Aloe Vera Mouthwash Shown to Improve Oral Health
Oral health is extremely important to overall health, as studies have linked poor oral conditions to heart disease and diabetes. A recent study suggests that aloe vera mouthwash may be as effective as at reducing plaque and gingivitis as chlorhexidene, a prescription medication.
Participants in the study included 345 students who were assigned one of three interventions over the course of 30 days: an aloe vera mouthwash, chlorhexidene (a prescription-only mouthwash) with distilled water, or a placebo.
The researchers examined the effectiveness of all three interventions at 15 days and again at 30 days. At both points, the aloe vera mouthwash performed as well as the chlorhexidene in reducing gingivitis and plaque. Both performed better than the placebo.
Chlorhexidene is available only by prescription and prolonged use can result in side effects such as tooth and/or tongue staining, increased tartar, mouth and/or throat irritation and changes in food taste. No side effects of the aloe vera mouthwash were observed during this study.
Researchers from Teerthankar Mahaveer University in India conducted the study. It was published in the March 2014 issue of Oral Health Dental Management.
Aloe vera has been linked to a number of health benefits, including joint pain relief, decreased inflammation, helping to heal burns and insect bites, improved oral health, helping with kidney stones, and easing dry skin.
For skin benefits, aloe vera can be applied directly to the skin. For internal health benefits, it can be taken orally. Aloe vera supplements that use the entire plant rather than just the gel have been shown to have greater health benefits.