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Many people use the strong smelling tea tree oil in their cosmetic and skin care products. It’s especially popular in shampoos and soaps. What few people realize, however, is that tea tree oil can be equally effective as a dental health care product.
Desert Essence all natural toothpaste utilizes tea tree oil along with the traditional Indian medicinal herb called neem. Without the use of any artificial chemicals or ingredients, Desert Essence relies on the properties of tea tree oil and neem to ward off harmful bacteria in the mouth.
How can tea tree oil, a topical ingredient, keep our mouths clean?
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil has a wide array of uses. Specifically, tea tree oil is effective as a topical antibacterial agent. These antiseptic properties extend to the mouth as well.
What makes it such an effective bacteria killer? There are these substances in tea tree oil called terpenins.
Studies have linked the terpenins in tea tree oil to a reduction in plaque and gingivitis causing bacteria. Terpenins along with another substance called cineole were shown to reduce the ability for these bacteria to adhere to the teeth. Also, these studies showed a link between the use of tea tree oil and improved periodontal health.
So, tea tree oil is just as effective as fluoride keeping teeth clean and healthy. The other all natural ingredient, neem, combines with tea tree oil to make this toothpaste even more potent.
Neem comes from the bark of tree that’s been used in traditional Indian medicine for hundreds of years. It is used to treat a wide array of ailments.
In this toothpaste, neem specifically helps relieve gum disease and other gum issues. A few small clinical studies have demonstrated that neem is potentially effective in helping to treat gum disease. In one study involving 50 patients, over 80% had shown definite signs of gum health improvement over a short period of time.
This is significant because many people have a difficult time finding remedies for gum disease. There is good evidence to suggest that neem provides improvement for gum health, and many users of this toothpaste have reported an improvement in gum health.
So, we know that tea tree oil and neem make Desert Essence a viable, effective toothpaste but what is it actually like?
Out of the box, Desert Essence comes in a sturdy toothpaste tube with a large, round flip cap. I found it to be really solid and never clogged up nor broke off of the tube.
Similar to many other all natural toothpastes, Desert Essence comes out of the tube somewhat thin and lumpy. It’s not as physically consistent as mainstream brands of toothpaste. This is probably due to the presence of baking soda in the toothpaste.
At first, I was afraid of how it would taste. After all, tea tree oil is really strong smelling. Upon my first use, however, I was surprised to see that it tasted quite mild. You can taste the mint, a little tea tree oil, a bit of fennel and some of the baking soda. The flavor is hard to describe. More on that later.
Desert essence is different from most all natural toothpastes in another way: foaminess. If you use any more than a pea sized amount of the toothpaste, it will foam up a lot, seriously. I think this effect is also due to the presence of baking soda in the ingredients.
After brushing, my teeth felt very clean. As someone who suffers from gum disease, I found Desert Essence to be one of the few toothpastes to actually alleviate my symptoms.
Despite its proven effectiveness, there are a few minor issues with Desert Essence.
First, it suffers from a problem common amongst all natural toothpastes: texture. The texture of desert essence is chalky and clumpy. Out of the tube, it’s not easily applied to the toothpaste. Again, I only ever see this as a minor problem. It certainly doesn’t get in way of proper use.
Second, is actually the foaminess. It almost foams too much. This is probably due to the baking soda in the toothpaste. It worries a lot of users since it’s rare to see that much foam in an all natural toothpaste. Still, the foaminess does make your mouth feel a lot cleaner. Overall, I don’t really see this as a negative either
Third, the taste can be off putting to some people. I would say this is the only somewhat glaring issue with Desert Essence. The good news is the taste is not very strong but what you can taste is neither pleasant nor overtly unpleasant.
The taste of baking soda stands out amongst the odd combination of mint and fennel flavors. I didn’t really mind the taste but a lot of others users pointed it out as a downside to the toothpaste. I wouldn’t say it’s that off putting. It’s still a usable toothpaste if you don’t mind a bit of an odd flavor.
Desert Essence Toothpaste Wrap Up
Combining two of nature’s most powerful antiseptics, tea tree oil and neem, Desert Essence Toothpaste is definitely one of the best all natural toothpastes on the market.
Tea tree oil is excellent at preventing cavities while neem is one of the few ingredients to actually prevent gum disease. Their effectiveness is bolstered by scientific study and clinical trials. Neem is especially promising as a treatment for periodontal issues.
Again, the only notable downside is the taste but I found it to not make or break the toothpaste. I think the proven effectiveness of the ingredients outweighs the negatives of an weird taste and texture.
Desert Essence is a great choice for those who want an all natural toothpaste or those with particularly troublesome periodontal issues.