The plant Melaleuca alternifolia is native to Australia. The distillation of its leaves produces an essential oil, commonly known as oil of Melaleuca, or Tea tree oil, which present antimicrobial activity. This study investigates the action of this oil on the repair process of infected dental alveoli. 48 rats were used (Rattus novergicus albinus, Wistar). After tooth extraction and posterior infection of the dental alveoli with Staphylococcus aureus, the animals were separated into three groups: Group I: curettage and irrigation with physiologic saline solution; Group II: curettage and irrigation with physiologic saline solution and topical application of rifamycin diethylamide B 25 mg; and Group III: curettage and irrigation with physiologic saline solution and topical application of oil of Melaleuca 20%. The animals were sacrificed 24 hours, 7, 14 and 21 days after the treatment with powder and the repair process of the dental alveoli was analyzed using an optical microscope. The results were submitted to qualitative and quantitative analysis and it was concluded that tea tree oil at 20% caused a delay in the repair process of infected dental alveoli in rats, as demonstrated by the presence of more necrosis area and less osteogenesis.
Melaleuca alternifolia; Staphylococcus aureus; dental alveoli