Oral health is a fundamental aspect of our overall well-being, and sometimes, issues like oral ulcers and sores can disrupt our daily lives. For individuals undergoing cancer treatment, these oral troubles, collectively known as oral mucositis, present a significant challenge. In this blog, we will demonstrate how propolis possesses natural healing properties that help fight against oral infections.
Understanding Oral Mucositis and Its Causes
Oral mucositis is a condition characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes in the mouth. This situation often leaves individuals struggling to maintain their daily routines. In this section, we will explore the causes and significance of oral mucositis, emphasizing why finding effective solutions is vital. Whether it's the result of cancer treatment or other factors, comprehending the intricacies of oral mucositis is the first step toward relief.
The oral mucosa, which covers the mouth, is highly sensitive and particularly susceptible to damage from chemotherapy and radiation. Consequently, oral mucositis is the most common complication of cancer treatments, notably chemotherapy and radiation.
Oral mucositis can lead to various problems, including severe pain, nutritional difficulties because of the inability to eat, and an increased risk of infection due to open sores in the mucosal tissue. It significantly affects a patient's quality of life and becomes a dose-limiting issue in cancer treatment.
How Propolis Can Help Heal Mouth Sores and Ulcers
It is proven that propolis has its potential to alleviate the discomfort caused by mouth sores and ulcers. Let us take a closer look at the scientific underpinnings of propolis and how it contributes to promoting oral health. This section will shed light on why propolis is considered a valuable resource in oral care.
Propolis has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral activities, besides anti-inflammatory and healing actions. Thus, propolis is able to assist prevention and softening of oral mucositis symptoms due to its wide biological effect, acting on all disease stages. Studies have demonstrated that the polyphenols found in propolis, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, possess antioxidant properties. In addition to its antioxidant properties, propolis exhibits potent antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms. This antimicrobial action makes propolis effective in preventing and treating infections that can exacerbate oral mucositis.
Furthermore, propolis has been found to possess anti-inflammatory effects. It can modulate the production of inflammatory mediators, reducing the inflammatory response that contributes to the development and progression of oral mucositis. The presence of bioactive compounds, including polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, contributes to the diverse range of health benefits exhibited by propolis. These compounds play a role in its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties.
The Science Behind Propolis and Its Effectiveness for Oral Health
In a randomized controlled scientific study conducted in Malaysia in 2022, the effects of propolis on oral mucositis were investigated in individuals diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer undergoing radiotherapy treatment. The scientific study, which lasted for 6 weeks, included 17 volunteer participants. The participants were randomly divided into two equal groups as the experimental and control groups. In the experimental group, 10 individuals were provided with mouthwash containing 7 ml of propolis mixture three times a day for 6 weeks. The 7 individuals in the control group, on the other hand, rinsed their mouths with saline water. The study evaluated oral mucositis scores, and the data from the study showed that in the experimental group, individuals who rinsed their mouths with propolis had a significant reduction in oral mucositis scores in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th weeks.
How to Incorporate Propolis into Your Oral Care Routine for Improved Health
Incorporating propolis into your daily oral care routine is effortless. Whether you rinse your mouth with propolis for your morning and evening rituals, apply propolis directly to mouth sores for targeted relief, or choose water-soluble propolis drops for comprehensive care.
- Mendonça, I. C. G. (2016). Propolis as an adjunct to prevention and treatment of radiotherapy-and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Nurs palliat care, 1(5), 97-100.
- Hamzah, M. H., Mohamad, I., Musa, M. Y., Abd Mutalib, N. S., Siti-Azrin, A. H., & Wan Omar, W. A. (2022). Propolis mouthwash for preventing radiotherapy-induced mucositis in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The Medical journal of Malaysia, 77(4), 462–467.