I heard about tea tree oil antimicrobal properties. But does it something similar to active oxygen or nitrogen pyroxide? Or it makes them whiter just killing organisms that cause change in color or dissolves everything just like any other acid? People on the Internet tell it's cheap and better than more hi tech types of whiteners, but hard to figure out what exactly it does and how well in comparison?
I have not found any whitening properties of tea tree oil but it can help prevent tooth discolouration and I have seen toothpaste with tea tree oil sold in shops.
Jain et al. (2014) states:
Tea tree oil’s major active component is terpinen-4-ol (30%–40%). This compound is responsible for its antibacterial and antifungal properties [(Arweiler, et al. 2000)].
Jain et al. (2014) also states:
Using tea tree oil orally is not recommended as it may cause possibly serious side effects such as confusion, loss of muscle control, or coma. In dentistry, tea tree oil has been used to destroy microorganisms in the mouth before dental surgery, removal of smear layer when used as a root canal irrigant and to relieve mouth soreness caused by dental procedures [9-12]. In studies of patients who suffered from oral candidiasis mouth rinses containing tea tree oil have shown some effectiveness in reducing symptoms when taken in a dose of one table spoonful of 5% tea tree oil solution as a mouth wash that is held in the mouth and then spit out four times a day for up to 4 weeks [13, 14].
Arweiler, N. B., Donos, N., Netuschil, L., Reich, E., & Sculean, A. (2000). Clinical and antibacterial effect of tea tree oil–a pilot study. Clinical oral investigations, 4(2), 70-73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s007840050118
Ashe, S., Agasti, S., Lakkoji, S., Rauta, P. R., Sahoo, H., Mishra, M., & Nayak, B. (2017). Novel chromogenic bacteria characterized and their probable treatment options using herbal products and reagents to restrict biofilm formation. Journal of Applied Biomedicine, 15(4), 291-298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jab.2017.08.001
Jain, N., Rajwar, Y. C., Batra, M., Singh, H. P., Bhandari, R., & Agarwal, P. (2014). Dentistry: Turning towards herbal alternatives: A review. Scholars Journal of Applied Medical Sciences, 2(1C), 253-7. http://saspublisher.com/sjams-21/