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Amanda Thibeaux & Elide Hernandez

March 25th 2018

DHYG 2301

Aloe Vera Used in Dentistry

Aloe Vera is a very common plant used in a variety of skin care products and modern-day

medicines. Deemed the “plant of immortality” by the Egyptians, aloe vera is an ancient herb that

has been commonly used as an antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant.

Recently it has been getting a lot of attention in dentistry due to its vast amount of benefits while

having virtually no side effects. Aloe vera can be greatly beneficial in treating gum diseases like

gingivitis, and periodontitis. It reduces bleeding, inflammation, and swelling of the gums. It also

acts as a powerful antiseptic in deep periodontal pockets where normal cleaning can be difficult.

Aloe vera has antifungal properties that can aid in denture stomatitis, aphthous ulcers, cracked

and split corners of the mouth. It can promote healing after extractions, and can also be used in

root canal treatment as a sedative dressing and file lubricant during biomechanical preparation

(Neena, Ganesh, Poornima, Korishettar 2015).

Patients with periodontitis may benefit from using aloe vera as an aid in scaling and root

planning. A study was shown in which patients with periodontitis underwent scaling with hand

instruments after aloe vera gel was injected into periodontal pockets with a blunt tip needle. The

pockets were filled until the material is visible at the gingival margin. To ensure the aloe vera gel

stayed long enough to be effective in the pocket, a periodontal dressing (Coe pack) was placed

over the treated sites. After placing the aloe vera gel and periodontal dressing, the control site

only received scaling with hand instruments. All subjects were observed after one month and
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three months and then compared to a baseline subject. The aloe vera in test sites resulted in

significant reduction in pocket depths when compared to control subjects. Subjects also observed

relative decrease in gingival and plaque indices by months one and three. Research states that

wound healing with Aloe vera is due to increased blood supply; increased oxygenation, which

stimulates fibroblast activity; and collagen proliferation. Aloe vera also contains vitamins A, C,

E, B 12, and folic acid. Vitamin C, is involved in collagen synthesis, which increases

concentration of oxygen at the wound site because of dilation of blood vessels. Aloe vera

penetrates and dilates capillaries going to an injured site, which improves healing. Because of

studies conducted with aloe vera, it can be concluded that subgingival administration of aloe vera

gel is beneficial for improving conditions of periodontal disease (Bhat, Kudva, and Dodwad

2011).

Burning mouth syndrome is a condition that presents as a burning sensation of the

tongue, lips, or entire oral cavity, but does not manifest as an oral lesion or laboratory test

finding. The exact cause of burning mouth seems unclear and is of idiopathic origins. Oral

burning pain remains the chief symptom of burning mouth syndrome. Most individuals describe

this symptom as burning, tingling, scalding, annoying, tender, or numb feeling of the oral

mucosa, most commonly involving the anterior 2/3rd of the tongue, followed by dorsum, lateral

borders of the tongue, anterior portion of the hard palate, and labial mucosa. Although there

hasn’t been a definitive cure for burning mouth syndrome, studies have been conducted with aloe

vera gel and tongue protectors as a means to reduce pain and promote healing. Topical aloe vera

has clinically been proven to promote healing of burns, psoriasis, and oral lichen planus in

previous studies. Researchers have found that topical application of 0.5 ml Aloe vera gel at 70%

to the sore areas of the tongue three times a day combined with a tongue protector (a transparent,
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low-density polyethylene sheath covering the tongue from the tip to the posterior third) is

effective for reducing tongue burning and pain. (Sun, Wu, Wang, Lin, Chen, Chiang 2013)

While aloe vera may not be able to cure burning mouth syndrome, evidence shows that it is a

cheap, herbal alternative to treating pain and burning sensation.

Aloe vera is gaining popularity as an alternative ingredient in toothpaste. Because of its

powerful antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, when used as a tooth gel it can

effectively clean and sooth teeth and gingival tissue. It is effective at fighting cavities by fighting

the bacteria that can cause them, and in some cases, it can be more effective at fighting certain

strains of bacteria versus some commercial tooth pastes. Aloe vera is a smooth gel that is less

abrasive than toothpaste masking them less harsh on teeth and gingiva for patients with

sensitivity issues (Academy of General Dentistry 2009). Aloe vera is natural anti-fungal and

antibacterial agent. It protects the sensitive tissue in the mouth, kills bacteria as well as fight

tooth decay. Boosts body’s ability to create collagen, which strengthens weak and swollen gums.

It is recommended that taking 1/4 cup of pure Aloe vera gel and dissolving it in about 1/2 cup of

water or apple juice will soothe acid indigestion, which is a very common cause of bad breath. A

study comparing the benefits of chlorhexidine mouthwash versus aloe vera mouthwash found

that aloe vera is equally effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis. It is more accessible and a

cheaper herbal remedy than chlorhexidine rinse. (Vangipuram, Jha, and Bhashyam 2016)

Aloe Vera is a promising herb with various beneficial uses in medicine and dentistry. The

possibilities are endless. It shows that Aloe Vera has a potential in dentistry as a therapeutic and healing

agent. Aloe Vera is easily available, convenient and with no adverse effects. Because of how cheap it is,

and availability it proves as a great alternative remedy for a variety of procedures. It can be applied as a

gel, used in a mouth rinse, applied sub gingivally, and applied directly to prosthesis as a cleaning agent.