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11-06-2012 | Public health | Article

Herbal mouthwash shows promise in inhibiting plaque formation


Free abstract

MedWire News: Using a herbal mouthwash (HM) for 4 days without performing any other oral hygiene measures shows promise in inhibiting plaque formation, report researchers.

The study compared HM use with an essential oil (EO) mouth rinse, a placebo mouthwash, and chlorhexidine (CHX) - the current gold standard - and found significant inhibition of plaque regrowth after 4 days with HM and EO compared with placebo.

The lowest plaque index (PI) and plaque area (PA) values were found in study participants who used CHX, however, write Arparna Singh and co-investigators from the CSM Medical University (erstwhile KGMC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.

The team sought to identify a herbal formulation mouthwash with plaque inhibitory effects similar to CHX and a commercially available EO, but without the acknowledged side effects these rinses induce.

CHX, for example, cannot be used long term because of "undesirable side effects such as taste disturbances, tooth discoloration, and, less commonly, desquamation of oral mucosa," say Singh et al.

A total of 48 study participants, aged 21-26 years, were randomly assigned to use a HM, an EO mouth rinse, CHX, or placebo (colored, distilled water).

Participants underwent an oral tissue examination, then were instructed to rinse with 10 ml of their allocated mouthwash for 1 minute, twice per day for 4 days, without performing any other oral hygiene measures including toothbrushing.

After 4 days, a second oral examination revealed that the CHX group had the lowest plaque measurements, at 2.69 and 38.14% for PI and PA, respectively, and the placebo group had the highest, at a respective 3.77 and 53.81%, report the researchers.

Corresponding PI and PA values for participants using the HM were 2.94, 41.62%, and for those using the EO were 3.21, and 45.93%, adds the team.

Compared with placebo, the mean difference in plaque regrowth was significantly lower among study participants who used CHX, HM, and EO, meanwhile overall plaque measurements were significantly more favorable for CHX compared with HM and EO, and HM compared with EO.

Furthermore, no adverse side effects were reported among participants using the HM.

"On the basis of the results obtained, it can be stated that this new HM had a promising plaque inhibitory potential," conclude Singh and his co-workers.

By Sarah Guy

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