Rich in vitamins, sugars, and minerals, aloe vera is known for its moisturizing, softening, and anti-itching properties. It also has anti-inflammatory and antiplaque properties, beneficial for oral health.
Among the first plants cited in medical literature, aloe vera acts as an “all-purpose plant, “a real pharmacy capable, on its own, of curing many diseases,” as Paracelsus wrote at the beginning of the 16th century.
This succulent plant from the Liliaceae family is used externally or internally for its protective and soothing properties, beneficial for taking care of our gums. How and in what form to use it? What precautions should be taken? Santé Magazine takes stock with Anthony Touboul, a pharmacist, an expert in phytotherapy.
Aloe Vera Toothpaste, As Effective As Fluoride Ones
The effect of an aloe vera-based toothpaste on reducing dental plaque and gingivitis is proven: it was evaluated in a double-blind clinical study (neither the volunteers nor the experimenters know who is using what). Participants were randomly assigned to two groups of 15 people.
The first group had to brush their teeth three times a day with a toothpaste containing aloe vera, while the other used fluoridated toothpaste. Dental plaque formation and gum bleeding were assessed before treatment and after one month. In both groups, study leaders found a significant reduction in dental plaque and inflammation of the gums without noting a unique effect of fluoride.
This is important, points out Anthony Touboul because it proves that aloe vera is an exciting alternative to preventing the formation of dental plaque, which itself can be the cause of widespread infections of the body.
In Mouthwash, Aloe Vera Has Only Qualities!
To evaluate the effectiveness of an aloe vera-based mouthwash on the accumulation of dental plaque and gingivitis, six clinical trials were carried out on more than 1,300 subjects. Some were testing 100% aloe vera mouthwash, others a placebo distilled water mouthwash, and still others a mouthwash with 0.2% chlorhexidine. Results? Aloe vera significantly reduces plaque and gum inflammation, sometimes as well as chlorhexidine, sometimes a little less.
Its strong point: aloe vera has no adverse effects compared to chlorhexidine, which can cause significant inconvenience, particularly the formation of spots and an alteration in taste sensation. Unless otherwise indicated by your dentist, aloe vera in mouthwash is, therefore, a natural and effective alternative. The pharmacist advises using pure aloe leaf juice for visible results more quickly.
In-Gel, Aloe Vera Treats Canker Sores
The oral aloe vera gel (dosed at 0.5 or 2%) decreases the pain associated with the canker sore, as well as the size of the wound, especially in people with recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
Anti-inflammatory, healing, and protective also reduces the healing period of the wound and, therefore, the healing time. No adverse effects are reported.
We Can Use Aloe Vera In Prevention
The mucositis, inflammation of the oral mucosa, c is a standard and disabling complication of radiotherapy as the cancer chemotherapy. It results in the appearance of often painful ulcers. One study suggests that an aloe vera-based mouthwash may not only prevent the mucositis and inflammation induced by these treatments but also reduce oral thrush, another side effect of radiation therapy.
What Precautions Should I Take?
In the care of teeth and gums, aloe vera is of great interest, still too little exploited. Its safety allows it to be used in adults, as well as in children or pregnant women. However, be careful to use quality products and not make your preparations based on fresh leaves! These can be toxic if misused.