Aloe vera is known for its many health benefits. Recently, scientists decided to study whether it could also improve someone’s oral health. The results of their research, titled “Efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash versus chlorhexidine on plaque and gingivitis: A systematic review” was published in the March issue of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Aloe Vera Health Benefits
Aloe vera is a popular succulent plant originally from the Arabian Peninsula in North Africa that can grow in arid and tropical climates. The plant’s leaves produce a gelatinous substance that can be cultivated for both medical and agricultural purposes. People from around the world have used aloe vera due to its many health benefits since the 16th century. Today, aloe vera is widely used on the skin for it’s antimicrobial and antioxidant properties as well as for the following:
- Cosmetic products
- Food supplements
- Food products
- Herbal remedies
- Ultraviolet (UV) protection
- Treat burn wounds
- Treat foot ulcers
- Oral health
Aloe Vera and Oral Health
A previous study that was published in General Dentistry, a peer-reviewed journal by the Academy of General Dentistry, reported that toothpaste with aloe vera could help fight against dental decay. For the study, the researchers compared it to other commercial toothpastes that claimed to have antibacterial properties. Towards the end, the researchers discovered that the toothpaste with aloe vera was just as good, if not better than the others since it contains anthraquinones, which has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Meanwhile, another study published in Dental Journal Research demonstrated that aloe vera gel can heal oral wounds from Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Overall, the scientists concluded that the gel helped patients heal faster and feel less pain.
About The Study
Since aloe vera has been tested in many scientific studies over the years, a team of researchers decided they would further investigate its claimed therapeutic properties in regards to oral health. Lead researcher Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri organized a systematic review that assessed the efficacy of aloe vera mouth rinse on gingival inflammation and plaque in comparison to chlorhexidine.
For the systematic review, Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri assessed six randomized clinical trials that included a total of 1358 subjects. His team discovered that aloe vera was very effective in reducing plaque and gingival inflammation. Although one study revealed that mouth rinse with chlorhexidine was more effective than the one with aloe vera, four others found that the reverse was true. Two of the studies found that mouth rinse with chlorhexidine showed similar results to aloe vera. To fight against potential bias that could occur during the study, Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri used the Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool.
Based on the study’s findings, Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri and his team have come to the conclusion that aloe vera mouth wash can provide comparable results to chlorhexidine when the patient wants to stop oral inflammation. Both products can help patients who need to reduce gingival inflammation to prevent the development of periodontal disease, although Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri noted that aloe vera mouth rinse is not as effective as chlorhexidine when it comes to reducing plaque. Sadeq A. Al‐Maweri hopes to conduct additional research studies with larger sample sizes in the future to further examine how aloe vera can improve a patient’s overall oral health.