New research published last year has evaluated the effects of the aromatherapy, specifically lavender (Lavanduala Angustafolia) on stress and pain perception in children visiting the dentist.
According to the authors, the findings ‘showed that aromatherapy with lavender essential oil can significantly result in reduced pulse rate and salivary cortisol level in children during dental treatment. The results also found the effectiveness of lavender aromatherapy on the reduction of pain perception during dental injection; therefore, it could be considered as a method for stress and pain control in dental settings in children’ [sic]. (Ghaderi and Solhjou, 2020)
The study explored the effects of lavender essential oil on 24 children attending two dental appointments, one week apart. In the first appointment, lavender was added to a humidifier 30 minutes before treatment but not used in the second appointment.
The children’s anxiety levels, pulse rates, salivary cortisol levels and a face rating scale were measured at different stages of the appointments.
It was noted that the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect of the lavender essential oil could be the result of ‘masking dentistry-related odours’ which children (and adults) can find distressing.
Even so, this is an interesting study and the authors comment that further research using “a non-therapeutic odour as the placebo is needed, in order to assess the therapeutic effect of lavender. ”
Read the article on the FHT blog here.