Jimson S, Malathi L, Devi G. N, Sankari S. L. Aromatherapy In Dentistry – A Review. Biomed Pharmacol J 2016;9(2).
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Manuscript accepted on :August 05, 2016
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Aromatherapy In Dentistry – A Review

Sudha Jimson, L. Malathi, G. Nandhini Devi and S. Leena Sankari

Department of Oral Pathology, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University, Pallikaranai, Chennai – 600100.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.13005/bpj/1010


Many people have a relaxing effect on aromatherapy. It is safe and effective for prevention and treatment of emotional distress. Patients waiting for dental procedures are stimulated with ambient odours. Use of aromatherapy on dental anxiety patients shows a significantly positive effect. Patients who receive aromatherapy were relaxed and calm. Aromatherapy is very effective treatment for tooth aches and mouth ulcers.


Aromatherapy; Dental anxiety

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Jimson S, Malathi L, Devi G. N, Sankari S. L. Aromatherapy In Dentistry – A Review. Biomed Pharmacol J 2016;9(2).

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Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils. The fragrant oils are extracted from the various parts of trees, plants, herbs and flowers with therapeutic purpose. And 40 different types of essential oils are used. These volatile oils are used in small amounts. Essential oils alter the psychological states and reduce the anxiety in patients waiting in the dental office1,2. They are also used to give energy and balancing the body, mind and spirit.


In the year 1937, Rene Gattefosse coined the term aromatherapy. He did experiments with various oils, and classified them according to their “healing” properties as antitoxic,tonifying, antiseptic, calming andstimulating. In 1950, Marguerite Maury used specific oils to the individualhealth needs. Jean Valnet, French man, a doctor and scientist, treated patients with psychiatric and medical disorders with aromatic oils.

Concept of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy works through our sense of smell. Smell has a powerful influence on our body and mind. Aromatic essential oils, when inhaled they activate the olfactory nerve cells in the upper nasal cavity. They send impulses to the limbic system of the brain which causes immediate response to the smell by stimulating circulatory and nervous system. Aromatherapy works both emotionally and physically.

Application of Aromatherapy in Dentistry

Aromatherapy has a relaxing effect in patients undergoing dental treatment by reducing dental anxiety. In the field of dentistry new treatment modalities have been practiced. Aromatherapy is also used as an alternative medicine.

In dentistry it is used in the treatment of:




dental abscess

herpes cold sores



Aphthous ulcer

Mouth Rinses

Commonly used mouth rinses are:

Minty flavour mouth rinse

Aloe Vera mouth rinse

Dental Office

Aromatherapy is used within the environment of dental office. It is used as an anatomized spray which is sprayed into the air with scents. This helps to put people in a relaxed and calm mood. Lavender is commonly used since it has a psychological effect and makes the patients less fearful. To comfort the patient’s spa gloves, lip satin and comfort pillows are used.


In humans, odours are capable of changing emotional states because the essential oils possess pharmacological properties that are responsible for emotional effects4. The traditional use of essential oils in aromatherapy helps in reducing the anxiety of the patients before any dental procedure5. Aromatherapy is a safe and complementary therapy but it is not a substitute for conventional treatment.


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  2. Kleinknecht RA, Klepac RK, Alexander LD. Origins and characteristics of fear dentistry. J Am Dent Assoc 1973;86:842– 8.
  3. Ludvigson HW, Rottman TR. Effects of ambient odors of lavender and cloves on cognition, memory, affect and mood. Chem Senses 1989;14:525– 36
  4. Aromatherapy: A practical guide to essential oils and aromassage by Jan Balkam
  5. Spa dentistry: where prophylaxis meets aromatherapy, an inside look into spa dentistry and how u can turn your practice into more than just a dental office- Lauren Bryant
  6. Massimeri, Jerry “Aromatherapy and Dentistry.” 13 december 2009 EzineArticles.com
  7. Diego MA, Jones NA, Field F, Hernandez-Reif, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, et al. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. Int J Neurosci 1998;96:217–24.
  8. Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L, Ja¨ger W, Dietrich H, Plank C, Karamat E. Aromatherapy: evidence for the sedative effect of the essential oil of lavender after inhalation. Z Naturforsch 1991;46c:1067 – 72.
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