BACKGROUND: Despite the large number of trials conducted using herbal oral care products for the reduction of dental plaque or gingivitis, results are conflicting and inconclusive.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of herbal oral care products compared to conventional products in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis adults.
METHODS: We searched the following databases for Randomised controlled trials (RCTs): MEDLINE Ovid, EMBASE Ovid etc. which yielded 493 trails. Of which 24 RCTs comparing herbal toothpaste or mouth rinse with over the counter toothpaste or mouth rinse in adults aged 18 to 65 years were included. Two authors extracted information and assessed the methodological quality of the included studies using Risk of Bias. Meta-analyses using the random-effects model were conducted for four outcomes for tooth paste and mouth rinse respectively. Mean difference (MD) or standardized mean difference (SMD) were used to estimate the effect, with 95% confidence intervals.
RESULTS: A total of 1597 adults participated in 24 RCT studies. These were classified as herbal toothpaste (HTP) (15 trials, 899 participants) and herbal mouth rinse (HMR) (9 trials, 698 participants) compared with non-herbal toothpaste (NHTP) or non-herbal mouth rinse (NHMR). We found that HTP was superior over NHTP (SMD 1.95, 95% CI (0.97-2.93)) in plaque reduction. The long-term use of NHMR was superior in reduction of dental plaque over HMR (SMD -2.61, 95% (CI 4.42-0.80)). From subgroup analysis it showed that HTP was not superior over fluoride toothpaste (SMD 0.99, 95% CI (0.14-2.13)) in reducing dental plaque. However, HTP was favoured over non-fluoride toothpaste (SMD 4.64, 95% CI (2.23-7.05)).
CONCLUSION: For short-term reduction in dental plaque, current evidence suggests that HTP is as effective as compared to NHTP; however, evidence is from low quality studies.
Chandrashekar Janakiram, Dr. R. Venkitachalam, Fontelo, P., Iafolla, T. J., and Dye, B. A., “Effectiveness of herbal oral care products in reducing dental plaque & gingivitis - a systematic review and meta-analysis.”, BMC Complement Med Ther, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 43, 2020.