Improve your gums with Aloe vera
Rich in vitamins, sugars and minerals, aloe vera is known for its moisturizing, softening and anti-scratch properties. But it also has anti-inflammatory and anti-plaque properties, useful for oral health.
Among the first plants cited in the medical literature, aloe vera acts as a "useful plant," "a true pharmacy capable, on its own, of curing many diseases," as Paracelsus wrote in the early sixteenth century.
This succulent plant of the lily family is used externally or internally for its protective and soothing properties, which are particularly useful in caring for our gums. How and in what form should it be used? What precautions should be taken?
Aloe vera toothpaste, as effective as fluorine
The effect of a toothpaste with aloe vera on the reduction of dental plaque and gingivitis has been proven: it was evaluated in a double-blind clinical study (neither the volunteers nor the experimenters know who uses what). Participants were randomly assigned to two groups of 15 people.
The first group had to brush their teeth three times a day with toothpaste containing aloe vera, while the other group used fluoride toothpaste. Dental plaque formation and gum bleeding were assessed before treatment and after one month. In both groups, the study leaders found a significant reduction in plaque and gum inflammation without noticing a superior effect of fluoride.
This is important, says Anthony Touboul, an expert in medicinal herbs, because it shows that aloe vera is an interesting alternative to prevent the formation of dental plaque, which in itself can cause general infections of the body.
To assess the effectiveness of an aloe vera mouthwash on plaque buildup and gingivitis, 6 clinical trials were performed on more than 1,300 subjects. Some were testing a 100% aloe vera mouthwash, others a placebo mouthwash with distilled water, others a 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash. Outcome? Aloe vera significantly reduces inflammation of the plaque and gums, sometimes like chlorhexidine, sometimes slightly less.
Its strong point: Aloe Vera has no adverse effects compared to chlorhexidine, which can cause significant discomfort, in particular the formation of spots and an alteration in the sensation of taste. Unless your dentist specifies otherwise, aloe vera in mouthwash is a natural and effective alternative. The pharmacist recommends using pure aloe leaf juice for faster visible results.
Aloe vera gel can treat canker sores
Legel oral aloe vera (0.5 or 2%) reduces the pain associated with mouth ulcers, as well as the size of the wound, especially in people with recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
Anti-inflammatory, healing and protective, it also reduces the healing period of the wound and, therefore, the healing time. No side effects are reported.
How to use: apply on the canker 3-4 times a day for 5 days.
Aloe vera can be used for prevention
Mucositis, an inflammation of the oral mucous membranes, is a frequent and disabling complication of radiation therapy and cancer chemotherapy. It results in the appearance of often painful ulcers. A study suggests that an aloe vera mouthwash could not only prevent mucositis and inflammation caused by these treatments, but also reduce oral yeast infection, another side effect of radiation therapy.
In the care of teeth and gums, aloe vera is of great interest, still very little exploited. Its safety allows its use in adults, such as children or pregnant women. However, be careful to use quality products and especially when making your own preparations with fresh leaves.