrigator.
NOTE: It’s important that honey not be given to infants under 1 year of age due to concerns about infant botulism.