Natural or herbal supplements used in dentistry
One may ask: "is there a natural or herbal remedy for some dental problems?” The answer is, “yes.” Many natural substances can be used to assist in healing the gingival tissue after scaling and root planing, calm the pain of mouth sores, easing tooth pain after dental procedures and reducing inflammation from gingival infections. This article will address some of these familiar herbal supplements.
“Inflammation is the body’s response to cellular injury.” Our bodies respond to this cellular injury when we experience physical and even emotional distress. Inflammation of the oral cavity such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and other dental conditions can produce unsightly as well as painful gum tissue. The herbal supplements made from Aloe Vera, bloodroot, calendula, Echinacea, Goldenseal, and Grapefruit seed extract can assist in reducing inflammation and assist with pain control.
Aloe Vera is a clear sticky substance extracted from the internal membrane of the Aloe Vera plant. Once the clear substance is extracted a dental gel can be made. When used the Aloe Vera gel will assist in reducing inflammation from dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease. A study done by the Department of Periodontics, ,Jaipur Dental College, in Jaipur ,India, found that Aloe Vera gel was effective at healing the gingival tissue after scaling and root planing. They took 15 patients with moderate periodontal disease. Each patent was evaluated using a plaque index, a bleeding index, and periodontal probe readings. Each individual was provided with scaling and root planing. At the time of scaling and root planing one site per tooth in multiple areas in the mouth, probing 5mm with bleeding, were filled with the gel of the Aloe Vera plant. All patients were evaluated before treatment at one month and at three month intervals. Results showed a significant decrease in pocket depths and bleeding in those sites that were injected with the Aloe Vera gel. Brushing with Aloe Vera gel can reduce the inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease as well.
Aloe Vera toothpaste gel can be made from an Aloe Vera plant.
Step by step instructions can be found at:
Aloe Vera Toothpaste Gel
1. Find Aloe Vera
You can either buy or plant an Aloe Vera plant, or check around your neighborhood, at parks, and ask friends and family if they know where any Aloe Vera plants are located. Aloe is plentiful and very easy to find and most species are edible. It is a good idea to double-check your finds because some types of Aloe Vera have laxative effects.
2. Gather the Ingredients
3 tsp. of Aloe Vera gel
5 tsp. of baking soda
5 tsp. of vegetable glycerin
freshly chopped mint
3. Mix the Ingredients
Extract the Aloe Vera Gel from the Aloe Vera plant. Use a knife to chop the Aloe Vera gel into small juicy bits. Combine the Aloe Vera gel with the baking soda, vegetable glycerin. Mix well. Add the freshly chopped mint. Place in an air tight container and use as you would your regular tooth paste. Aloe Vera Gel is not thick like other tooth paste however it has a mild mint flavor and can help fight inflammation.
Bloodroot is usually grown in wooded areas from Quebec to Florida on the eastern coast. Bloodroot is not usually found west of Kansas. Bloodroot responds best in shady, moist soil. It is best to plant bloodroot from seed or use a root cutting from other plants; do not use plants that are out in the wild (Bloodroot is endangered). Gather the root when the plant is flowering. Use gloves when handling bloodroot; the juice is red and can stain the skin. One of the substances found in bloodroot is Sanguinarine. This substance can be effective for plaque control as well as dental inflammation such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Bloodroot should be used in very small doses. Toothpaste or mouth rinses containing bloodroot can assist in treating gum inflammation when used properly.
Altnature.com attaches this warning about the use of Bloodroot:
“CAUTION Use internally with caution, it contains toxic opium-like alkaloids and can cause mucous membrane irritation, an over dose can be fatal, do not use when pregnant or lactating. Bloodroot is not edible.
The dried petals of the Calendula plant can be used to treat inflammation and minor infections such as gingivitis and early periodontal disease. These petals, fresh or dried, can be made into ointments and creams. Liquid extracts can be used to go into a periodontal pocket.
Caution: Calendula is generally considered safe to use on your skin. DO NOT apply it to an open wound without a doctor's supervision. People, who are allergic to plants in the daisy or aster family, including chrysanthemums and ragweed, may also have an allergic reaction to calendula (usually a skin rash).
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use calendula. In theory, calendula could interfere with conception, and possibly cause miscarriage, so couples trying to get pregnant should not use calendula.7
Calendula officinalis; Garden marigold; Pot marigold
Echinacea is usually grown in the Midwest areas of North America. The plant itself is tall with pink or purple flowers with a central core. Echinacea is used to treat inflammation including the gingival tissues in the mouth.
Caution: Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed. If you have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, or a chronic infection such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, you should not use Echinacea.
"Goldenseal is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by overharvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains." The dry root of goldenseal is used to make pastes and gels to be used to treat cold sores and sore gingival tissue. Goldenseal has been used to treat bacterial infections such as periodontal disease to reduce inflammation.
Grapefruit seed extract
"Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a substance derived from the seeds, membranes, and the pulp of grapefruit. Used as a broad-spectrum, non-toxic, antimicrobial product, it is known to be highly effective for fighting infection and promoting health."
According to Dr. Sachs’ book “The Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract”, these oral conditions were listed:
"Cold sores, cuts, wounds – Use 1 – 5 drops in 50 drops of water. Frequent application of solution to wound will promote faster healing.
- Gums (Gingivitis) – Dilute 5 to 10 drops of GSE in 6 to 8 ounces of water, and rinse mouth with solution thorough
- Sinusitis - Using a spray atomizer, add a pinch of salt, and no more than two drops of GSE. Shake and spray into nose. Repeat every four hours. If the solution is too mild, add one or two more drops of GSE and shake. Do not use this treatment with young children.
- Sore throats – Dilute a few drops in water and use as a gargle. This will fight even Strep germs. Use approximately 2 to 3 drops in 5 ounces of water for the gargle.
Many natural substances can be used to assist in healing the gingival tissue after scaling and root planing, calm the pain of mouth sores, easing tooth pain after dental procedures and reducing inflammation from gingival infections. "The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs contain active substances that may trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs only under the supervision of a health care provider knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine.".
Tess Hulet RDH MHSM
 JoAnn R. Gurenlian, RDH, PhD. INFLAMMATION: The Relationship Between Oral Health and Systemic Disease. Https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7823_Inflammation.pdf
2. Alperovich lisa Ana. How to: Make Aloe Vera Toothpaste. http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-aloe-vera-toothpaste/
. Geetha Bhat, Praveen Kudva, and Dodwad: Aloe vera: Nature’s soothing healer to periodontal disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200013/
 Alternative Nature Online Herbal. https://altnature.com/gallery/bloodroot.htm