Gingivitis and periodontal disease
Aloe vera juice is a natural health product I find particularly useful for a variety of health conditions. It is acts as an anti-inflammatory, is demulcent, and anti-ulcer. It is commonly used to soothe stomach irritation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is considered one of the best Kidney Yin tonics, meaning it helps to preserve physical stamina, especially in those who tend to push themselves and are 'wiry.' It nourishes both the Kidney and Liver yin, preventing dryness from a TCM perspective, while nourishing the tendons and ligaments to help prevent pain and inflammation in joint articulations.
Recently, I have been doing some complimentary research in oral dental care. Gingivitis, bleeding gums, and plaque build-up are common problems. I have read about aloe vera juice mouthwash. In a triple blind randomized control study, 345 healthy adults were randomly assigned to aloe vera mouhtwash, chlorhexidine mouthwash (standard treatment), or placebo. Both aloe vera juice mouthwash and chlorhexidine were statistically signficant in reducing bleeding gums and plaque build-up at days 15 and 30, compared to placebo. The mouthwash was done twice daily for thirty days (1). A second study was done on 390 dental students and similar results were found demonstrating that aloe vera juice and chlorhexidine were statistically significantly better at reducing plaque and bleeding gums compared to placebo (2). In both studies, aloe vera juice did not differ significantly from chlorhexidine, however, aloe vera demonstrated fewer side effects such as teeth staining and taste disturbance. Three other studies consistently found similar findings (3-5) and overall aloe vera juice was slightly less effective than chlorhexidine, although not by a statistically significant power (4). Chlorhexidine still remains the gold standard, however aloe very juice does demonstrate some interesting results and is equally cost-effective.
In vitro studies demonstrate anti-microbial effects of aloe vera in addition to the above mentioned mechanisms of action.
The suggestion is 10 ml for 1 min, twice daily, morning and before bed for a minimum of 15 days.
In conclusision, both chlorhexidine and aloe vera juice may potentially be used as part of oral dental care (in addition to brushing and flossing of course!)
(1) Karim, Bhaskar et al (2014). Effect of Aloe vera mouthwash on periodontal health: triple blind randomized control trial. Oral Health Dental Manag. 13(1): 14-9
(2) Vangipuram, Jha, and Bhashyam. (2016). Comparative efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash and chlorhexidine on periodontal health: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Dent. 8(4): e442-e447
(3) Gupta, Gupta, et al. (2014). Preliminary antiplaque efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash on 4 day plaque re-growth model: randomized control trial. Ethiop J Health Sci. 24(2):139-44
(4) Chandrahas et al. (2012) A randomized, double-blind clinical study to assess the antiplaque and antigingivitis efficacy of Aloe vera mouth rinse. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 16(4):543-8
(5): Chhina et al. (2016). A randomized clinical study for comparative evaluation of Aloe Vera and 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash efficacy on de-novo plaque formation. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 6(3); 251-5