How effective are ‘alternative’ methods? Howard Thomas

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  Posted by: Dental Design      29th November 2017

Over the years an alarming amount of patients have chosen to take the DIY route to try and improve their oral health, but not all of them produce the intended results. Here are some of the most popular ingredients used.

Traditionally used in alternative medicine as a stomachic, recent research suggests that sage may have a role as a therapeutic agent in periodontal disease. While to most of us sage is a perennial evergreen subshrub to be planted in the garden, it seems that its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties could be used effectively against gingivitis as well as stomatitis. ,

Liquorice root
A few years ago, research revealed a new ingredient for oral health enthusiasts to try: liquorice root. Having been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, researchers have discovered that liquorice root contains two antibacterial compounds that can be used to inhibit two major tooth decay bacteria, Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus. The study also revealed that these chemicals are effective against two major periodontal disease bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, suggesting that liquorice root could help to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease.

Green tea
In addition to its weight loss, anti-aging and general feel good properties, there is research that suggests green tea has a number of dental benefits, including the reduction of periodontal symptoms. Indeed, a study looking at pocket depth, attachment loss of gum and bleeding on probing found that for each cup of green tea consumed during the assessment there was a decrease in all three indicators, signifying an inverse association between the intake of green tea and periodontal disease. On top of that, green tea is thought to be very effective in reducing oral malodour on a temporary basis because of its disinfectant and deodorant activities, with a study showing that both H2S and CH3SH gases were reduced.

Commonly known as Azardirachta indica, neem has also been identified as a potential solution due to its anti-bacterial, anti-cariogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it desirable for patients in search of an alternative treatment pathway.

In time, it may be that some of these methods prove to be effective in helping to relieve patients’ symptoms, but with more research needed across the board, approved clinical treatments and therapies remain the best course of action. That being said, you will always get patients that will ignore this advice; all you can do is reinforce the importance of conventional treatment pathways, and continue to recommend safe and effective oral health solutions like the range available from oral healthcare specialist, Curaprox.

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