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Herbs and Plants in Dentistry

2242 words (9 pages) Nursing Essay

3rd Dec 2020 Nursing Essay Reference this

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Plants should be used as the only source of medicine because of its properties. Many companies use herbs of plants as medicine rather than synthetic drugs. This is because synthetic drugs are sometimes can cause harmful side effects to certain people; however, when natural compounds derived from plants are used, they have minimal side effects and are cost-effective. For this reason, plants have been used for years to control and prevent diseases; they are also used in modern-day drug production. By using plants and herb extracts to avoid diseases, patients avoid most of the side effects that come when using traditional medicine. To avoid having side effects, only knowledgeable practitioners should prescribe the right dosage.  Herbs have many benefits to the human body; this includes cleansing the blood and stimulating the body and increasing surface circulation, while also increasing the elimination of wastes.

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Furthermore, herbs can reduce inflammation and calm the body. Herbs can be taken internally as drinkable syrups, pills. They can also be taken externally as plasters, ointments, poultices, or topical creams. In this research, I intend to examine the use of plants and herbs within the dental field. The study will expand on herbs and plants that are found useful in dentistry and prove that herbs may be good alternatives to current treatments for oral health problems.

The practice of good oral hygiene is necessary for healthy teeth, gum, and fresh breath. Several methods are used in oral hygiene to prevent and cure oral diseases. Ancient Civilization has used plants to improve and promote oral health. It is essential to look at the role's plants play in oral hygiene as a number of them have medicinal properties. Plants are critical to keep good oral health because some show that they possess antimicrobial activity against oral microbial flora. Several plants are used in the preparation of toothpastes. This is mainly due to the presence of several chemical compositions present in the plants; an example is Propolis, which is a resin-rich in flavonoids, bees make it from plants. The in vitro antimicrobial activity of flavonoids and Propolis is well documented. A silicate toothpaste containing Propolis demonstrates good plaque-cleaning, plaque-inhibiting, and anti-inflammatory activities. This research is aimed to compile scientific evidence of alternative oral and dental treatments using medicinal herbs such as Aloe Vera and Turmeric

Aloe Vera belongs to the Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae) plant family. It is arborescent or shrubby, xerophytic, pea-green colour, perennial, succulent plant. Aloe Vera’s botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. This plant is known to mainly grow in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. Aloe Vera has many healing properties like antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antitumor. These properties help in accelerating wound healing and treating lesions in the oral cavity. Its also has many vitamins, including vitamins C and E. Those Vitamins play an essential antioxidant role in the body to fight against free radicals and positively impacting the immune system. Vitamin E helps in preventing blood clots, while Vitamin C helps in wound healing and the production of collagen, which is needed by the body to keep joints and bones healthy. Aloe Vera plays a significant role in dental treatments such as recurrent aphthous stomatitis, the treatment of lichen planus, oral submucous fibrosis and alveolar osteitis because of its anti-inflammatory ingredients.

 A. Vera contains enzymes that reduce skin inflammation. The enzymes have twelve laxatives that have fatty acids, salicylic acid, and hormones. The auxins and gibberellins help in reversing any inflammation by blocking the paths of irritants. Aloe Vera also provides seven out of the eight essential amino acids as well as many enzymes that can aid with digestive systems such as amylase which helps break down sugar and starch. The lipase enzyme also helps in breaking down fats. The Salicylic Acid found in the Aloe Vera leaf metabolizes in the body, similar to an aspirin-like compound that provides painkiller properties.

A study was conducted by Ajmera et al. to assess the anti-inflammatory properties in aloe Vera leaves and its effect when used in mouth washed. He used a sample of forty-five patients that used mouthwash and had plaque‐induced gingivitis. They were then divided into three groups of fifteen patients in which group one was to rinse twice daily for three months using 10 ml of Aloe Vera mouth wash. While group two was to be treated with dental scaling only, and group three was treated with both scaling and aloe Vera mouth wash. Results showed a reduction in gingival inflammation in all three groups. However, the most reduction shown was with group three, which used both scaling and aloe Vera mouth wash.

Another study was conducted by Davis et al. to test the anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties of aloe Vera. Davis et al. 's interest came from the presence of growth substance mannose-6-phosphate that is present in the aloe Vera plant. It was concluded that aloe Vera has a significant number of inflammatory properties, which can be used as an alternative treatment when treating patients with plaque-induced gingivitis oral problems.

Bhat et al. tested the effects of the subgingival application when an Aloe Vera gel is applied to periodontal pockets of patients. Fifteen subjects were teste for plaque index, gingival index, probing pockets, and were treated by scaling and root planning.  A. Vera gel was then added and compared with the control group which used only SRP for three months. After Bhat et al. gathered the results, they concluded that the subgingival parts of Aloe Vera gel show improvement in the periodontal condition of the patient, which means that Aloe Vera gels can be used as alternative drugs to help in the delivery system in periodontal pockets. 

Aloe Vera gels are effective in controlling bacteria, which helps reduce cavities compared to other toothpaste available. It can destroy and remove harmful microorganisms due to the anthraquinones, which are anti-inflammatory. Another bonus is the fact that it does not contain abrasives substances like the rest of the kinds of toothpaste, making it less harsh on teeth and better for sensitive teeth and gums.

