Peppermint is a well-liked agent in many ingredients like toothpaste, chewing gums. It can be considered as most versatile astringent. But it is not well known that it has been tried for many oral and maxillofacial disorders which include headache, nervous headache. It can be used as mouthwash by mixing it with rosemary and lavender. It is used along with calendula flowers for the treatment of measles.
It was found to effective against 76 year old women whose pain had been resistant to standard therapies. She was instructed to apply neat peppermint oil (containing 10% menthol) to her skin, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in her pain. This pain relief persisted for 4-6 hours after application of the oil. During 2 months of follow-up she had only a minor side effect, with continuing analgesia. So peppermint oil (or menthol) having a strong analgesic effect on neuropathic pain.
In a study on 35 medicinal plants essential oils of peppermint was also found to have antimicrobial activity especially against candidiasis.. Similar results was found from another study in which essential oil of peppermint oil depicted significant fungistatic and fungicidal activity that were considerably higher than those of the commercial fungicide bifonazole.
Essential oils of peppermint exhibited very strong antibacterial activity, in particularly against Escherichia coli strains, multiresistant strain of Shigella sonei and Micrococcus flavus ATTC 10,240. Peppermint oil exhibited the highest hydroxyl radical scavenging activity.
But numerous allergic contact dermatitis reactions to peppermint oil have been described, many of which are linked to both perioral and intraoral disorders.
So, this letter is expressing its potential role from day to day use to oral maxillofacial disorders but certain side effects have been reported in the literature that has to be considered.
Key words: Peppermint, Dentistry