Researchers from India's Kothiwal Dental College and Research Center, along with the Indian Department of Public Health Dentistry have determined that an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for gum disease inhibits gingivitis and periodontal disease when used in a toothpaste.
The researchers conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design study using sixty adults. The subjects were separated into two groups, one that used a toothpaste containing Acacia arabica bark extract and the other that used a control toothpaste for 28 days.
After testing and a washout period, the subjects who used the Ayurvedic toothpaste during the first 28 days used the control toothpaste and those who used the control toothpaste first then used the Ayurvedic toothpaste, again for 28 days.
The subjects were tested before and after each trial period for plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding during probing. In both crossover groups using the Ayurvedic toothpaste there was a significant reduction in all three parameters. After using the Ayurvedic toothpaste the subjects had significantly less gingivitis symptoms, less bleeding upon probing and less plaque on their teeth.
All three parameters are accepted worldwide as standard diagnostic symptoms of gum disease. A build up of plaque is due to the over-colonization of pathogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans. These and other bacteria produce a lactic acid-rich waste stream that coats the teeth and causes tooth decay. The bacteria also colonize the gums, producing a separation of the gumline from the teeth and pockets in the gumline. These pockets and loose gumline will produce sensitive gums, which will bleed easily when probed or cleaned. Deeper pockets in the gumline also indicate a gingivitis infection.
A chronic gingivitis infection is considered periodontal disease, which can lead to damaged arteries and infections elsewhere in the body as the waste streams enter the bloodstream.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, approximately half of all American adults have periodontal disease.
The researchers utilized an ancient Ayurvedic tooth and gum remedy from the Acacia arabica tree. The remedy comes in the form of the bark from the acacia tree - which is used to produce an extract. This remedy is also called Babla in Ayurveda.
The bark is an astringent and known to be anti-bacterial. It is also used to treat intestinal infections. Warning: The bark can be toxic if ingested. Use should be restricted to commercially available and tested toothpastes.
- Tangade PS, Mathur A, Tirth A, Kabasi S. Anti-gingivitis effects of Acacia arabica-containing toothpaste. Chin J Dent Res. 2012;15(1):49-53.
- Adams C. Oral Probiotics: Fighting Tooth Decay, Periodontal Disease and Airway Infections Using Nature's Friendly Bacteria, Logical Books, 2010.