Dentistry and Medical Research

: 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Role of herbal products in dental health

Lutfun Nahar 
 Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Lutfun Nahar
Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF
United Kingdom

How to cite this article:
Nahar L. Role of herbal products in dental health.Dent Med Res 2016;4:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Nahar L. Role of herbal products in dental health. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 9 ];4:1-2
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Full Text

[AUTHOR:1]Plant-derived products (herbal products) have been used for centuries for the treatment of various ailments in traditional medicinal systems around the world, and their role in healthcare is well documented. They have been used to treat various dental problems, for example, toothache, caries, and to maintain general orodental hygiene. Several herbal products are marketed for orodental use either in their entirety or as an ingredient of orodental products. Examples of herbal products that are used in various dental products, for example, toothpaste, dental rinse, and mouthwash, as an ingredient may include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), caraway (Carum carvi), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and clove oil, echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), fennel (Ferula communis), ginger (Zingiber officinale), green tea (Camellia sinensis), peppermint (Mentha piperita), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), and many more. Dental products containing these herbal components generally help maintain orodental hygiene by protecting against bacterial infections, preventing from plaque accumulation, formation of bad breath, dental caries, and gingival and periodontal diseases.

Dental caries, caused by oral cariogenic bacteria, is one of the most common dental problems encountered in the industrialized world and has serious financial implications in any healthcare provisions. Numerous studies on herbal products have shown that certain herbs can offer effective prevention of dental caries; cinnamon bark oil, Papua mace extract, and clove bud oil are known to inhibit the growth of many oral bacteria, and the high level of polyphenols in green tea inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, various parts of Melia azadirachta indica, commonly known as "neem" that possess antiseptic and antibacterial properties offering prevention against dental caries and are used in tooth powders and toothpastes. In many countries, still today, neem twigs are used as tooth brush and can prevent dental caries. Mouthwash containing neem extract or neem oil can inhibit the growth of S. mutans and treat carious lesions. Ayurvedic practitioners use the roots of Moringa pterygosperma (drumstick tree) in the treatment of soreness of the mouth and throat, and pain in the gum associated with dental caries. There are several other examples of herbs and herbal products which are effective in orodental care.

While the medicinal properties of herbal products have prompted their use in orodental care, their potential role in the development and improvement of innovative dental biomaterial is also extremely valuable. For example, Malus domestica (apple) can be used in titanium implant coating in dental implantology, and Cissus quadrangularis (veldt grape) and Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) are recommended for periodontal filler in periodontal regeneration.

Despite the fact that several herbal products have been primarily tested, not many reports on comprehensive and systematic controlled studies on these herbal products to prove the effectiveness and safety, and to identify any adverse effects and interactions with other conventional drugs are available to date. Therefore, appropriate cautions must be exercised in the use of these products as preventive or curative measures for orodental problems.