Author: Rositsa Tashkova, Master of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Gingivitis and periodontitis are serious gum diseases, which, however, often remain neglected. The infection develops, the gums bleed, but we are accustomed to discomfort, and it already seems to us that it is normal to spit blood when brushing our teeth. But it's not.
Treatment of gingivitis and periodontal disease requires a complex approach and guidance from a dentist. It can also be supported by the local application of certain medicinal plants and herbs, thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant action. In this article, we will look at which herbs work best according to the information in the scientific literature.
Aloe vera reduces inflammation
There are several clinical studies that show good effectiveness of aloe vera in various forms - toothpaste, mouthwash or extract intake, as a means complementing other methods of treatment. There is evidence that the plant reduces bleeding and inflammation of the gums in gingivitis. [ref.1]
This herb is alo known as ruddles, common marigold or Scotch marigold. According to several clinical studies, one of which involves 240 people with gingivitis, mouthwash with marigold significantly reduces bleeding and inflammation of the gums, as well as other factors by which the severity of the disease is determined. [ref.2]
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) has antibacterial activity
Data on the benefits of green tea in various forms in gingivitis and inflamed gums are promising. Several clinical trials have shown this. Green tea has also been found to have bactericidal activity against the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens in laboratory conditions. [ref.3]
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) fights plaque
A clinical trial was conducted on a 1% solution of chamomile, used as mouthwash in the morning and evening after brushing teeth, for 15 days in patients who wear braces and have gingivitis. The results show that bleeding gums decreased, as did the amount of plaque accumulated. This is probably due to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of chamomile. [ref.4] Other studies have shown the same effects in gingivitis.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) as a mouthwash
Few people know that the bark of the fruit and the core of the root are used as a healing agent due to their content of ellagic acid, ellagitannins, punic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins and estrogenic flavonols and flavons, as well as alkaloids such as pelletierine.
There are studies that show that pomegranate juice can improve the condition of gingivitis sufferers and bleeding gums - in the form of mouthwash. It has been shown to be particularly effective in patients who also have diabetes. [ref.5]
Arak, Miswak (Salvadora persica) - the toothbrush tree
This is a type of tree characteristic of the Middle East and Africa, where twigs of it are used as a natural toothbrush, that's why it's also called toothbrush tree. It's rich in different substances. There is evidence that it can improve the condition of bleeding gums, especially when used in combination with a standard toothbrush or in the composition of toothpaste. [ref.6]
Some herbal combinations, containing elderberry, gotu cola, echinacea, eucalyptus, menthol, and others, also improve gum health, through their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action. [ref.7, ref.8]