Another study was conducted by George et al. to assess the antimicrobial activity of aloe Vera tooth gel which was called forever bright tooth gel and another two commercially accessible toothpaste (Colgate, Palmolive). It was then concluded that Aloe Vera tooth gel was more effective than the other two well-known toothpaste in controlling the organisms that cause Prevotella intermedia, Candida albicans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus mitis, Enterococcus faecalis, and Pepto streptococcus anaerobius.

The Aloe Vera gel verified greater antibacterial effect against Streptococcus mitis despite the non-existence of fluoride substance. Denture patients can also benefit from aloe Vera; this is due to the sore ridges and ill-fitting dentures to reduce bacterial contamination and reduced the inflammatory irritations. Aloe Vera can also be used to control inflammation from bacteria contamination around newly implanted teeth.

Turmeric's use in Dentistry

Turmeric or Curcumin (Curcuma Longa) is a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, an Indian spice derived from the rhizomes. The Curcuma, the name of the genus derived from Arabic, meaning saffron and turmeric. It is essential as a home remedy in treating many ailments that have been proven for a long time and are now gaining importance in modern dentistry and medicine. Turmeric is an ancient dye and is a flavouring and medicinal herb which is widely used in Asian countries. Its name is mostly known because the herb is commonly used in Indian medicine, cookery, and in cosmetics. Curcumin is the main component of turmeric. Curcuma Longa has several medicinal properties and has been attributed as traditional medicine and has efficacy in the treatment of periodontal diseases along with many pharmacological actions in dentistry. Its proven to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant properties, and has a significant role in periodontal diseases and oral cancers. It inhibits metastasis and also has an action in deactivating the carcinogens in cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco. These properties help improve oral health and dental hygiene. They are commercially available and are affordable and are easily used.

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Plaque is the leading agent responsible for the breakdown of periodontal tissues. It is important to remove plaque regularly to prevent periodontal diseases. chemotherapeutic agents are added to dentifrices to help adults perform satisfactory tooth cleaning , prevent gingivitis and control plaque. Curcumin is orally applied for prevention of periodontal disease using a bio-adhesive formulation; curcuminoids are the active component described in literature composed of Curcumin, crude drug, tetrahydro curcumin, and solvent extracts of C. longa.

The highest yield of antioxidant property can be obtained from turmeric varieties. When there is an imbalance that occurs between oxidants and defense systems, in favor of oxidants, oxidative stress will occur. This oxidative stress in the cells can result in severe metabolic dysfunctions, loss of cell integrity, enzyme function, genomic stability, and so forth, which ultimately lead to pathogenesis of many human diseases (e.g., inflammation, ischemia, atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and so forth).

Acute and chronic inflammation can be suppressed by curcumin. It reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels. It also reduces pain from other diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and stiffness of joints. Curcumin is also found to be superior to NSAID’s and Placebo. They have also shown to counter inflammatory responses similar to the action of steroids without any side effects. Inflammation can be quickly relieved using turmeric. Turmeric water (5 g of turmeric powder with two cloves, two dried leaves of guava in 200 g of water is boiled) as a mouth rinse can be used to reduce pain and swelling. It can also be reduced by massaging roasted, ground turmeric on aching teeth. Gingivitis and periodontitis can be alleviated using a paste which contains 1 tsp of turmeric, 1⁄2 tsp of salt, and 1⁄2 tsp of mustard oil on the teeth and gums twice daily.

In a clinical study done by Kumar, herbal dentifrice has and reported 87–95%, 70–72%, and 80–95% reductions in plaque, gingivitis, and dental calculus, respectively, in 15 days of treatment. The use of turmeric mouth wash can be effectively used as an adjunct to mechanical plaque control methods. 10 mg of Curcumin dissolved in 100 mL distilled water is used. The flavor is enhanced using peppermint oil. The pH of these mouthwashes is as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwashes, which are most widely used. Although chlorhexidine gluconate is furthermore effective when an anti-plaque property was considered. In the end it was noted that the effect of turmeric is an anti-inflammatory property resulting in reduction to the total microbial count in both groups.

In conclusion, Aloe Vera is cost-effective and helps more than modern-day medical drugs however not enough studies are available. Most of the literature found are short term studies. Long‐term studies are required with a larger sample size to help understand Aloe Vera’s healing properties, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, and releasing patterns as a local drug delivery system is needed. Likewise, Curcumin, which is considered non-dangerous, non-toxic, and a better alternative for conventional drugs due to its therapeutic properties. It has been proven that indeed Curcumin can be used along with root planning and scaling. However, just like Aloe Vera, more research is also needed for curcumin to determine the long-term effects of and using a larger sample of subjects.  

Reference

  • Academy of General Dentistry. (2009). Tooth Gel: Healing Power Of Aloe Vera Proves Beneficial For Teeth And Gums, Too. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090717150300.htm
  • Devaraj, S., & Neelakantan, P. (2014). Curcumin-Pharmacological Actions and its Role in Dentistry. Asian Journal Of Pharmaceutical Research And Health Care, 6(1), 19-22. Retrieved from http://www.informaticsjournals.com/index.php/ajprhc/article/view/526
  • George, Dilip & Bhat, Sham & Antony, Beena. (2009). Comparative evaluation of the antimicrobial efficacy of Aloe vera tooth gel and two popular commercial toothpastes: An in vitro study. General dentistry. 57. 238-41
  • Sharma, Sonam & Sharma, Amita & Ahlawat, Babita. (2016). Turmeric - Its Applications in Dentistry. Journal of Advanced Research in Medicine. 3. 2016

 

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